Empire Stores, the iconic waterfront building in DUMBO’s Brooklyn Bridge Park, is now open. The 450,000 square-foot building, a former coffee warehouse from the 19th century, has been restored by Midtown Equities to create an impressive LEED-certified commercial, retail+cultural space reflecting the new creative energy of this burgeoning Brooklyn neighborhood. The red-bricked, iron-shuttered walls house a variety of distinctive shopping and dining experiences perfect for the culturally curious.
Visitors can enjoy a glass of rosé while taking in the striking Manhattan skyline from Cecconi’s, Soho House’s Italian brasserie. The sophisticated restaurant features wood-burning ovens, jeweled chandeliers, a grand bar and banquette seating. Outside, Cecconi’s striped canopies are perfect for people-watching and taking in the unparalleled views of the Brooklyn waterfront. For a more casual meal, Vinegar Hill House’s first takeaway eatery, VHH Foods, offers breakfast, lunch and dinner executed by chef Jean Adamson, along with sharable picnic meals perfect for Brooklyn Bridge Park. Later this summer, an outpost of Smile To Go cafe, serving healthy and tasty Mediterranean fare, will join the Empire Stores family as well as New York’s first SUGARCANE Raw Bar Grill, a globally inspired small plate restaurant helmed by executive chef and partner Timon Baloo. Early next year, Empire Stores will also welcome DUMBO House, Soho House’s first Brooklyn club location.
Empire Stores is now home to West Elm’s global flagship store as well as the first Brooklyn outpost of bespoke Detroit-based lifestyle brand, Shinola. Lauren Bush Lauren’s FEED has opened its first brick and mortar store, The FEED Shop & Cafe, offering socially conscious products and coffee to go. With the purchase of every item in the store meals will be directly donated to children in need. For a dose of history, visitors can check out Brooklyn Historical Society’s DUMBO Museum celebrating the original past of the building and neighborhood.
As a 19th century warehouse, the building is a central part of Brooklyn’s Fulton Ferry Historic District. Original details such as hoist wheels for transporting coffee and original structural schist walls, have been preserved and incorporated into the overall design. A carved passage creates a central courtyard which leads to DUMBO’s first public rooftop park, offering unobstructed views of the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges, the Statue of Liberty and New York Harbor. The restoration was led by Midtown Equities, the New York-based, family-owned real estate investment and development firm, in partnership with Rockwood Capital and HK Organization. The design, led by S9 Architecture, balances the future of technology and the preservation of the building’s rich history.