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Life on Long Island

Brix and Rye arrives in (make that 'below') Greenport

The scene at Brix and Rye in Greenport

The scene at Brix and Rye in Greenport on Aug. 2, 2014. (Credit: Ian J. Stark)

There are times when a spot lands on the nightlife scene and claims to be an “underground” kind of place, one that shuns the mainstream. Brix and Rye, new in Greenport, does just that -- but in this case it is truly an underground venue, as it is actually located under the ground.

The club opened Thursday, July 31, with a steady crowd of casual-but-neatly dressed people (aged 25-50) arriving over its first weekend, at times filling its basement barroom. In fact, keeping an eye open for a busy flow of men and women at the spot, located at 308A Main St., might be a wise game plan when looking to visit -- as this venue is not only subterranean, but doesn’t even have a sign.

According to management, eventually a small placard will hang on its door, but the plan is to stay generally sign-free -- a personality trait more akin to a hip Manhattan nook than a Long Island stop for an evening out. However, its blank storefront is only one of the attributes Brix and Rye employs in amassing cool points.

For example, its clever name: when truncated, Brix and Rye suitably becomes “B.A.R.” (and it uses that abbreviation as an online logo). Another especially unique move is its below-the-street-level site; while it’s not uncommon for bars, restaurants, lounges and pubs to pop up under buildings in the Big Apple, it is extremely rare on LI. B.A.R. also adheres to the atmosphere native to its historic Stirling Square neighborhood, as its vestibule is a natty room with old wood floors, lit by candles and features no more than a few old lithographs. There’s also an antique (working) shuffleboard table, three shelves filled with old cupboard crocks and some block seats -- all of which is visible from outside via large windows -- but to find the main room, one must descend into the basement.

It is down there where a long bar takes up one half of the cellar space, with a single line of tables and a lengthy wooden bench placed along the other. A few more framed vintage images appear here as well, including an ancient “Pin the Tail on the Donkey” game and a dated Fraternal Order of Eagles flag. The bar’s rear wall bar is exposed brick, and it holds many well-lit shelved bottles of alcohol, all glowing from behind the bartenders to create a simple-yet-stylish concept.

As for those patronizing the bar, a menu of several wines, beers on draft (such as Brooklyn Sorachi Ace, Greenport Harbor, Peroni and Guinness) and signature cocktails is available. Guests can also order food, as Brix and Rye is a sibling of the neighboring 1943 Pizza Bar restaurant (308D Main St.) -- and the entire Pizza Bar menu is orderable – but keep in mind, the food service to Brix wraps up at 10 p.m. The music is mostly piped in alternative and indie rock, but expect some live jazz as well.

For more information, check out Brix and Rye at facebook.com/bargreenport.

Tags: Brix and Rye , Greenport , wine , cocktails , beer , lounge , trendy , new , 1943 Pizza Bar

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