These days Graham Avenue has become a treasure trove of new life, delicious food, and drinks. Many people seem to think that its wonders stop at Grand St and fewer still push past the projects in the direction of the brutalist Woodhull Hospital. But it is in this enclave that Williamsburg hosts some of its most welcoming venues, such as The Graham, East Wick, the classic haunt Duck Duck, and Sweet Science. The neighborhood’s newest – and possibly coolest – spot is a little tricky to find and only for those who are in the know.

Featherweight is the new cocktail lounge located at 135 Graham Ave, behind two black doors under the neighborhood’s premier piece of street art depicting an exhausted boxer hugging a heavy bag. There are no signs and nothing to tell you that you’ve arrived at the correct location, and that’s what makes it wonderful. The lounge is an offshoot of its next-door neighbor, Sweet Science, and shares similar ownership while bringing in new blood to add its own flare. With an interior that screams, “I am the new hotness” and an exterior that blends seamlessly into its surroundings, you’ll go from hood to haute in no time.


Chances are that you will bump into Johnny De Piper, the self-defined ‘cocktails/operations/shaking hands and kissing of babies’ proprietor of the bar. He is tasked with keeping the place humming, warm, and wonderful for your evening visits, something that he manages exceedingly well. The rest of team is rounded out with with fellow Weatherup alumni, namely co-owner Matt Maddy, whose design of the bar space is executed with a precise elegance that brings a high caliber of swag to this cloister of Graham Avenue. Keeping the neighborhood love strong, James Freeman of the adjacent Sweet Science lends his expertise and they all pay their respect and admiration to Kathryn Weatherup who has brought this team into their own.

One key feature of Featherwieght is that it is small, awesomely small. Hanging out here is like hanging out in the swankiest apartment in town, which also happens to have a wet bar and extremely capable bartenders mixing up top-notch drinks. The decor could be described as 1920s tiki, but the strongest aesthetic lingers from the alleyway/storage room that it once was and how completely they’ve converted it into the bar stool, booth-lined noir lounge in the back of the building.


The cocktail menu is the star of the show and you’re going to want to taste it all- so please do. I was privy to imbibe the Saw Tooth (bourbon, Amaro Braulio, brown sugar cube, and orange bitters – $11), whose giant ice cube will satisfy even the most manly of requirements while maintaining a taste that is easy and accessible to any drinker.


Next Johnny whipped up a Good Day Sir (rye, Punt e Mes, Cafe Borghetti, and Angostura bitters – $11) that was sweet and easy to drink while still maintaining its identity as liquor.


Finally, the Scallywag (scotch, Smith and Cross rum, house made orgeat, fresh pineapple juice, fresh lime juice, and Angostura bitters – $11) all served up in a bamboo-shaped glass that is certainly amusing and eases you into the attitude of the place.


I went back later in the week (off the job) and requested a tequila-based drink from the bartender, who excitedly produced three unique and utterly amazing drinks that got me feeling quite alright. So yeah, the bartenders know their shit. If your timing’s right you may even see entire bands crammed into this small wonderland.  At an expansive couple hundred square feet, every seat in the house is right next to the guitar player. Featherweight is, by design, a place to come and relax or surprise your friends with your knowledge of this clandestine sweet spot. If you’re looking for a solid place to close on a date, well look no further. Come one, come all, but don’t come all at once because you won’t fit. Featherweight is the new coolest kid in school, so be sure to pop in for a visit here on Graham Avenue and Johnson, it will be worth your while.

Featherweight’s hours of operation are:

Sun, Tues, Weds: 7-2

Thurs, Fri, Sat: 7-3



*Featherweight graciously provided the author of this article with complimentary drinks for the purpose of photography.