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Zimm's Little Deck closes with a mind-blowing "athletic club" moving in: Cocktails and croquet?

News_Patio drinking_Zimm's Little Deck
The patio in the Zimm's Little Deck space with be expanded for the Brooklyn Athletic Club. Photo by Timothy Runyon
Zimm's Little Deck
Courtesy of Zimm's Little Deck
News_Patio drinking_Zimm's Little Deck
Zimm's Little Deck

If the Olympics coverage has rekindled a love of under-the-radar sports — fencing, trampolining, archery — then Shepard Ross has a new restaurant and bar for you starting this fall.

Ross, who is a partner in Glass Wall and BRC Gastropub, has taken over the former Zimm's Little Deck space on lower Richmond and is turning it into Brooklyn Athletic Club. Ross describes the concept as a "really cool leisure spot" that will have a turn-of-the-century leisure club vibe mixed with casual riffs on classic food and drinks.

 Ross' background is as a sommelier and self-described wine dude, so expect a "well-priced" wine menu, a small list of classic cocktails and punches as well as craft beer.  

He's expanding the current patio space to make room for bocce, badminton, horseshoes and even croquet on every other Sunday (in the spirit of tradition, croquet players will be asked to wear white; Ross calls it "very F. Scott Fitzgerald"). In addition to a more developed front patio space that will offer full-service dining, he's also adding a second bar on the rear side of the establishment that will feature a more relaxed self-service option. 

"Both of my parents are from Brooklyn and my grandfather was a member of the Brooklyn Social Club, which was in those days just an excuse of somewhere to go and something to do," Ross says. "It's like a country club where everyone is a member, minus the pretension, or an icehouse spun on its side and made more upscale."

Ross' background is as a sommelier and self-described wine dude, so expect a "well-priced" wine menu, a small list of classic cocktails and punches as well as craft beer. He describes the menu as Americana fare, with casual plates as well as more composed entrees. Expect some Italian influence as well as an "homage to Brooklyn delis" as well.

"I didn't really want to leave the Heights, but it's the perfect space," Ross says. After some minor updates, including the reworked patio, new second bar and some aesthetic allusions to the historic borough, Brooklyn Athletic Club is planning on a late September debut. 

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