Sunday, March 21, 2010

To reBar or not to reBar....that is the question

About a month ago I decided to check out a couple of venues online. Because we're pre-engagement, I didn't want to go too crazy as I'm sure most people already think I am for planning this stuff out without a ring. When I first stumbled across the Foundry, it was during my sister's wedding planning 2 years ago. I knew in the back of my mind that this was the type of place I wanted to get married in. It wasn't until recently that I realized the cost and effort associated with having our affair there.

Don't get me wrong, this place is absolutely gorgeous...but it comes with a hefty price tag AND you have to bring in EVERYTHING! When I learned that a wedding there during the month I'd like costs $7,000 just to walk in the door, that quickly moved from the "this could possibly happen" category to the "only if we hit the lottery" category (along with Governor's Island). I took to the blogs and the forums to find a suitable alternative. Once we had decided on incorporating beer into our wedding, I knew that we needed a unique venue with exposed brick and that industrial feel to tie everything in.

And that's when we discovered reBar. The following is the way Jason, the owner, describes reBar:

What happens when you combine a reclaimed factory loft space with 15 taps, beautiful bottled Belgian beers, and an extensive by the glass wine list? The answer is clearly rebar. Situated on the second floor of Retreat, at 147 Front Street in Dumbo, Brooklyn, rebar is the surprise you've been waiting for Dumbo to produce.
Rebar must be seen first hand. We designed it to be a warm cove, an inviting living room. If we could build a fireplace in there we would, but let the candles and warm orange glow from the tulip chandeliers suffice for now. Barrel-vaulted terra-cotta ceilings and terra-cotta columns create an earthy, Spanish vibe for your gatherings and secret meetings.

How fantastic is that?!?! After reading about it and checking out pictures, I decided to send Jason an email just to see if it could potentially land in our budget. After getting the green light on price, we decided to take a trip in....if not for anything else, just to check out their extensive beer list. We gave Jason a ring just to see if he'd be around to chat, but what we got in return was so much more.

When we got there he gave us a tour of the whole place and put in for a tasting! We were like whoa this is not at all what we had anticipated doing but explained to the guy that the ring is on the way (apparently it'll be ready this month but because my sister is due, he doesn't want to take away from the baby celebration). It was crazy that they were willing to do all of that for us when there's not even a ring on my finger and it was not at all what our intentions were. We just wanted to get a beer and check out their pub food but it was an amazing experience. We were there for 4 hours and sampled so many of their beers in addition to 2 appetizers, 3 hors devours, 2 entrees, and 2 desserts. We met the chef and both of the owners and just the fact that we were excited and they were excited was amazing. After looking on other bride sites that are more catered to our area, I discovered that some brides booked that venue without ever tasting anything from there so the fact that we got all of that (and it was Comp-ed!) was incredible.....and very scary.

After our incredible experience, the dude sent Jason a wonderful email about our night there and the hospitality they showed us. He and Jason exchanged several more emails regarding beers and having a beer appreciation club there and just general friendly chit-chat. About 3 weeks passed and we decided to check it out again. The dude was so excited that he brought two of his home brews with us to share with Jason and Co (though Jason wasn't around that evening). Bernard, the maĆ®tre d’, was very happy to see us back and even sat us at the table we had our tasting at. Luke, the co-owner and beer connoisseur, stopped at our table so the dude could give him the home brews. Luke could not believe that Bobby had remembered and our first round of drinks were on him.

Before we walked into reBar for the second amazing time, we decided to walk over to Brooklyn Bridge Park, the place where most couples get married who have their reception in the DUMBO area. The downside to having it at reBar is that they don't have the kitchen or staff to do plated dinners, which is fine by me because their food is AMAZING (seriously, if you ever get the chance, try the polenta! It is to die for!). It is also several blocks from the park, down cobblestone streets, and there isn't much street parking in the area. The other downside is that Brooklyn Bridge Park is a public space so there could be complete strangers watching our ceremony.......but how can we NOT incorporate reBar after the amazing experiences we've had there?

You'll have to wait and see what we decide on :P

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