Purveyors in Brooklyn have been hip to the idea of multi-purpose vending for years, and their unusual goods-and-services pairings run the gamut from logical to downright quirky. Where one weird establishment gets focused–Eat Records, a cafe and record store in Greenpoint recently made the switch to full-on restaurant–another handful crop up in its place (Williamsburg’s Kingdom is a clothing store and fully stocked bar; Marlow and Sons is now selling leather bags made from the hides of animals from their butcher shop, Marlow and Daughters, alongside their already eclectic combo of coffee and pastries and wine and oysters). Here are some of our favorite Brooklyn twofers, whether for their usefulness or their sheer weirdness.
Wash, Dry, Fold, Lick: M&W Laundromat
This coin laundromat offers customers a cooling respite from the hot and soapy task at hand: 24 flavors of soft-serve ice cream, available every day beginning in the early afternoon. And if you insist on braving the weekend crowds, you’ll be duly rewarded with even more edible options–a pop-up empanada and tamale stand appears out front on Saturdays and Sundays. 995 Manhattan Ave. at Huron, Greenpoint
The Staff of Life…and Death: Grande Monuments
If contemplating your final resting place makes you peckish, worry not. Williamsburg’s Grande Monuments (above) trucks in tombstones…and freshly baked bread. The proprietor’s daughter works at Bensonhurst bakery Il Fornetto, which gives him direct access to a steady supply of classic Italian-style loaves, plus special olive- and pancetta-specked rounds on weekends. 382 Graham Ave. at Skillman, Williamsburg
Knit One, Pork Two: Yarn Tree
In keeping with today’s fashionable nose-to-tail mentality, this shoe-box sized knitting supply store offers hormone-free, meadow-raised lamb and pork from the same New Jersey farm where its wool is sourced. For when your cable stitch works up a mean appetite. 347 Bedford Ave. btwn S. 3rd and S. 4th, South Williamsburg
Buds ‘n’ Suds: Sycamore
This quirky Ditmas Park standby (above) sells gorgeous bouquets by day and pulls the perfect pint by night, with several hours of overlap. Whether you’re looking for more than liquid courage to woo the cutie across the bar or merely thinking pragmatically about that apology bouquet you’ll need when you come home drunk, it’s a brilliant combination. 1118 Cortelyou Rd. at Westminster, Ditmas Park
Wired for Sound:Black Gold
The coffee shop/music store hybrid isn’t all that new, but Carroll Gardens newcomer Black Gold takes it a step further, selling Steampunk-inspired housewares and the requisite taxidermy alongside perfect crema-topped espressos and rare vinyl, giving shoppers an added jolt as they satisfy their nouveau hunting lodge aesthetic. 461 Court Street, btwn 4th Pl. and Luquer, Carroll Gardens
Text and photos by Lauren Gitlin, sent by Annaliese.