Focus on Fifth: One Block at a time!
between 17th and 18th Streets
This block, right at the south end of the BID, is a neighborhood of it’s own. The stores are a place to linger and chat, seek and get advice, be asked about your family, be handed over your usual purchase without asking for it. It’s a real community of family owned businesses. Polish provisions are a focus as is alcohol! But the people are what makes this block. I have to walk 19th blocks to get there, but it’s worth every step. Take a look. -Joanna Tallantire
628 5th Ave
718 499 0026
Mon – Sat 6am – 8pm, Sun 6am – 6pm
John and Richard Zawisny have owned this Polish market for over 35 years. The selection of beers is magnificent, in fact more than 2,500 different beers from all over the world. It’s like a library of beer bottles, catalogued by country. John tells me that the “beer library” just grew with demand! Demand there must be, as it’s apparently the biggest selection of beers in the USA! He helped me select a few Belgium beers (including a personal favorite cherry beer) and a New Zealand one; Yeastie Boys (couldn’t resist). Much to my surprise, they also have a smokehouse on site. Kielbasa and other smoked meats are made and sold at the deli counter, which has an array of cold cuts, pickles, cheeses and bread. The shelves are full of polish products and a friend told me their Pierogi are delicious.
620 5th Ave
718 499 3828
Mon – Fri 6.30am – 9pm, Sat 7.30am – 9pm, Sun 7.30am – 7pm
Peggy greeted me with a warm smile in her small but cozy café. For over 10 years, Peggy has been at this location. She serves espressos and lattes and small snacks. The customers come back for the vegan treats, delivered daily from a local Brooklyn bakery, Red Mango. There is a selection of muffins, cookies and red velvet cake. Cash Only but free Wifi. Of course Peggy will also pour you a glass of beer or wine. I told you there were many treats to be found on this block.
620 5th Ave
718 768 1521
Mon – Wed 1pm – 10pm, Thurs – Sat 11am – 10pm, Sun 12pm – 8pm
30 years in this location, Adam is a local celebrity. As one of the few wine stores in the South Slope he has educated many locals on wine and particularly hard liquor. There is weekend wine and vodka tasting also. You don’t just walk in to grab a bottle at Adam’s, you explain to him what you are looking for, you let him select, then select from his selection! It’s a shopping experience where you not only walk out with what you want but a little more knowledge in your pocket.
631 5th Ave
718 768 4111
Mon – Thurs 11am – 11pm, Fri & Sat 11am – 11.30pm, Sun 12pm – 11pm
Grubhub.com & Seamless.com
Japanese sushi or Thai food, Suki has an extensive menu for dining in, delivery or catering. They offer lunch specials for both menus from 11am to 3pm daily. The helpful, knowledgeable staff explained they offer a new roll special each month. They also said to call if you aren’t sure of anything and they will help with the selection before ordering online. The dine-in area is small, but was busy with deliveries and patrons this particular extremely cold Monday lunchtime.
629 5th Ave
718 832 4720
Mon – Fri 2pm – 4am, Sat & Sun 12pm – 4am
This cozy neighborhood bar has a lot to offer. A warm wooden interior with booths and a classic open bar area where you can hang out with Paul and Dee, the owners for four years. Their awesome happy hour runs from 6pm – 9pm daily and they serve food until 4am. To keep in theme of the block they serve local fare; bread from Lopez Bakery, Keilbasa from Jubilat’s and other supplies from Eagle Provisions, all within a block of the pub. The food menu is snacky and the selection of beer on tap is good. If you haven’t heard enough, they have a cute backyard open until 11pm, in the warmer months! In the chilly ones, warm up to the cool sounds on the juke box or the “Cheers” atmosphere.
637 5th Ave
718 369 5805
The office was buzzing with activity. Brigitte kindly explained that they deal in Real Estate, Landlord and Tenant cases. They also have another office on Schermerhorn Street in Downtown Brooklyn. Free consultations are offered.
633 5th Ave
718 499 6761
Mon, Wed, Fri 10am – 6pm, Tues, Thurs 10am – 8pm, Sat 9am – 5pm
I was ready to put my feet up and watch some TV in this impeccably clean and welcoming dentist’s waiting room, but decided to talk to Cathy instead. This four year old, two- dentists practice provides general and cosmetic dentistry. They accept walk-ins but making an appointment is so easy as they have on-line booking through the website, which also states that they are a paperless/chartless office; “trying to be the most eco-friendly dental practice”.
627 5th Ave
718 768 0131
Mon - Sun 12pm – 4am
It’s not easy to find a bar open in the Slope at 12pm on a Monday, but I did and it was a real find. Ellen and the staff at Freddy’s are open and ready to serve from 12pm until 4am daily. Beer of course, and some great specials on offer; any beer and hotdog combos and a daily happy hour. Food is served from 12pm until 2am. Local Kielbasa is on the menu. It’s so local it’s from the smokehouse of Jubilat Provisions across the street. Live music, comedy, events, rotating art exhibitions in the backroom and front room. Donald, the owner, tells me that the Village Voice said it was the most original programming in all of NYC, and it’s on our doorstep. With over a 100 events each month “you can be sure that something is always going on at Freddy’s”!
635 5th Ave
718 369 2421
Mon – Sat 12pm – 9pm, Sun 12pm – 7pm
Founded in 2003, Torres Tattoo is an innovative shop that hosts Brooklyn’s most gifted tattoo artists with more than ten years of experience. Owner and Founder Leo Torres has long been recognized as a contributor to the Ink community of NYC. Torres Tattoos have three studio locations where they also have specialists in piercing, in addition to trendy merchandise. Visit the website for more information.
624 5th Ave
718 768 1091
Daily 10am – 9pm
This family business owned by Adeela and Siddique was opened seven years ago because there was no health store in the area where they lived, so they opened one themselves! The store is stocked with vitamins, homeopathic remedies, health foods and products. A wide selection of vegan, gluten- free foods and protein shakes are available. Fresh juices are made to order; I loved the mixed greens with ginger. The most popular juice is the green lemonade made with kale, lemon, celery and apple. Adeela gives advice on the right products to use and the prices are very reasonable. Customers keep coming back, as they do with all the businesses on this block!