Encore Edition: 18 of Our Favorite Stories from 2018

Tall towers and posh clubs, economic disruptors and Italian chefs—these were among the year's hottest tales

Brooklyn skyscrapers reached for the sky, new Italian restaurants blossomed, chic new private clubs opened, and the impact of gentrification was the talk of the town. ICYMI, here’s a sampling of The Bridge stories from 2018, some because they were most-read, others because the editor is partial to them. Happy New Year!

1. How a huge new project will change the face of Dumbo

stories from 2018

The planned complex at center will house 737 apartments (Photo-illustration courtesy of CityRealty)

The tale of 85 Jay, a giant apartment complex springing up with little notice on a site with a long history, from Al Capone’s school to Jehovah’s Witnesses, a proposed arena, and a Kushner role. Read more.

2. Everything old is cool again: How retro companies thrive

stories from 2018

Thomas Bernich, who started Brooklyn Phono in 2000 (Photo by Andrea Mohin/The New York Times/Redux)

In our thoroughly digital world, these 15 Brooklyn companies do things in a refreshingly analog way. Read more.

3. Meet Brooklyn’s inspired new wave of Italian chefs

stories from 2018

Silvia Barban making orecchiette at her Fort Greene restaurant (Photo by Angelica Frey)

Leaving red sauce to the traditionalists, four pioneers experiment with a simple-yet-sophisticated cuisine. Read more.

4. Inside Dumbo House, Brooklyn’s new castle of cool

dumbo house

On the terrace, close enough to the Brooklyn Bridge to see the tourists go by (Photos courtesy of Soho House)

The members-only club might have the most enviable view in the city–for a chosen few. Read more.

5. Who are the real culprits behind hyper gentrification?

stories from 2018

A street scene in the heart of Bushwick (Photo by Natan Dvir/Polaris Images)

Artists? Hipsters? Voracious developers? It could be you. The blogger behind Vanishing New York sorts out where the blame should be cast. Read more.

6. Making a leap from skateboard maker to real-estate mogul

stories of 2018

Courts says that his company’s office culture comes directly from the skateboarding world (Photos courtesy of Nooklyn)

How Harley Courts built his Brooklyn firm Nooklyn into a tech-driven, apartment-rental powerhouse. Read more.

7. As Brooklyn towers reach for the sky, how big is too big?

80 Flatbush

The tower would be 50% taller than the current tallest building nearby (Renderings courtesy of Alloy Development)

The proposed project for 80 Flatbush would provide housing and schools, but critics point to “unprecedented scale” near row houses. Read more.

8. Is this the world’s largest bagel-and-lox sandwich?

stories of 2018

After a snowbank of cream cheese was schmeared on, the lox was carefully applied (Photos by Arden Phillips)

After serving Brooklyn (and beyond) for decades, Acme Smoked Fish made a bid for a tasty distinction. Here’s the play by play. Read more.

9. Airbnb in Brooklyn: Who are the winners and losers?

stories of 2018

“I am a regular New Yorker, but I cannot afford my house without Airbnb,” said Evelyn Badia (Photo by Arden Phillips)

As home sharing proliferates, the debate heats up about its impact and how to regulate it fairly. Read more.

10. A Democratic House candidate plays against type

stories of 2018

Candidate Rose greeted a supporter on primary day in June (Stephanie Keith/The New York Times/Redux)

Max Rose, a Brooklyn native and Army vet, is drawing national attention and money for the pugnacity of his campaign. Read more.

11. Learning to cook up a brighter future in Brownsville

stories of 2018

Students learned to make pizza with instructor Mette Staarup, in dark shirt (Photo by Sam Hodgson/The New York Times/Redux)

At the Community Culinary Center, students get a head start in the hospitality industry and the neighbors get some fine meals. Read more.

12. Step inside "The Wing," the new Dumbo space for women only

stories from 2018

Co-founders Lauren Kassan, top, and Audrey Gelman at the new Dumbo location of “The Wing” (Photo courtesy of The Wing)

Opening its third location, the popular club and workspace arrives in Brooklyn with a splash. Read more.

13. In booming Brooklyn, who’s getting left behind?

stories of 2018

Construction workers on the job at 280 Cadman Plaza West, a 36-story condo tower (Photo by Steve Koepp)

The borough outpaces the city in creating new jobs, but statistics show the persistence of Central Brooklyn’s misery. Read more.

14. How this Brooklyn craft brewery built a cult following

stories of 2018

Jesse Sayre hauls away his purchase after waiting in line for nearly eight hours (Photo by Steve Koepp)

With 100,000 Instagram fans, Other Half Brewing is a social-media star. PLUS: our exclusive ranking of the borough’s 20 breweries. Read more.

15. Forest City in Brooklyn: a real-estate pioneer on the way out?

stories of 2018

Developer Bruce Ratner looking over the construction site of Barclays Center (Richard Perry/The New York Times/Redux)

The developer behind MetroTech and Barclays Center changed the borough’s landscape. An in-depth look at a towering yet sometimes controversial legacy. Read more.

16. Why that new chain store just landed on your block

stories of 2018

(Illustration by Heather Jones. Photos by Arden Phillips)

They’re arriving in Brooklyn faster than in any other borough. Can mom-and-pop shops survive in a land of giants? Read more.

17. Cooked: Inside the sudden fall of a business incubator

stories of 2018

After fostering hundreds of startups, the kitchen suddenly shut down (Photo courtesy of Pilotworks)

How Brooklyn’s Pilotworks expanded rapidly, fueled by VC money. When it collapsed, small businesses felt the pain. Read more.

18. Very heavy industry: Inside the city’s largest shipyard

stories of 2018

A tugboat gets a tune-up in one of the dry docks in the Navy Yard (Photo courtesy of GMD Shipyard)

Yes, they still work on ships in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where 150 workers give vessels their overhauls and tune-ups. Read more.

19. Bonus: Brooklyn BBQ got burned. Here’s what it’s really like

stories of 2018

A platter of sausage, pulled pork, pork ribs and pastrami at Fette Sau  (Photo by Sean Ludwig/NYCBBQ)

The barbecue scene is full of great joints that walk the line between tradition and experimentation. Read more.