Clinton Hall goes solar with rooftop beer garden in Williamsburg

Clinton Hall's new solar-powered rooftop beer garden at the POD Hotel in Williamsburg remains connected to its courtyard roots with an indoor staircase surrounded by murals by local artists.  Photo Credit: Clinton Hall

The owner of the Williamsburg bar says “we owe it to the future generations” to invest in renewable energy.

Clinton Hall's new solar-powered rooftop beer garden at the POD Hotel in Williamsburg remains connected to its courtyard roots with an indoor staircase surrounded by murals by local artists. 
Clinton Hall’s new solar-powered rooftop beer garden at the POD Hotel in Williamsburg remains connected to its courtyard roots with an indoor staircase surrounded by murals by local artists.  Photo Credit: Roberta Lobo

Drinking in Brooklyn just became a little more eco-friendly.

Clinton Hall’s newest location, a rooftop beer garden at the POD Brooklyn Hotel that opened Friday, is the first solar-powered rooftop beer garden in the borough. The rooftop has more than 100 solar panels and a rain water tank that will supply energy to the rooftop, hotel and courtyard beer garden. The energy collected through the panels will use that recycled water to maintain the many plants around the hotel and bar roof. Any excess will go back to the facilities.

Telly Hatzigeorgiou, owner of Clinton Hall, said he was inspired to develop more eco-friendly bars from his childhood in Greece.

“My father decided to build his own solar panel when I was 12 or 13 years old,” he said. “Not only did it work, but we never had to use power again for like 15 years. … The best energy is in the sun.”

The solar panels are expected to save Clinton Hall $7,000 to $8,000 a year in energy costs. During the summer, much of the savings comes from using recycled water to feed the many plants. When winter comes, the solar energy will be placed in a grid to generate electricity throughout the facilities.  

There will also be a stairway — which Hatzigeorgiou calls a “stairway to heaven” — filled with locally produced art that connects Clinton Hall’s courtyard to the rooftop beer garden, an addition that Hatzigeorgiou hopes will save even more energy.

“We’re always thinking about the environment and doing the right thing and doing anything we can do to make our future better and reduce our carbon footprint as much as possible,” Hatzigeorgiou said. “I feel like we owe it to the future generations.”

Also, a soon-to-be-open event space at the POD Hotel will also include 50 to 60 solar panels and is expected to open in July. 

Similar to the courtyard at the hotel, the rooftop will also have various games, events, food and drinks available, including a doughnut grilled cheese, burgers, WTF Waffles topped with ice cream and other treats, and 20 rotating craft beers.  

“We try really hard to get people away from their computers, their desk, their devices to bump elbows and have fun,” he said. “Everybody’s just so buried into their phones these days and it’s great to help people get away from that a little bit.”

IF YOU GO: Clinton Hall’s rooftop beer garden at the Pod Brooklyn Hotel, 247 Metropolitan Ave., is open from 4 to 10 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays.

Li Yakira Cohen