New York

Pop-Up Cocktail Lounges in Gowanus

Talk about a start-up that’s really starting at ground level.   Earlier in the year, Gowanus residents were getting ready for an exciting new cocktail lounge that was supposed to be called Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.   It was going to be a mix of a location for blended classic cocktails and iPad applications.

Getting the Bar Off the Ground

The problem? Funding of course.   And so, proprietor Max Messier was never really able to get his idea off the ground. Instead, he’s created a bit of a sensation with a different idea – the mobile bar.   At the moment, his bar events work through word of mouth and a mailing list. the events and even the drinks are free of charge, as the goal is actually to generate a buzz (and not just an alcoholic one).

The Power of Social Media

Messier, who has been part of a number of start-ups in Silicon Valley, is a big believer in social media and word of mouth. As he said,

“I’m from San Fransisco, with a tech background in social media, so I find social media platforms very valuable.”

He also, ultimately, wants to put the iPad application that he developed into place which will allow patrons to place their orders electronically from the bar.

First, of course, he needs to have a bar.   He explains his goals as follows:

“I’m trying to offer education, first and foremost — we’ll run a schedule of classes and educate people on how to make their own bitters, along with primers on Italian wine, American whiskey, gin. I want people to know that we are going with a market-driven cocktail list; concise, very reactive to locally-grown ingredients. We will be pushing local produce and ingredients. Also, we want people to have a lot of fun.”

Waiting on the Bar

So, for now, Messier has signed a lease at 433 Third Avenue and is just waiting for the bar to arrive.   He chose this location because, as he said, “I was fascinated by the middle ground that is Gowanus. I looked at Williamsburg, and it’s too saturated. I looked over in Park Slope, and that was not what I wanted.”

Until the venue opens, Gowanus residents should continue enjoying the pop-up cocktail adventures while they last!

Picture by Clarissa Pharr.


James Allenby is the editor of Gowanus Lounge, bringing to his position a vast background on New York, and especially Brooklyn history, culture and lifestyle. Born and bred in the heart of "the County of Kings" James Allenby knows what it means to be a Brooklynite, and imparts this meaning at all times to his readers. Contact James at info(at)