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Kingdom just celebrated their grand opening in a not-so-lucky space on Williamsburg's N. 4th Street. Why not so lucky? Well, the space was home to two separate bar iterations (Oulu, and more recently Night Owl) that never really caught on with all the local drunks. Now, Kingdom is still very much a bar (and a music venue with open walls for exhibiting art)—but new co-proprietor Bob Bland has thrown fashion into the mix, making the space Williamsburg's first bar/boutique.
A sort of brick-and-mortar flagship for Bland's streetwear collection Brooklyn Royalty, the shop also proudly stocks independent designer fashion from about 15 mostly Brooklyn-based designers. And —bonus—prices top out at a relatively modest $300.
Brooklyn Royalty's Kings County pride tees and tanks greet you at the entrance. We loved versions featuring the Williamsburg Bridge as well as those reading "The City Made Me Do It" and "Welcome To New York But Mostly Brooklyn" ($27). They share a rack with colorful jersey tanks by Jawmaker in geometric prints or barber's pole stripes ($44). Beyond the tees and tanks, look for tub-dyed jersey halter, shirt, and maxi dresses by Gina DeSilva ($99 to $260). Across the aisle, find gray twill bloomers ($78) and hand-scalloped minis ($220) by Laura Lou and abstracted damask-print silk shirt dresses with drawstring waists by Mary Savel ($135).
A highlight may be the store's selection of hip accessories and jewelry. Smart woolly bow ties by Necks Tuesday ($68) share space with colorful leather fans by MelanyBE. In assorted sizes, the statement-making fans hang from gold chains (starting at $127). Caja Jewelry has a number of initial charms and tiny key pendants ($84) on offer, plus customizable nameplate necklaces ($200 for one proclaiming "Kingdom"). They read Chinatown but—your little secret, or not—they're hand cut from sterling silver or gold.
Speaking of customization, just about every designer in the shop takes special orders—just ask for their card. Likewise, alterations can be made in house. And coming soon: Choose a tee, a screen, an ink, a wash and leave with a custom Brooklyn Royalty tee shirt.
The long, warm-hued space still features a built-in benches, a curved wooden bar, and ample seating. A nook in the rear hosts live performances and Skee-Ball (and will eventually be expanded). And not to worry—nothing about the boutique is shop-bright. The atmosphere is plenty moody-dim-flattering enough for those who merely want a cocktail—be it before 8pm while the shop is still open or after when Kingdom returns to its straight-up bar roots each night.
Could Kingdom become an unofficial home base for contained Brooklyn Drunk Shopping expeditions? Very possibly! It's like Bland read our minds, taking all that pesky walking and those lame attempts at faking sobriety out of the equation. And to that we say, "Cheers!"
· Storecasting: Kingdom [Racked NY]
· Kingdom To Make Drunk Shopping Easier In Williamsburg [Racked NY]
· Kingdom [Official Site]