mary's bar 1

Mary’s Bar
708 5th Ave. at 22nd, South Slope
718-499-2175

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What it is: Mary’s Bar stands out as a fan favorite in South Slope. A tavern-style bar with late-night jazz, a pool table and darts, Mary’s Bar is that charming local bar you go to for a fun mix of Brooklyn natives and the neighborhood’s more recent inhabitants.

Why we love it: Mary’s is a great space that encapsulates everything a tavern should be, with a relaxed atmosphere, fun and friendly crowd, and no short amount of music nights. On Fridays and Saturdays it has rotating DJs, Wednesdays they do an 80s night, and every night from 3am to last call is the Frank and Dean Jazz Hour. How could you not love a bar that sends you home like that?

Who to bring: Mary’s Bar has a great low-key vibe that makes for a good weeknight out with friends or a nightcap with that someone you convinced to hang out for just one more drink.

What to order: Check out any of their 12 domestic craft beers on tap, or just go for the simple pleasures, like PBR and Dale’s Pale Ale in the can. Be aware: Happy Hour is $2 off drafts and spirits applies to all spirits, including top shelf.

Fun fact: Mary’s has joined the flea market brigade, and hosts a shopping space in their backyard called the Bar ‘n Yard Flea every weekend in the summer.

05/21/15 12:02pm

bocce-major-league-nyc

Sponsored By Major League Bocce NYC.

Play with balls. Drink cold beer. WIN at life! Join Major League Bocce, a social sports league where everyone scores.

Created By BlankSlate

If you haven’t played bocce yet, you’re missing out on one of the most social, competitive, addictive, drinking experiences around. A game that favors skill, but notoriously doles out heaping helpings of beginner’s luck, bocce is literally a sport that anyone can play (and be good at). Whether you’re the hyper-competitive type, or just down for low-impact fun on a random weeknight, bocce welcomes you with open arms (and will probably ask you to grab the next round of drinks). 

Entering below earns you the chance to win a free team registration for you and four friends for 8 weeks of games, drinking, an end-of-the-season party, and way more bocce pun-based team names than you ever thought possible. Even if you don’t win, for the low cost of less than $10 a week, you and your friends will be set for Wednesday plans for the summer, complete with t-shirts, prizes, and Thursday hangovers (optional). League play begins June 3, and registration ends on May 29. What are you waiting for? Andiamo!
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05/11/15 12:01pm

bocce-major-league-nyc

Sponsored By Major League Bocce NYC.

Play with balls. Drink cold beer. WIN at life! Join Major League Bocce, a social sports league where everyone scores.

Created By BlankSlate

Shhhh, do you hear that? It’s faint, but you’d swear it’s the voices of old Italian vecchietti. They want you to join them on the bocce courts this summer. And if you enter the contest below, you could win a free team registration to Major League Bocce for you and four of your friends.

If you haven’t played bocce yet, you’re missing out on one of the most social, competitive, addictive, drinking experiences around. A game that favors skill, but notoriously doles out heaping helpings of beginner’s luck, bocce is literally a sport that anyone can play (and be good at). Whether you’re the hyper-competitive type, or just down for low-impact fun on a random weeknight, bocce welcomes you with open arms (and will probably ask you to grab the next round of drinks). 

Major League Bocce, the largest bocce league in the country, is setting up shop in Prospect Park on Wednesday nights, which means you get to A) hang out in the park in the evening, B) with your friends, C) playing games, and D) making new friends. And then it’s straight to the bar for drink and food specials!

Entering below earns you the chance to win a free team registration for you and four friends for 8 weeks of games, drinking, an end-of-the-season party, and way more bocce pun-based team names than you ever thought possible. Even if you don’t win, for the low cost of less than $10 a week, you and your friends will be set for Wednesday plans for the summer, complete with t-shirts, prizes, and Thursday hangovers (optional). League play begins June 3, and registration ends on May 29. What are you waiting for? Andiamo!

 

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04/29/15 10:00am
Let professional open mic host Eric Silver be your open mic spirit manimal.

Let professional open mic host Eric Silver be your comedy spirit manimal. Photo by Joe Stanton.

We all know the scene, either from real life or some of our favorite shows (like in Louie): a dark, sparsely occupied room of people sitting, looking up at the stage as an emcee introduces a name you’re sure no one (including the host) has previously heard of. A lone figure stands before the mic, visibly uncomfortable, and the next few minutes are as suspenseful as entertainment can get: will it be awesome or cringeworthy? I wish I could say open mics are totally not like that, but their rep is pretty well-earned.

But they’re a key part of starting any comedy career. Think of open mics like Rocky training in the harsh Russian winter during Rocky IV: if you can do your material to a totally unresponsive crowd without being fazed, you’ve got the eye of the tiger (Survivor’s, not Katy Perry’s). I’ve been hosting my own open mic, Dear God That’s Stone Cold’s Music! for about two years now, and I’ve been doing stand-up for a couple more years that that. I’ve also gone to open mics to support my friends just getting started, and seen how great and how… not-so-great the talent can be. After yesterday’s part 1 of our series that showed you how to get up the nerve to try it, here are some tips from an actual open mic host on how to crush it once you’re on stage. (more…)

hamilton's brooklyn

via Hamilton’s

Hamilton’s
2826 Fort Hamilton Pkwy, at E. 4th St., Windsor Terrace,
718-438-0488

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What it is: Hamilton’s is one of the best reasons you can think of for heading over to Windsor Terrace. A cozy wine bar with great craft beers, as well as an all-star kitchen, it’s a great neighborhood spot to check out for dinner, or just some tasty wings and beer.

Why we love it: Everything Hamilton’s does seems to be top-notch.From mulled drinks in winter, it’s got a fantastic menu that will keep you coming back to try all the other dishes, and on top of all that, it’s a relaxed yet vibrant bar in a neighborhood that doesn’t often get a lot of traffic from outside the neighborhood. You wouldn’t guess it from inside Hamilton’s, which feels like stumbling onto a scene that you feel kind of dumb for not knowing about before. It’s an excellent date spot, straight up, with its small, well-crafted dishes and great wines, this is the kind of place to go and have a nice cozy few drinks.

What to order: If it’s winter, check out their mulled wine. Food-wise, mac and cheese with bacon or the tender-as-anything grilled squid.

Regular tip: Hamilton’s is owned by the same people who run Alchemy, so if you’re a fan of that Park Slope fixture, you can get a sense of what to expect here!

04/10/15 1:00pm

high dive

High Dive 243 Fifth Ave. (Garfield Place and Carroll Street) Park Slope 718-788-0401

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What it is: A loungy neighborhood hangout with games, free popcorn and a killer jukebox that provides a merciful respite from the breast-feeding crowd that frequents the neighborhood.

Why we love it: Not only is High Dive a Brokelyn Beer Book four-peat featured bar, it’s only gotten better over the years. The custom curated jukebox full of mixed CDs includes a gamut of good drinking music: Big Star, The Kinks, The Pixies, and the Modern Lovers. Oh, and it’s got a big stack of board games and some pinball machines. We’re suckers for pinball.

What to order: Try one of the 19 rotating draft beers or the standard PBR or Yuengling, which are only $3 during happy hour. The free popcorn station has grown to include its own condiments rack and bar snacks now include savory pies for $6 and sausage rolls for $4.

Regular tip: In the spirit of giving, High Dive has a lovely “buy a friend a drink” board, where you can prepay for your pals’ tab. High Dive is also one of the few bars to be included every time we do a Beer Book, so show them some extra love while you’re there!

freddy's bar

What lurks behind the door tonight? Something cool we bet. Photo by Sarah Bibi

Freddy’s Bar and Backroom   
627 5th Ave., (between 17th and 18th Streets), South Slope, 718-768-0131

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What is it: A Brooklyn staple nestled in the South Slope, boasting both cult celebrity and a history stretching back to Prohibition. Freddy’s, with its trademark comfortable and casual flavour is friendly and endlessly interesting.

Why we love it: Whether you’re there for the acid-tavern experience (TVs run award-winning video montages 24/7) or to see a free music, comedy, or art show show in the back room, Freddy’s always has something to revive a sleepy night. This neighborhood favorite hosts a welcome mix of locals and far-flung visitors, thanks to its beautiful other worldly decor, bustling vibes and charming staff. Just a few reasons why it was voted one of the best bars in the country by the likes of Esquire and others.

What to order: Aside from the whiskey and craft beers, Freddy’s offers a solid menu of what it calls “Pan-Brooklyn.” This includes burgers, fish tacos, local Polish kielbasa (meaning that they’re actually made across the street by two great Polish butchers), a curious twist on a BLT sandwich, and much more. All tasty and cheap as hell.

Regular tip: The intoxicating video collages you’ll see all over the bar are actually edited/created by co-owner Donald O’Finn.

hamilton's windsor terrace

Hamilton’s
2826 Fort Hamilton Pkwy, at E. 4th St.
Windsor Terrace
718-438-0488

What it is: Hamilton’s is one of the best reasons you can think of for heading over to Windsor Terrace. A cozy wine bar with great craft beers, as well as an all-star kitchen, it’s a great neighborhood spot to check out for dinner, or just some tasty wings and beer.

Why we love it: Everything Hamilton’s does seems to be top-notch. In winter it’ll serve mulled drinks, it’s got a fantastic menu that will keep you coming back to try all the other dishes, and on top of all that, it’s a relaxed yet vibrant bar in a neighborhood that doesn’t often get a lot of traffic from outside the neighborhood. You wouldn’t guess it from inside Hamilton’s, which feels like stumbling onto a scene that you feel kind of dumb for not knowing about before. (more…)

03/11/14 11:44am
royal palms shuffleboard bingo

Murray Hill and Linda Simpson will make you feel like you’re in Palm Beach, even while it’s snowing

As struggling artists/freelancers/corporate cogs in Broketown, despite our individual goals, it’s safe to say we all share one common dream: early retirement. And while it is highly unlikely that Gowanus’ Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club (514 Union Street) will in any way provide you with the financial security to flip off your boss or landlord and move to sunnier skies, you’ll be able to get a preview of your future golden years (though we all know potable water will be the REAL currency of the future) at their newly announced bingo and Mah Jong nights. (more…)

12/19/13 7:00am
dyker heights christmas

This? This was modest. Photo by Camille Lawhead

If you’ve only heard of the Christmas lights of Dyker Heights, it’s pretty easy to be dismissive. Home Christmas displays are sort of like the scars conversation from Jaws: everyone thinks they’ve got the one that tops them all. Dyker Heights’ Christmas lights has a reputation: a Yelp page, a Facebook page, a whole tour devoted to it. And despite my initial skepticism, once I got to 12th Avenue by 84th Street, I understood that moment when weary pilgrims finally reach Mecca.

These are not ordinary Christmas light displays, not even close. Houses with strings of lights and deer statues wrapped in string lights as if they were involved in bondage-torture Christmas porn, another house with a host of angels forming a corridor along the entrance to the house, along with an animatronic Santa, with whom people can take pictures. Even locals were getting in on the act, with a man in an Elmo suit stopping cars to ask for donations to the local church

(more…)