Butter & Scotch, the delicious brainchild of Kumquat Cupcakery’s Keavy Blueher and First Prize Pies’ Allison Kave, has long been a stalwart of Smorgasburg, dishing up treats like S’mores Pie and Chocolate Salted Caramel. (Just typing that made me a little hungry.) But until now, the partners haven’t had a brick-and-mortar location for Brooklynites to scarf their sumptious creations. Enter, at last, the Butter & Scotch bar meets bakery on Franklin Avenue, which opens with a full menu and bar next week.
The Butter & Scotch place is a tiny slice of space, a former Crown Fried Chicken just below Eastern Parkway. The first sign that you’ve arrived at the right place is a giant, neon sign with the fairly sensible instructions “Eat Pie.” About half the room is taken up by a long bar, which will eventually be stocked by an array of liquors for craft cocktail-making. A brightly-lit kitchen in back will cheerily churn out cupcakes, pastries, pies, and other great-for-your-tastebuds terrible-for-your-waistline goodies. This week, the space is doing what the bartender called “a very soft opening,” serving up one special pairing of cocktail and dessert to the curious Crown Heights masses.
The special was a tequila twist on an Old Fashioned in honor of Three Kings Day, served up with a king cake made with lime zest and topped with a tequila glaze. If you preferred your dessert not-so-boozey, you could opt to switch the king cake with a slice of the S’mores Pie, one of Butter & Scotch’s signature fare. The drink was particularly delicious: milder than I expected but with the added zip of ginger and lime, topped homemade candied ginger that I could eat by the handful. The only downfall was the $15 pricetag, which seemed like quite a lot for a cocktail and a slice of cake, though it probably makes sense to reserve judgment until the whole menu is available.
When the space opens next Thursday, it will be an all-day affair. During the day, you can drink coffee and tea while you snack on a breakfast pastry. At night, you can just get tipsy and eat pie. I see you, hot toddy popcorn.
“In the mornings, we’ll have breakfast pastries like morning buns, muffins, and biscuits with homemade jam or baconegg&cheese, as well as coffee and espresso drinks from Porto Rico Importing Co,” Keavy told Brooklyn Magazine. “We’ll also have options like quiche and foccaccia to snack on during the day. In addition to our most popular desserts (S’mores Pie, Maple Bacon mini cupcakes, Sticky Toffee Trifle, Cocktail Caramel Corns), we’ll have soda-fountain-style treats like sundaes, floats made with house-made sodas, and shakes (and pie shakes!). We’ll also have some savory bar snacks for those lacking a sweet tooth, and a rotating list of 5 or 6 cocktails as well as a full bar.”
Butter & Scotch will also have four beers and a cider on tap. But don’t look for strict cocktail and dessert pairings. “We’re looking to create a more casual and relaxed environment, where people can just get drinks, or just dessert, or any combination of the above that strikes their fancy,” Keavy said. “Our bartenders and baristas will be trained to know what combinations work well and to be able to make recommendations if our patrons ask for advice on pairings.”
It will be interesting to see how the space evolves. As a bar, the place is pretty tiny. Even on the soft, soft opening night I went, the place got jammed fairly easily. But as a date night activity or a less-crowded daytime cafe, it seems just right.