Walk up the west side of Amsterdam Avenue between 149th and 150th Streets and you might do a double-take. This unassuming block in Hamilton Heights is now home to a sleek-looking new real estate agency that looks like it would fit right into popular parts of Brooklyn.
That's because it already does. Brick & Galo landed a month ago in Harlem, but already has locations in Crown Heights and Flatbush. Its new Manhattan branch focuses on listings in uptown neighborhoods including Harlem, Washington Heights and Inwood (there's a dedicated Bronx section on its website, too). Co-owner Joe Brikman says he chose the Amsterdam location because he wanted to be on the border between Harlem and Washington Heights. "We're 10 minutes away from everything," he says.
Brick & Galo joins a number of businesses that have opened in the last few years on Amsterdam Avenue between 145th and 155th Streets–a once-sleepy stretch still lined with schools, churches and barber shops.
This spring the area welcomed Mumbai Masala, an Indian restaurant on 147th (it replaced the short-lived Amsterdam Social). The Monkey Cup cafe, Japanese restaurant Chopped Parsley, and coworking space The Harlem Collective are also relative newcomers. A 19th-century building between 150th and 151st Streets that once housed a ribbon factory (the red brick building in the image above) isn't new, but is a notable historical building that adds old-fashioned industrial charm to the strip.
What's next? According to a sign hanging in front of 1792 Amsterdam (a building whose 10 recently renovated apartments Brikman says he rented in one month), a beer and wine bar serving Venezuelan tapas called Barepas will be opening soon. Watch this space.