Williamsburg’s long overdue first gay bar. I know, with hipsters sometimes it’s hard to tell. And this joint certainly is nothing like Chelsea’s gay scene, but rather uberly mixed. The perfect place to bring hetero gay-shy friends. Regardless of your sexual or social preferences, you can have a fun time here. And what’s not to love, there’s a friendly dancefloor, 2 fireplaces and even video bowling. For the warmer months there is a good-sized backyard with free barbecues on summer Sundays.
Happy Hour: Daily, 3pm-8pm; two-for-one well drinks and domestic beer
559 Lorimer St., btwn Metropolitan & Devoe, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY 11211 tel. 718.599.4444
A sweet newly opened cocktail den. Yes, yet another speakeasy-ish place. But, this one has a grand baby piano for live ragtime music. It’s a widely know fact that bars with pianos are more fun. Disclaimer: this place is in Greenpoint, not Manhattan. I guess the name Brooklyn Inn was already taken. (BTW neither are Inns) Cocktails are just $9 bucks, but just as fancy as what you find in the pricer and snottier zip codes and with a lower douchebag ratio. On a busy B&T weekends, trust me, this is a better Manhattan to be Inn.
Mon. – Thurs. 4 pm to 2:30 am, Fri.- Sat. 4pm to 4 am, Sun. opens 11:30 for brunch
632 Manhattan Ave. Greenpoint, Brooklyn, NY 11222, 718-383-0885
A swanky cocktail den that seems more in place in Tribeca than Billyburg. I guess trust-fund hipsters like the speakeasy trend just as much as the next guy. That said this place really does it right. Very nice decor! You will feel that Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald will waltz in any minute, until you realize that their drunken ways torn them apart and that both died at an early age. Anyways, this once tattoo parlour may not be a real hotel, but you will still want to spend the night here.
Cocktail: Commandant’s Cocktail: pear cognac, Cointreau, lemon juice, and green chartreuse
Hours: Sun-Thu, 5pm-2am; Fri-Sat, 5pm-3am
82 Berry St., nr. N. 9th St., Brooklyn, NY 11211 718-387-1945
On weekend nights Manhattan can be pretty treacherous. So if you want a plush view and some house music, why not trying crossing the bridge in the opposite direction of traffic? The Ravel is just across the Queensboro Bridge and it has one of the best views of the city. Situated on the 6th floor of the Bestwesterny wannabe designer hotel the Ravel. Now, when you get here don’t let the line put you off. If there is one, it is basically because of the 6 persons capacity elevator that is also pretty slow. But once you get up top you’ll see that the vide is pretty easy going. Also beware that they have a silly and very particular dress code: No shirts with printed logos, faded clothing, work boots or sneakers, baseball hats or oversized clothing. Hey, they are trying to run an “upscale establishment” here, if only the clubs in the MeatPa would follow.
Hours: Mon-Wed. 4pm to 2am, Thurs.-Friday. 4pm to 4am Sat. 2pm to 4 am Sundays 1 pm to 2 am
8-08 Queens Plaza South, nr. 43rd Ave. Long Island City, NY 11101 718-289-6101
This 138-year-old Boerum Hill tavern has a impressive hand-carved wooden bar that was transplanted piece by piece from Germany in the 1870s. The crowd is almost as eclectic as the jukebox (expect anything from hip hop to obscure folk). There is a pool table in the back room. If you want some food, you can order from their thick stack of takeout menus and wash it down with a wide array of fancy brews. Those who have read Jonathan Lethem’s Motherless Brooklyn, will probably find this bar strangely familiar, after all he does live down the block.
Hours: Mon-Thu, 4pm-4am; Fri, 3pm-4am; Sat-Sun, 2pm-4am
148 Hoyt St., at Bergen St. Brooklyn, NY 11217 718-625-9741
A delightful little place. They went for the cottage house look and pulled it off beautifully. The ambiance is nice and relaxed, after all the wine bar is situated in (yuppie, but not as stuffy as Park Slope and with nicer moms) Carroll Gardens, a block away from the bustling Smith St. The yummy small plates go quite well with the very decent wine list. A glass of wine starts at $6.50
Hours Daily, 5pm-midnight
415 Union St., at Hoyt St. Brooklyn, NY 11231 718-522-4340
This once bait shop, now serves as one of Redhook’s laid back neighborhood bars. There is taxidermy, an Extreme Hunting video game and Blue Point beer. The bar is made from a tree that fell in a nearby church’s garden. Bloody Sundays go on from 2 pm to 8 pm and have what else, but their house special Bloody Marys and bloody good live music. This is where redneck aesthetics and neighborhood artists seamlessly come together. It works because this is not Williamsburg. Redhook is a working class neighborhood where the gentrifiers and the old timers are basically in the same tax bracket. Will it change? Well, there is the new Ikea… But, don’t expect too many hipsters to be willing to trek the 20 minute walk from the Carroll stop in order to get here.
Directions: To avoid the long walk , take the A, C, or F to Jay St.-Borough Hall and take B61 bus, which will drop you off right outside.
Hours: Mon-Fri, 4pm-4am; Sat-Sun, 2pm-4am
320 Van Brunt St., at Pioneer St. Brooklyn, NY 11231 718-797-4892