The nostalgia is burning bright in Bay Ridge.
The Brooklyn Firefly – a hip new restaurant that specializes in pizza, beer, music and art while also paying homage to those neighborhood staples that have come before it — is officially open for business at the corner of Third and Ovington.
The eatery, which opened in place of the now-shuttered Yellow Hook Grille, started serving pies and pouring pints on Saturday, November 12 at an extra special grand opening shindig at which co-owner Michael “Mr. Kaves” McLeer — a Bay Ridge native and founder of ’90s punk-rap fusion group the Lordz of Brooklyn — also celebrated his birthday.
“We’re like two school kids super excited for prom night,” said McLeer days before opening night.
Since news of the coming eatery hit the streets earlier this summer, McLeer and his partner, co-owner of the Brooklyn Tap House Ray Medina have transformed the 3,500-square-foot space at 7003 Third Avenue – a cornerstone that once also housed Yellow Hook’s well-loved predecessor, Lento’s – into a pizza lover’s paradise, while also creating an ambiance that is just as much about the historied neighborhood as it is about the food.
“We’ve just had our heads down scrubbing with toothbrushes trying to get the place ready,” said McLeer, who’s been doing business in the Ridge as far back as 2009 when he founded Brooklyn Made Tattoo. “We want to be competitive with our pizza, and also tip our hats to Lento’s and the nostalgia of it all.”
Fellow local and longtime friend of McLeer Justin Brannan had nothing but praise for the evocative eatery.
“From the moment you walk through the front door that says ‘Family Operated’ you’ll feel that warm and welcoming old school Brooklyn vibe,” he said. “It’s like walking onto the set of your favorite Scorsese movie.”
The vintage-looking bar/restaurant — which serves up modern spins on old-school classics with the added perk of locally brewed beers and cool new cocktails — comes complete with a small stage for local artists, poets and writers to perform on, making it the perfect showcase for everything the ‘hood has to offer.
“Firefly carries the torch for those who know what it really means to be from Brooklyn – where you treat everyone with respect and after a long day you get together to break bread like family,” Brannan said. “Firefly is proof that we don’t need to import culture in Bay Ridge because we’ve got plenty of it right here.
“And for those unlucky folks who don’t live around here, their rice balls are worth the trip on the R train,” he went on. “I promise you.”
The Brooklyn Firefly is open Tuesday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. and Sundays from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.