Flatbush eatery brings young, fun bar experience to nabe

All island-inspired everything: The Bob Marley flight drinks, with Carribean jerk corn and Irie mac and cheese, served at Sip Unwine in Flatbush.
Photo by Caroline Ourso

There’s a place to unwind at Sip Unwine.

The Flatbush restaurant and bar, Sip Unwine just celebrated its one-year anniversary early last month. The eatery offers its customers a cozy and relaxing place to lounge in, and its a local trendy spot to enjoy modern Caribbean food. Conveniently located not far Brooklyn College and a busy train hub in the predominantly working-class Caribbean neighborhood, the dine-in bar is perfectly situated for the neighborhoods younger residents looking for a different type of environment, said its co-owner.

“We wanted a neighborhood restaurant that was a little different from Caribbean restaurants where you can go and have a cocktail and it turns into a party,” said Nateva Peterkin. “We wanted a low key environment so that those of us who are looking for something upbeat don’t have to travel to Williamsburg and don’t have to leave the area.”

Sip Unwine opened last year as a premier bar and lounge. Its Caribbean-American founders, Peterkin and co-owner Lindel Pope, who are Jamaican and Trinidadian respectively, left the catering business to pursue the restaurant industry full-time. With Peterkin’s background in business and Pope’s background in culinary arts, they both decided to invest in a restaurant.

On their food menu is a fusion of Asian and Caribbean cuisine, inspired by the Asian cultures of Trinidad and Jamaica, said Peterkin. The liquor menu mostly consists of French boutique wines, and several Caribbean beers and rums, and a bevy of island-inspired cocktails.

And it is not solely just a bar. They are a community-oriented space that opens up the venue to local organizations that want to hold meetings, drives, and benefits, added Peterkin.

“We volunteer our space equally,” she said. “Last year we did a school drive where we sent clothes and school supplies that went back to kids in Trinidad.”

Before opening, the duo’s business motto was to create a go-to local place that was different from the norms in the neighborhood. Peterkin describes the business as a place where people in search of a trendy and relaxing place can hang out in, and often that is what most of their patrons are seeking.

“That’s definitely the place we are,” said Peterkin. “People tend to come in after work, or come to celebrate a birthday and have dinner parties, and we get people on dates, and of course people who just want to chill and relax.”

Most of their customers are frequenters who live, work, or go to school in the area. So to add some fun to the space, once a week there is a karaoke night.

“We usually anticipate the demographic that hangs close to the college and the young professionals because the neighborhood is gentrifying — so anyone who wants to come in and move away from hype all the time,” he said.

Peterkin says their goal at Sip Unwine is not only to be a one-stop place for people in search for a young-spirited and hip bar, but also a place where bonds are formed.

“I really want to create a community inside — I want people to come and find friends here,” she said. “If you’re looking to have a nice and relaxing night where you don’t want to be home but around other people, here is the place to come,” she said. People always find someone to chat with and I see it all the time — people come in and didn’t know each other but start talking and leave as friends, and that’s place we want to be.”

Sip Unwine at 1197 Flatbush Ave. between Clarendon Road and Avenue D in Flatbush, (718) 576-6424, www.sipunwine.com]. Tue–Thurs. 5 pm—midnight, Fri. noon–2 am, Sat. noon–2 am, Sun. 11am–10 pm.

Reach reporter Alexandra Simon at (718) 260–8310 or e-mail her at asimo[email protected]local.com.

More from Around NYC