A new bar called Any Thing has opened in Prospect Lefferts Gardens. It is attached to Mo’s Original, the Caribbean-inflected ramen bar from William Garfield (an owner of Glady’s in Crown Heights) and Amanda Bender (who also worked at Glady’s). Any Thing first opened on March 13th and only had two days it was open for service before it was forced to close due to the pandemic. Now, the bar is back in action and eager to introduce its cocktail program to the neighborhood.
Bender tells Time Out New York that during their initial opening, the focus of the cocktails was on “these crazy, wacky cocktails that made you feel like you were in a different dimension,” but since the pandemic they’ve shifted their menu by consulting with their kitchen staff and bartenders about how they could make the space “feel more at home” with a more comfort-focused menu to reflect that. They’ve since added their take on Sex on the Beach called “Sex in Prospect Park” and a take on a Long Island Iced Tea, in addition to more “out-there” combinations. Bender says this call and response, working with the community to figure out what they actually need right now is something that she hopes continues for the long run. Most cocktails hover on the $11 or under price range—increasingly rare for NYC where cocktails can go up to an eye-popping $22 at its most luxurious—and drinks include a yuzu-lemon fizz (which can be made sans alcohol), a spicy margarita with tangerine and a frozen banana liqueur drink, among many others. Food is provided by the shared Mo's Original kitchen.
Bender was committed to making the bar shelves filled only by women-owned, distilled and/or supported spirits to bring more equity. “It was a process that was honestly shamefully difficult. As a woman I feel very underrepresented behind the bar, there just aren’t as many women represented in these distilleries and at tastings I’d experienced,” she says. When she worked at Gladys’ she worked alongside her friend and colleague Shannon Mustipher, the restaurant-bar’s beverage director. “I would like that commitment to women to stem beyond just the bottles at Any Thing. I’d like as many women bartenders behind the bar as possible and DJs, when we’re allowed to have people in the space like that again,” she says.
Throughout its seven-year run, Glady's became a neighborhood institution in Crown Heights for its Caribbean food (and tropical cocktail menu that catapulted beverage director Mustipher to being one of the prominent figures of the city’s cocktail scene). Due to the financial stressors of COVID-19 and their landlord’s unwillingness to give relief, the team heartbreakingly was forced to shutter its doors last month. "We just had to throw our hands up in the air," says Bender. Michael Jacober was the original owner of Glady’s, which he sold to William Garfield in recent years but neither Jacober or Mustipher is involved in Mo’s Original or Any Thing. Now Garfield and Bender are committed to focusing on Mo’s and Any Thing, who, Bender tells us, have landlords that were much more empathetic to their situation.
“It’s been really nice getting to know our neighbors and getting to know that community, and to have a diverse menu and not be forced to have insane prices right now,” she says. You can order cocktails to-go or sit at their outdoor patio.
Any Thing bar at Mo's Original is located at 453 Rogers Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11225.