A new outdoor bar in Ridgewood called Nowadays is providing residents with a different way to hang out.
Justin Carter and Eamon Harkin, the DJs behind the popular dance parties known as Mister Saturday Night and Mister Sunday, own Nowadays with Mark Connell, who owns the Botanica Bar. Located at 56-06 Cooper Ave., Nowadays is a nearly 16,000-square-foot “outdoor hangout with food and drink,” according to Carter.
“We kind of see it as a place for people in the community to come hang out,” Carter said. “If you call something a bar it will conjure up a specific image, if you call something a beer garden it brings up a specific image. We don’t really like to try to define what it is because we want people to not categorize us before they come in.”
The owners wanted to bring into their establishment a “backyard feeling” they got while performing as DJs. They achieved that goal by enclosing Nowadays with corrugated fences and filling the area with honey locust and birch trees, native grasses and sodded hills for customers to throw a towel down to lie on.
Patrons are invited to bring their friends, children and even their dogs to Nowadays.
“It’s totally a dog-friendly space as long as people bring a dog on a leash,” Carter said. “We want it to feel more like a friend’s backyard.”
Nowadays makes sure customers are treated to a variety of entertainment and games. There is a bocce ball set, chess, checkers and backgammon sets with the playing boards painted directly onto the picnic tables. There is also a ping-pong table for customers to use.
The bar offers customers a selection of local beers, sangrias and wines, as well as sodas from local soda manufacturer Brooklyn Soda Works. There will also be a wide selection of food for sale for all types of customers, including vegetarian and vegan hot dogs, grass-fed beef burgers, a beet burger and an avocado salad.
“We care about organic and local stuff but we’re not trying to force that down anyone’s throats,” Carter explained. “What we are trying for here is to have a level of quality that is high but not force anything on anyone. We aren’t a vegan place or vegetarian place but we cater to all of those people. We like to have multiple options for all these different categories of eaters.”
In addition to all of that, Nowadays donates 10 percent of their net profits for the poverty-fighting organization Robin Hood.
“We really like Robin Hood because Robin Hood is an organization that is based here in New York and they specifically target poverty in New York City where poverty is a real big issue,” Carter said. “We are very fortunate to be in a place in our lives and society where we have the ability to make a living off of people’s luxury time. The fact that we can do that in the shadow of extreme homelessness and poverty, it really hit us.”
Nowadays, which held a soft opening on June 11, will officially open starting on June 18 and operate through October, with hours on Thursdays from 4 p.m. to midnight, Fridays from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m., Saturdays from noon to 2 a.m., and Sundays from noon to midnight.