If there is a heaven on earth, or rather in Brooklyn, I think that might be Gran Eléctrica’s patio on a summer afternoon. Hidden in plain sight just next to the lines of tourists waiting to get a slice of Grimaldi’s pizza, this little gem seems to be the Dumbo in the know crowd hangout.
Dad Vivant has been aware of its existence, as he has his creative content agency a couple blocks up, and we took advantage of a beautiful August Sunday afternoon with family visiting from abroad to walk to the promenade all the way to Fulton Landing and take them see Jane’s Carousel, Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges and walk the cobblestone streets of Dumbo. Of course, the girls requested an ice cream stop at Jacques Torres (the line at the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory was insane) and in exchange, after eating ice cream, we got to stop at Gran Eléctrica for a margarita and a snack to better deal with a potential afternoon meltdown.
The non assuming entrance that almost makes you think it’s just another building, hides a beautiful and fun space: a long dark wood bar to your left when you get in, leads you to an exposed brick, white tile and wood space with the humorous touch of a Flavor Paper designed wallpaper of calacas doing their thing in the neighborhood: little hipster skeletons riding their bikes on Dumbo or riding Jane’s Carousel made me smile and immediately made take a liking to the place.
We were walked through a dining room to the backyard. Cement stairs with lit candles brought us to an exposed brick and vine covered patio under the Manhattan Bridge. This two-leveled open space, separated by bamboo plants, is ample and a bit loud, but perfect for a lazy brunch on a weekend or a margarita (or two) on a summer evening. You definitely forget that you are in a big city once you get into this little Dumbo Garden of Eden.
The staff was very attentive. They parked our folded stroller and walked us to an outside table almost immediately. They have high chairs and although they didn’t have a kids menu per se (we arrived too late for brunch but not too late for an afternoon cocktail), they offered us to prepare a light quesadilla for the girls.
Of course we ordered the margaritas from the menu: the margarita eléctrica, perfectly strong, sour and refreshing at the same time and the margarita de pepino, a delicious margarita with cucumber. We ordered something small (antojitos) to hold us over: guacamole, perfectly seasoned with an unexpected refreshing touch given by a light garnish of pineapple with excellently salted crispy chips. As we had dinner plans somewhere else, we decided to hold off ordering more food but all the dishes being served around us looked delicious and I’ll make sure we come back to try their brunch (or for an evening escapade with the girlfriends for a drink and some more antojitos).
I loved their bathrooms, with their red walls and black tiles and a touch of that awesome wallpaper on their hand dryers. Unfortunately none of them had a changing table. They do have a small restroom in the patio but the ones inside the restaurant are more ample and cleaner.
5 Front Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Monday – Thursday: 6:00pm – 10:30pm (Bar open 5:30pm – 12:00am)
Friday: 5:30pm – 11:30pm (Bar open 5:30pm – 12:00am)
Saturday: 11:00am – 3:00pm / 5:00pm – 11:30pm (Bar open 11:00am – 12:00am)
Sunday: 11:00am – 3:00pm / 5:00pm – 10:30pm (Bar open 11:00am – 11:00pm)