Lilly's Bar gate leads to the empty street where the Todd Shipyard building in Red Hook, Brooklyn, stood testament to the changing times. In 1916, William H. Todd purchased the Red Hook Graving Docks, first built in 1886, to repair large ships in its dry docks.
Todd Shipyard Corporation was a quintessential part of the neighborhood fabric, employing 20,000 workers at its height. A vital piece of Red Hooks’ history as a seafaring haven was demolished overnight to become New York City’s first IKEA superstore, which some have called “a billion-dollar boondoggle.”
Set against a backdrop of shipping yards and pre-Civil War warehouses in Brooklyn, Red Hook has a laid-back seaside village vibe. Young families and creative professionals make up a large part of the community. A mix of homey eateries and quirky bars, plus edgy art galleries and boutiques proliferate along Van Brunt Street, the main artery. Several indie distilleries and a winery offer tastings and tours.
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