A Gateway to Old Sicily at Bella Gioia
Venture into the immaculately designed Bella Gioia and be transported to another time and place:…
97 Atlantic Avenue
The women entered through the door in clusters of twos and threes over the course of an
hour or so. It was an extremely diverse group, and they seemed to only have friendship
and a love of pizza in common. They were also extremely boisterous, too. After one
particularly loud explosion of laughter, Paul, who was in the midst of his last shift as a
bartender at Roebling that evening, filled me in: “Former LICH nurses.” I squinted.
“Long Island College Hospital.”
Paul went on to explain that this was nothing new. These nurses who used to work at the
hospital, which closed its doors in May of 2014, started having their book club at the
Roebling Inn back in February. They’ve met almost every week since then, and have
proven to be a lively addition to a bar that is typically dominated by small groups of
regulars from the neighborhood and couples having a few drinks after spending the
afternoon in Brooklyn Bridge Park.
There are numerous reasons why Roebling Inn has become one of the most popular bars
in the Heights. Its beer list showcases several Brooklyn breweries such as Kelso and Six
Point; there are $3 Labatt Blues on tap; and there are two skeeball machines in back.
What was most appealing to the women, however, was its sizeable communal space by
the picture window at the front of the bar. This space, which feels more like a living room
than a bar, is perfect for friends who want to discuss a book, watch a football game (or
match), or simply observe the stream of pedestrians walking up and down Atlantic.