Now open in Greenpoint at 544 Manhattan Ave., Bar Annicka has a strict “no assholes” policy. The new restaurant, a space with 24 tables and a 24-seat bar located at the northeast border of McCarren Park, serves local and seasonal New American fare intended to be accessible to vegans and omnivores alike with a kitchen team led by co-chefs Emma Jane Gonzalez, Christian Perkins, and Kenny Monroe.
Gonzalez and general manager Sasha Winters both say that one of the biggest aspects about Annicka — a collaborative concept from North Brooklyn Farms and Greenpoint Beer and Ale Co. — is its commitment to changing conventional restaurant culture. “Restaurant culture, for whatever reason, can be a really unhealthy place,” Gonzalez says. “Both in encouraging unhealthy habits and also unhealthy dynamics, be it between men and women, between front of house and back of house, and I think we really just weren’t interested in that. It doesn’t feel sustainable.” Bar Annicka, according to Gonzalez and Winters, strives to be a place where staff can feel creative, comfortable, and nurtured.
“We have a pretty strict no-assholes policy, to put it bluntly,” Gonzalez says. “We want this place to be a nice place to work and to come.”
Winters notes that in addition to her role and Gonzalez’s role, the bar manager and coffee manager are also women. “Creating that visual image of women in charge and having young people get used to seeing that and having that be commonplace is important,” she says.
Bar Annicka is the first restaurant to open under Gov. Cuomo’s Farm Brewery license, a program that mandates that beer be made primarily from locally grown farm products. To that end, Annicka will serve exclusively New York-made beer, cider, wine, and spirits, like those of Forthave Spirits in Bed-Stuy. The food, Gonzalez explains, has a focus on local ingredients, too. Shareable dishes include charred cauliflower with pickled beet pâté and confit garlic; fried sprouted lentils with local squid and pickled squash; and roasted pork coppa with anchovies and preserved jalapeño.
Bar Annicka has its first night of service tonight and will be open Wednesday through Sunday from 5 p.m. to midnight (with the kitchen closing at 11 p.m.). For now, the restaurant will be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, which will change in the spring.