'Sunny's Bar' by spurekar is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
Feb 15, 2023
Brooklyn filmmaker wants your memories of Sunny’s Bar
The beloved Red Hook dive bar is the focus of a new documentary by Brooklyn-based director Nick Fitzhugh
Sunny’s Bar is ready for its closeup.
The beloved Red Hook dive is the focus of a new documentary from Brooklyn-based director Nick Fitzhugh. He’s seeking submissions from its fans and customers to tell their stories about “one of the best bars in the world.”
“If we are to tell its story right, we must first find all of its people because they are its keeper,” he says in an online questionnaire called “Sunny’s People.” He wants to hear people’s best stories about the bar, what “single words” would they used to describe Sunny’s. He also wants any photos, videos and audio for the doc.
“After years of thought, this is one of the first steps in making a documentary film about this very special place, the neighborhood that was its crucible and its home, and the people that brought it to life – and still do,” he writes.
Opened in 1890, Sunny’s Bar has attracted the attention beyond its neighbors with notable fans ranging from Anthony Bourdain to Lady Gaga.
Former proprietor and namesake Sunny Balzano previously estimated that the bar has been in his family since the 19th century, though he personally took the helm in the mid 1990s before his death in 2016. It’s currently operated by his widow, Tone Balzano Johansen.
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