As Bushwick continues to cling as tightly as it can to the nonexistent vestiges of its former glory days, the same people who brought you Old Stanley’s (always expanding their empire) have now brought their cash only stylings closer to the mainstream L train with “Carmelo’s.” The Burning Bush puts this in quotes because who, really, is Carmelo? Nobody. He doesn’t exist.
Formerly a warehouse (or maybe a church, based on the cross cutouts still remaining on the exterior), Carmelo’s seems tailor-made for the Midtown/Hell’s Kitchen vicinity with its gargantuan, two-story size. “I know Bushwick has a lot of alcoholics to contain, but this just seems excessive,” commented Sophie Generique, herself a longtime alcoholic and known neighborhood trash, in spite of being of French origin.
To add to its structural issues as a bar, the top floor is lacking a second bar area, forcing the notoriously lazy denizens of the area to shlep back downstairs to get their second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth helpings in between. Its the sort of expectation that could only be bestowed upon more high-powered patrons–the Midtown ilk accustomed to such constant movement. Decor-wise, it seems to pay more homage to a Hell’s Kitchen shtick with its “centerpiece,” a bull’s head with a rose in its mouth. Mind you, Carmelo is a name more commonly associated with Italians than Spanish people. But like so many aspects of this bar, it chooses to ignore logic and reason. So maybe it does belong in Bushwick, after all.
Written by Genna Rivieccio