My Brooklyn: Wythe Hotel Owner Peter Lawrence on the Local Spots to Know

Sophie Miura

Wythe Hotel

The Brooklyn Peter Lawrence remembers is nothing like the borough you see today. Over one too many glasses of sangria in 1998, Lawrence and his business partner decided to open a restaurant in DUMBO. "DUMBO was a very sleepy place back then," he recalls about the area he still calls home. "For a while, you had to walk up to the Heights to get to a deli, and there were no offices or tourists."

Even back then, Lawrence saw Brooklyn's potential, and in 2012, he opened Williamsburg's first boutique lodging offering, Wythe Hotel. "Even with a fiercely independent personality, it was in Manhattan's shadow for a while, but I would argue that you're more likely to find exciting creative risks being taken in Brooklyn," he tells MyDomaine. "[It] has always been an international hub of creativity, had world-class cultural institutions, and been a diverse, vibrant borough."

The area has transformed since Wythe Hotel first opened its doors, and while it's no longer the only boutique hotel in the area, it will always be the original. Ahead, Lawrence reflects on the locals-only spots he's frequented for years as well as the up-and-coming places to visit now before everyone else does.

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