Visit This Chic Cocktail and Culinary-Focused Brooklyn Bar On Your Next Night Out

The corner of Metropolitan Avenue and Havemeyer Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn used to have a thrumming energy all its own. But, when the iconic Knitting Factory shuttered in August 2022, and just a few months later, the always-packed Mexican joint Taqueria Diana followed suit, only The Commodore was left standing. Sure, on any given day, the kitschy surf-inspired bar is packed with people, but it was not the same.

Now, new life surges through this corner of Williamsburg once more, thanks to Bar Madonna. Since its opening in early April, it has already become a staple hotspot: reservations are coveted essentially every evening. Only the brave will try their hand at a walk-in. However, if Eric Madonna or Ray Rando––industry veterans, longtime collaborators, and now co-founders––are hanging around the front, they’ll move mountains (er, tables) to ensure all are accommodated.

Here, Life quite literally imitates art: an original piece of the same name by artist, entertainer, and Art Director, Colm Dillane aka KidSuper serves as the bar’s centerpiece. Guests can admire the eight-foot by six-foot painting depicting the inspiration for the very venue in which they find themselves.

His creative discernment extends throughout: limewash walls, raw wood accents, and eclectic textures create a backdrop that is both inviting and stimulating. Staff are outfitted in KidSuper-designed Mechanic shirts; illustrations of Eric Madonna’s and Ray Rando’s family photos dating back to the 1940s are etched onto every plate. Such thoughtfulness even extends into the washrooms, which are outfitted in a custom wallpaper by Parete Walls featuring a KidSuper painting dubbed “Salvador Bahia.”

Catarina Guimarães, founder and creative director of Brazil-based consultancy and design studio Studio Guia, was enlisted to bring these visions to fruition. As a result, the roomy, 1,000-square-foot space has been completely transformed.

Reminiscent of a gallery, the team gives guests ample time to visually––and even physically, if they please––explore the space before guiding them to the menu. Leading the kitchen is Executive Chef Rob Zwirz, who has crafted reimaginations of Italian-American classics. While most interpret this as pasta, Chef Rob has gone in a completely different direction with elevated bar bites that showcase the versatility of Italian flavors and ingredients.

Nibble on snacks such as Salumi Misti or Oxtail Croquettes. Heartier fan favorites include Calabrese Wings with pickled Calabrian hot sauce and Smashed Meatball Parm with pistachio pesto sugo on a semolina bun.

The beverage program, overseen by General Manager and Beverage Director Rob Crowe, infuses beloved recipes with Bar Madonna’s inventive ethos. The 14-cocktail menu is comprised of four draft offerings and bold signatures like the Madonna Bellini (peach, plum, gin, prosecco) and The Bialetti (vodka, Mr. Black Coffee Liqueur, Oloroso Sherry, hazelnut, coffee), alongside a curated roster of amari, grappa, and sambuca, plus select wine and beer.

Beyond its gastronomy, mixology, and aesthetic appeals, Bar Madonna has quickly become a cultural hub where art and hospitality converge. With its proximity to KidSuper’s studio and shop on Roebling Street, expect to rub elbows with local artists and fashion enthusiasts. Plus, the custom sound system bumps hip hop and R&B all night long, seamlessly transitioning dinner to a party as the evening progresses.

Top Takeaways

Location: Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Address: 367 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211

Cuisine: Italian-American

Price Point: $$

Takes Reservations: Yes – Resy

The vibe: Helmed by two hospitality veterans in collaboration with a bold creator and entertainer, anticipate an evening of rubbing elbows with their effortlessly cool friends and acquaintances while enjoying delicious drinks and noshes in a vibey setting.

Our favorite thing on the menu: The cocktails are fabulous, but be sure to order some snacks. The Smashed Meatball Parm is the most popular dish for a reason.  

The attire: Smart Casual

Breakfast, Lunch, or Dinner: Late Lunch and Dinner: Tuesday to Sunday, 3:00 PM – 2:00 AM

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