Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Plan B’ Category

Barbès

We write a lot of bar reviews for Brooklyn Skeptic, but I have to say, nothing is more fun than writing one moments after you’ve just been to the bar and had a few drinks (guilty). It was a quiet Wednesday night at home, and after sitting around doing nothing, ChezJJP and myself decided to walk the short walk to Barbès. I had been there once before (I bought oneiroi a romantic birthday libation) and had since been excited to return.

Upon entering, ChezJJP commented on the distinct Brooklyn semblance that emanates throughout. That damp smell, the warm and intimate feeling, the dark red lighting lingering effortlessly like a blanket. The bar itself is small, but more than most places, this works to its advantage. If I were to lay down on the ground, something I can say I would feel incredibly comfortable doing at Barbès, I would probably come close to touching either side of the bar. Towards the back there is a small room where they have plenty of local artists perform, as well as sometimes films. The bar had a good collection of beers, as well as a friendly group of chatty locals (we talked briefly to an older gentleman upon entering, who seemed sad to see us take seats away from the bar).

The seating is incredibly intimate. Most of the tables are for two people, with a table for four or more next to the door. There is one particularly intimate table that is next to a black wall, where a pair are forced to sit close together (this is where oneiroi and I shared our tryst). The back room is set up with fold-out chairs, and seems to be a place where people gather to chat as much as listen to music. In short, this is an ideal place for a date, or to peacefully ponder your love for Brooklyn.

Pros: Quiet enough to sit and read, friendly enough to start conversations with strangers, a great place to meet fellow locals, romantic, local music, friendly bartenders.

Cons: Not great for large groups or rowdiness.

Barbes
376 9th Street at 6th Avenue
Park Slope, Brooklyn

Read Full Post »

I had heard about Bar 4 once or twice from a musician friend of mine who said the jazz scene was good there. Park Slope is a little jazz enclave and Bar 4 is one of its many hotbeds of creative production. Needless to say, I did not check it out until about a year later. I’m not actually cool enough for such scenes.

_mg_4744.jpgBut last Friday, a quick jaunt through South Slope/Windsor Terrace brought me and my friend to Bar 4’s door. Inside, it is small and dimly lit. It’s not dingy at all, but cozy and immaculate. Dustless bottles behind the bar were placed against the mirrored wall which emitted a flawless glow. Comfy couches filled the floor space and the walls were covered in local artists’ work. The centerpiece, of course, were the paintings of great musicians that plastered the wall behind the stage.

Upon a tip I received, I asked the bartender about the martinis. She slid a booklet my way. Inside was a selection of special martinis which are, apparently, the drinks of choice in this bar. I went for the Espresso Martini ($8). A little part of me died that night, knowing that if I followed my heart and drank nothing but Espresso Martinis all day long, I would probably get fired. So I left after my martini and I thought of its warm aroma and rousing taste for several days. Then I went back and got another on Sunday. Sweet Jesus and Mary.

My second visit was somewhat tainted by the deaf trombone duo that was gracing the stage that night, but I had the incredible luck of seeing a great Park Slope musician – Zach Williams – on my first visit. He was also joined briefly by Joely Pittman who sang backup on what is now my favorite song ever, Dirty Feet. Zach actually has a show coming up tomorrow, August 8th at 8:00pm at Bar Matchless, if you’re so inclined.

1003129803_l.jpgZach also mentioned that Bar 4’s Tuesday night open mic is one of the best in the city. This was independently confirmed by Plainclothesman, who was there at 2:00 AM and said the place was still totally packed. This is, at best, rare for the South Slope.

 

 

Bar 4
444 7th Avenue at 15th Street
Park Slope, Brooklyn

Read Full Post »

Earlier this week, Brooklyn Skeptic posted an alert to the greater Brooklyn community regarding the presence of fascists at one of our favorite local drinking establishments, The Gowanus Yacht Club. Apparently, our journalistic standards here are not really up-to-snuff, but we have the great fortune of a GYC staff member to set the record straight on a variety of topics. In an email (creepily sent to my Flickr account…), the unnamed staff member gives us a well-deserved reaming. Sorry, GYC. We were just being jerks. The text of the email after the cut.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

New York Magazine posted a tantalizing item today in their “Grub Street” food blog – the existence of a bar that serves moonshine in Brooklyn. The author would not reveal the name of the bar, but I think that a budding Nancy Drew/Hardy Boy among our readers could probably figure it out based on the clues in the article. If anyone can identify the bar, their first shot of moonshine is on me. Seriously.

Embedded clues:

1. “There’s a saloon in Brooklyn that will pull [moonshine] from under the bar if you ask nicely.” – The bar is in Brooklyn and it has a bar in it with moonshine under it.

2. “We won’t give away the place’s identity, but we will tell you to look for a bulldog.” – The bar has a bulldog in or near it. Possibly real, possibly a statue. Rule nothing out.

3. “We were recently treated to a few eye-popping, sinus-destroying shots, poured from the obligatory Mason jar.” – Patrons suffering from terrible allergies. Not unlike all New Yorkers this week.

4. “We called later to request it for a friend’s birthday party.” – The bar has a telephone. In it, presumably.

Read Full Post »

I think we can agree that a man hitting on a female bartender is basically going to be a fruitless pursuit. Yes, we’ve all heard the urban legends of incredibly dashing gentlemen who somehow cracked the chastity armor of an adorable bartendress. But the fact of the matter is that lady bartenders are the target of far too much drunken flirting/sexual harassment. They’re going to be nice to everyone, but you have to remember that it’s their job.

As an example of an experience that would make such a phenomenon exist: On Sunday, several Skeptics went to P.J. Hanley’s on Court Street for some al fresco drinking. This is generally a super-douchey bar, but one we often patronize because of its enormous outdoor seating area. But anyway, at another table were two drunk douchebags who were falling over a lot and breaking a seemingly endless number of glasses. At one point, one of the douches gets up to leave and walks to his motorcycle to drive away. The bartendress, a lovely young lady, follows him down the street to suggest he not drive while so fucking inebriated and to ask him if he’d like her to call a cab for him. She even offered to hold the motorcycle inside the bar overnight. His response was something along the lines of “unless you’re coming home with me, get the fuck away from me.” Superlative gentleman. Really.

But of course there are a thousand other reasons why it’s just a bad idea for men to hit on women ‘tenders. This brings me to my real question: What do we think about women hitting on male bartenders, and more specifically, women giving male bartenders their numbers?

One of the lady Skeptics may or may not have left her number for a bartender last night, scrawled in hastened script on a beer coaster. It may or may not have been done with all the care of ripping a band-aid off. It may or may not have been incredibly scary and possibly inappropriate.

So I open this debate to the Brooklyn Skeptic panel of experts – ladies gettin’ all up on the jock of a local bartender: yay or nay?

Read Full Post »

I went to this bar on three separate occasions this weekend. And I bet I’m not the only one. Brooklyn is a great place when it comes to patios. Walking down Court Street for example, there are a number of bars to choose from that offer a nice, relaxing outdoor space. Even the Dunkin’ Donuts has a pretty terrace where the three customers I’ve ever seen eating there can enjoy their pastries. I’ve walked by that Dunkin’ Donuts with Manhattanites, and their heads almost explode. There is such a lack of nice patios in Manhattan, that the idea of giving some up to a Dunkin’ Donuts is mind-boggling. But in Brooklyn, that’s just the way it is.

Gowanus Yacht Club is a bar that is open from the late spring until around Halloween. Located on Smith and President right next to the Carroll stop on the subway, GYC is a small outdoor patio that can probably seat about 40 or 50 people, and is incredibly laid- back. It’s not really a club, and there are no yachts to be seen. Instead, it’s a group of wobbly, colorful tables, parasols, and cheap drinks. The beer selection is quite impressive (ask a waiter – he’ll go on for minutes), and they also offer hot dogs, burgers and the occasional pulled pork entrees.

Pros: Cheap-ish drinks, a drunk but oddly behaved clientele, a friendly and attentive wait-staff, nicotine-friendly environment, bar plays full albums of both new and classic rock, cheap hot dogs.

Cons: Only one bathroom, tight quarters, sometimes tough to get a table, neighborhood kids throwing rocks inside from the street, the grill has been taken away after complaints from neighbors (don’t bring up P.J. Hanley’s ribs around these guys), beer prices are slightly up from last year.

All in all this bar is pretty magnificent. I have the feeling that they’re going to challenge the suspension of their grill, hopefully improving the food situation. In terms of kids throwing rocks inside the bar, one bartender told us his intention of using a bottle of Ballantine as a weapon if they ever come back. That makes me feel safe.

Read Full Post »

My charming and incredibly handsome roommate has informed me of several updates in Gowanus. First of all, apparently Sludgie was not the first whale seen in the Gowanus area. I especially like the part when someone compares Gowanus to “a ‘region of the dead,’ like the River Styx of mythology.” Comforting.

And secondly, Gowanus Yacht Club is set to open this weekend! For those of you unfamiliar with the bar, it is all outdoors and incredibly cheap. On their menu are some 22oz. Ballantine’s for a cheap price (and various other beers), as well as grill food. I wholly intend to quit my job and spend the rest of the summer sitting there. Perhaps we’ll see each other there sometime.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »