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 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
This place is busy 7 nights a week. And that’s no surprise, because there is always something going on, whether it be their Monday nite spelling bee (who knew hipsters could spell) or because there is some new folky Williamsburg starving trust fund talent playing the streetcar-like backroom. The bar was formerly a local luncheonette as well as, yes you guessed it, a candy store. In the summer the back patio gets filled to the rim with people wearing think-rimed fake glasses.
Live Music: Nightly, 8 p.m.
Spelling Bee: Every other Monday, 7:30 p.m.; prizes range from bar tabs to paninis
Sun-Wed, 5pm-2am; Thu-Sat, 5pm-4am
709 Lorimer St., nr. Richardson St. Brooklyn, NY 11211 718-302-3770
Their motto is “not done fancy, just done right.” Although the Richardson seems like the typical and latest speakeasy reincarnation, they make an effort of avoiding the attitude, pretense or fuss that usually goes with these places. The self referred bartenders (not mixologists) are helpful and polite, maybe it is because they are in Brooklyn or maybe it is because they are told to be nice. Either way expect designer cocktails with a chill and slightly younger than usual crowd.
Hours Daily, noon-4 am
Cocktail: Fall Back: apple cider, fresh lemon juice, sugar, applejack, sugar cane rum
451 Graham Ave., at Richardson St., Brooklyn, NY 11222 718-389-0839
Named after an area known as the spinning devil. The legend goes something like this:
Peter Stuyvesant, then Governor of New Amsterdam, got wind that the British Navy was going to invade the city. He dispatched Anthony Von Corlaer to ride up to the northern most point of Manhattan Island and blow his trumpet, (as means to summon the people). As he neared the shores, where the Hudson meets the Harlem River, Anthony couldn’t cross. When he called out to the ferry on the other side, no one answered. He decided then, to swim across the treacherous span of water. Halfway across, legend has it that the devil pulled Anthony under and while he was able to escape his grasp, he was too tired to continue swimming and drowned there… in spite of the devil. From then on, the little area in the Bronx, where Anthony would have come to shore is called Spuyten Duyvil.
Well, this bar is quite far from the original Spuyten Duyvil, but you can certainly get caught up in its rare beer selection (over over 100 types of beer, just don’t drown please). Although it is in Williamsburg the vibe feels more Park Slope. The outdoor terrace is one of the nicest and biggest in nyc.
Hours: Sun-Thu, 5pm-2am; Fri-Sat, 5pm-4am
359 Metropolitan Ave., nr. Havemeyer St., Brooklyn, NY 11211 718-963-4140
The original beer garden is in Queens, but this is the trendy version in you guessed it: Willamsburg. Having said that it is still a nice and welcoming place. Slovakian-born partners Ivan Kohut and Andy Ivanov gutted adjacent warehouses to create two distinct drinking spaces. The garden side boasts a retractable roof under which a grill man serves up sizzling sausages. Inside the “hall,” has tables made from 150-year-old barn logs. Twelve drafts on tap or 37 beers by the bottle. The food is good and on a nice Sunday afternoon it makes for a delightful destination.
Mon-Fri, 5pm-4am; Sat, 1pm-4am; Sun, 1pm-3am
113 N. 3rd St., at Berry St. Brooklyn, NY 11211 718-963-3973
Opened in 1928, it used to be called J & D’s. Amazingly, more than one owner has died on the premises. It was reopened in 2006. Tolerant retirees, who still call the bar by its former name, make neighborly conversation with snotty implants. The bar’s owner, Harold David Kramer (still alive), is himself a slice of NYC history, since he’s the grandson of the owners of the Thunderbolt, the beloved Coney Island rollercoaster that was torn down in 2000. 12 beers on draft and a patio outback, complete with $5 all-you-can-eat beef, turkey and veggie dog barbecue every Friday though Monday at 9 pm and Saturdays starting at 5 pm.
Hours: Mon, 6pm-4am; Tue-Sun, 3pm-4am
579 Meeker Ave., nr. N. Henry St. Brooklyn, NY 11222 718-389-3252