Photography by Lee Bilsky
Since opening in Manhattan nearly 30 years ago, venerable live music institution the Knitting Factory has developed into a small empire of venues and restaurants across the country. The team's latest venture is Federal Bar, a gastropub influenced eatery situated in a carriage house adjacent to the iconic venue's Williamsburg location. Federal Bar maintains its own distinct identity and space (the restaurant seats 50), but conveniently serves up late night grub for concertgoers next door.
This is the third outpost for the Federal Bar team, and the first in Brooklyn. The kitchen is helmed by Chef Brendon Doyle, who brings a bar food sensibility from his time at Park Slope’s roadhouse dive-inspired Pork Slope. “Everything is about putting a unique twist on recognizable foods. Have you ever had a corn dog made with lamb merguez?” Other plays on bar food staples include the mock-Polynesian inspired Rumaki and Waffles and Vietnamese influenced meatball sub. A cheese plate boasts a rotating selection of American cheeses and house made accoutrements created by Doyle.
"Everything is about putting a unique twist on recognizable foods. Have you ever had a corn dog made with lamb merguez?"
The space mirrors the old-meets-new of the menu, an equally clever exercise in combining traditional ideas with a modern, elevated style. The wood floor is sourced from an old gymnasium in upstate New York; the shuttlecock-shaped table at the bar’s center, from the gym’s bleachers.
Federal Bar, 367 Metropolitan Ave., Brooklyn NY • 718.388.8641 • thefederalbar.com