First Bites at Sisters: Hardware Store Gone Gourmet in Clinton Hill


The new Sisters, definitely not a hardware store. (Photos: Brendan Spiegel)

The new Sisters, definitely not a hardware store. Photo: Brendan Spiegel

Fulton Street in Clinton Hill has become quite an eating-and-drinking destination recently (see the excellent Emily Pizza and Hops Hill, for starters). And this stretch of Fulton got its flashiest newcomer yet last month in the form of Sisters, which opened in the spot formerly home to Sister’s Community Hardware Store. The new Sisters has no connection to that bygone neighborhood institution, but the bar’s owners retained the well-known local name. (I can’t decide whether it’s a thoughtful homage or tone-deaf offense to open a gentrifying establishment in an old neighborhood spot and repurpose the name…thoughts?)

Anyway–one thing that is clear is that the new Sisters is no hardware store. The all-purpose establishment is a casual cafe with serious pour-over coffee by day and a bar/restaurant by night, with live music, too. So far, its most impressive attribute is the way it looks. The borough-dominating designers from hOmE, responsible for the interiors of similarly stylish spots like the Manhattan Inn and Cherry Izakaya, outdid themselves this time, building a beautiful bar room with a reclaimed beech wood ceiling encasing a 30-foot skylight and an angular marble bar fronting the liquor display.

Behind the bar at Sisters. Photo: Brendan Spiegel

Foodies have something to look forward to as well, with Chef Chris Nichols and the team from Prospect Heights’ outstanding Flatbush Farm manning the kitchen here. They’re taking a slow approach to getting food service started, with a limited bar menu served so far. When I stopped in recently that included snacks like spicy smoked almonds and Scotch eggs, with a burger as the sole larger offering. The first bites were a little bit hit-or-miss: crispy little French fries were just about perfect, but a $15 charcuterie plate consisted of a few slices of salami, a glob of pate and a scattering of bread. More ambitious options on Sisters’ promised full menu range from hangar steak kebab to seared scallops with roasted fennel.

I’m excited to see what their full food lineup will be like, but perhaps Sisters will exist more as a neighborhood fixture and drink spot. The classy cocktails, like a Turin Horse, which mixes Michter’s Rye with ginger honey lemon marmalade and bitters, are a treat. And really, it’s a lovely new spot to hang out anytime of day.

Sisters, 900 Fulton Street (near Washington Ave.); 347-763-2537

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