IMAGE VIA THE GRADIENT BK
Bushwick may already be known for its hip bars, hip coffee shops, and hip secret warehouse parties, but one hangout in Bushwick has managed to merge social and wellness trends seamlessly, taking hip to a new level. The Gradient, an unassuming, female-owned vegetarian clubbing hub on Wyckoff Ave., serves cocktails, mocktails, and plant-based eats to fuel your night (or day) out.
Owners Melissa Manning and Alie Moya took over the old space of Up North—the Canadian-themed bar—and put their unique spin on the once maple leaf-adorned bar. A pink wall and some added house plants Manning and Moya threw into the mix now give the new space a more modern, millennial vibe to match their very millennial-friendly menu.
During the day, The Gradient is a worker’s wonderland, serving coffee from Variety Coffee Roasters and offering free WiFi. It’s just as ideal for a heads-down work session as it is a fun place for a lunch meeting. From breakfast burritos to seitan wings, the bar/eatery serves all meals of the day, seven days a week.
And though the menu, at first glance, appears made up of comfort foods, all the dishes are vegetarian (and vegan upon request). You know they’re tasty too because the menu was tested on meat-eaters for the ultimate seal of approval before hitting the tables at The Gradient.
If you’re not feeling the vegetarian comfort foods, you can always opt for their healthier options like the Buddha Bowl, a salad with black rice, pickled cauliflower, and shaved Brussels sprouts, which can serve as much-needed fuel to power through your day.
However, if you’re looking for a place to escape work, The Gradient is also the place you’re looking for. Once nighttime comes, the bar fills up and the mood switches over to a more club-like vibe.
Moya knows a thing or two about cocktails from her background in the nightlife industry — she used to work at Freehold in Williamsburg. But The Gradient, as you’ll soon discover yourself, feels much more inclusive than other Brooklyn bars, for everyone. Name your preference and they’ll have it; the bar serves beer, wine, cocktails, and mocktails (plus some mimosas and specials like Irish Cold Brew at brunch the next morning), so you won’t be hard-pressed to find something to satisfy whatever the night calls for. Our recommendation? Try the Charles, which is a gin and soda with ginger and a splash of grapefruit — it’s basic yet refreshingly tasty.
Since April, this joint has been spinning tunes, hosting eclectic entertainment, and serving its veggie dishes, so it’s already fairly established as a go-to destination in Bushwick. It opens every weekday at noon and every Saturday and Sunday at 11am, giving remote workers the chance to swing by in the daylight before the bar transforms into a vegetarian clubber’s paradise later in the evening.
That’s certainly one way to promote New Yorkers’ favorite “work hard, play hard” way of life. And The Gradient has proven to be a perfect balance.