Alarmed by reports on the web that The Brooklyn Inn, the classic wood-tin-and-mirrors tavern on the corner of Bergen and Hoyt in Boerum Hill, was shuttering, I dropped by the place last night.
Turns out there's more to the story than a simple closure. The bartendress told me the tavern is not closing, but is changing hands. What's not clear is if the new owners plan to keep the Brooklyn Inn the Brooklyn Inn, or keep it going as a bar under a different name, or convert the whole thing into a different business, such as a bistro. (Ugh.) The woman also said the two owners are trying to make sure the bar isn't closed for the period of time during the handover. It's all pretty murky.
The building is within the Boerum Hill Historic District, so that may protect it from serious renovation. And a bistro would at least mean you could still go in and view the fabulous oak woodwork and the 20-feet-high tin ceiling. Still, the place feels like what it is, a bar, and would be ill-served by repurposing. The scene last night was heartening in its lack of pretense. Thirty-something and Forty-something Brooklyn schlubs being Brooklyn schlubs. One young couple getting to know each other better over several beers. A guy in the back room trying to impress a leggy blonde with his pool prowess. Guys regularly going out to smoke on the corner. Some musicians piling their instruments in the corner and grabbing a drink after a local gig. These guys don't need another hot brunch place on Sundays.
UPDATE: (1 PM April 26) A tipster who seems to be in the know has written into Eater.com confirming that The Brooklyn Inn will be a bistro, serving omelettes and the like. Also, that the owner of the Inn also owns the building. The motivation for the change: Mr. Owner wants more MONEY.