Many an institution in Bushwick has attempted rebranding before simply shutting down (like Secret Project Robot or Northwest Kingdom). One hopes the same fate won’t befall longtime Jefferson Street stop staple Bodega, er, Idlewild. The decision to change the name after remodeling the interior and, of course, adding a covfefe and frosé machine (temporarily out of order) to the bar, comes from the new bar manager, Malone Rosa, a 34-year-old who spent enough time “summering” in the south of France to know all about the fine wine.
She also knows that, like the developer who originally and indirectly named JFK Airport Idlewild, there is a certain sonority to it, a certain pleasantness that can’t be resisted and that fits in quite nicely with the new era of “suburban” Bushwick. “We noticed that a lot of these new residents to the neighborhood don’t understand the no frills nature of a wine bar. So we knew we had to take it to the next level with cocktails,” stated Rosa.
The next level also meant altering the name to remain in keeping with the revamped menu and aesthetic of the bar. But really, what it came down to was Rosa’s love of JFK Airport’s history. “It’s just so random, so indicative of old New York’s past. How everything came to be from both a proper and argumentative place. The only reason they even called it that was because it was a developer’s name for a resort/golf course on Jamaica Bay. Because it was so close to where the airport was, Mayor La Guardia and the City Council made it the interim name while they argued over what to actually call it. They never could decide.” Kind of like most Bushwickians with regard about what to do with their own interim lives as they ruminate about it at the bar.
Written by Genna Rivieccio