Many vegans who enjoy their share of alcoholic drinks may not realize that many wine, beer and spirits contain animal derivatives, such as gelatin and even fish bladders, called "isinglass." The owners of Pine Box Rock Shop enjoy veganism- but also enjoy boozing, and thus the bar was born. Clad in rustic pine and lined with locally printed t-shirts, the bar serves up vegan cocktails, bloody marys, and tasty empanadas from the V Spot.
Pine Box may be a vegan joint, but all are welcome. With a club house feel, the bar occupies an old casket factory. The interior is lined with salvaged pine planks, with lodge-like pine benches and tables welcoming larger groups in the back. Local artists have a voice in the bar, with a large mural by Gaia greeting visitors on the exterior. Inside, collage artist Jennifer Lilya has decoupaged the bathroom. The floor-to-ceiling collage of vintage porn and glamour photography takes on a wallpaper effect, providing lots to look at while powdering your nose. The large wall facing the bar is lined with wares by various artists who operate through community run Bushwick Print Lab, a screen printing studio open to the public. T shirts, screen prints, and tote bags are available for sale by independent artists.
The DIY bar top is a tribute to rock bands, with an array of concert ticket stubs inlaid in poured resin. The light fixtures also have a rustic appeal, upcycled from mason jars and cast a warm glow with energy efficient Edison light bulbs. The bar also encourages local crafters, hosting a vegan pop-up shop selling wares.
Vegan or not, the bar offers some of the tastiest Bloody Mary options around, stacked high with pickled veggies and garnishes. For $10 a pop, you can enjoy four varieties, as well as specialty beer cocktails and house made vegan Irish cream liqueur. Pine Box Rock Shop also encourages their vegan customers to educate themselves on what booze is truly vegan, using the site Barnivore as a guide.
Pine Box Rock Shop is a welcoming, local hang out that just happens to be vegan and cruelty free. The stereotype of vegan pretentiousness is nowhere to be found in this great bar.
Images © Lori Zimmer for Inhabitat