06/19/15 9:20am

jackbar1

Jackbar
143 Havemeyer St. (S. 1st and S. 2nd)
Williamsburg

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What it is: A pinball-lover’s paradise that serves up the good brews and good tunes while you bang those pleasure machines.

Why we love it: Because we’ll take pinball over Big Buck Hunter any day, and Jackbar offers up a pinball selection that’s hard to find this side of the Jersey shore. The 9 pinball machines come from owner Jon Ehrlich’s personal collection, and range from old classics to brand new, state-of-the-art models. If you’re not into the silver ball, the bar also offers up board games and shows old movies on the TV.

What to order: Try one of the 18 draft lines or 15 bottles and cans; upgrade anything to a beer-and-a-shot happy meal for $2. You can munch on some old-school Jiffy Pop here too.

Regular tip: The pinball machines come from the personal collection of owner Jon Erhlich, who also owns Reciprocal, the Manhattan skate shop that doubles as a pinball arcade.

05/12/15 10:14am
Salute your jorts, New York.

Salute your jorts, New York. Photo by Mary Dorn.

Our Brokelyn editorials are few and far between; we reserve them for very special issues that demand a hero, a voice for the common brokester. We’ve recently found ourselves in this position again, as there are dark forces amassing, trying to attack one of the very things we as an organization, as people, as damned hard-working Americans hold dear: Summer. Specifically, fellow dudes, your right to wear as few clothes as possible, which is basically as much the point of summer as enjoying deep communion with the ocean in Rockaway or chugging Brooklyn Summer Ale until on your roof until you kill the part of your brain where the word “snow” is stored. Menacing clouds have been gathering out there for several years, made up of (we can safely deduce) khaki-slathered, tie-choked bros in temperature-controlled board rooms, the same people who maliciously decide to start back to school sales in the middle of July: They want to tell you that men should not wear shorts, ever, calling it some affront to good taste and vague notions about what men are “supposed” to do.

Do not listen to these shameful summer traitors: wear your trunks, your board shorts, your jorts and, yes, even your cargo shorts (if you must) proudly. You didn’t fight your way into being an adult to let some stuffy apocryphal notion of masculinity and decorum impugn your rights to enjoy the shit out of summer while we can.  (more…)

05/06/15 10:00am

playland2

Playland Motel,
97-20 Rockaway Beach Blvd
Far Rockaway
(347) 954-9063

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What it is: An old clam shack near the site of the old Playland amusement park that’s been turned into an art-focused hotel, and a hip post-beach bar, with a cooler-than-the-Hamptons vibe.

Why we love it: With tropical drinks and music that would feel at home in a Florida cabana, the Playland is the perfect place to chill after the beach to let your sunburn cool. The bar regularly hosts popular DJs at night to keep the beach party going. Even in the off-season, it’s a cozy place to hang by the shore, as Playland Motel is one of those places bringing surf-town prestige back to Rockaway. The adjacent Whit’s End pizza serves up finely crafted brick-oven pizzas too. And check out the hotel rooms if you get a chance: each one is designed by a different artist with varying themes, from Miami Vice to a “blood room.” Bring your sunburned beach crew, people who love to dance, anyone who wants a place to store their surfboard or beach bag while they relax and have a few tropical cocktails or beers.

What to order: The rotating selection of beers always includes standards like Goose Island and Corona; if you’re feeling more tropical, try a cocktail like the red-pepper spiced Atomic Margarita. Soak it up with some food from Bolivian Llama Party, which offers empanadas and sliders.

Regular tip: The motel is named after the old Playland amusement park, which stood near the site from 1902 to 1982. It was originally opened and owned by LeMarcus Thompson, who’s considered to be the inventor of the roller coaster.

04/30/15 12:53pm
Oh come on! Who better to kick off the summer with than Kathleen Hanna? Via  Pica.

Oh come on! Who better to kick off the summer with than Kathleen Hanna? Via Pica.

We’re getting pretty hyped for summer, and the nonstop summer show announcements this week are sure amping up our excitement. Williamsburg’s House of Vans is excited about how close to summer we are, and are declaring their love for the time of year with a bunch of free concerts called The Almost Summer Series at the House of Vans in May and June. The lineup? Holy punk, the lineup is tremendous, starting with The Julie Ruin, the current band of Bikini Kill founder and all around punk goddess Kathleen Hanna! Plus: Pusha T! Parquet Courts! All free! And like all House of Vans shows, they come with all-you-can-drink PBR too. (more…)

04/15/15 2:00pm
skylark

Skylark, via Facebook

Skylark
477 Fifth Ave. (between 11th and 12th) South Slope
347-227-8186

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What it is: A popular and inviting joint with floral prints, retro-weird art, snug coaches and a dimly lit grandma’s living room aesthetic.

Why we love it: The shabby chic charm that feels like stepping back into the 70s is hard to resist, and so is the drink menu, which pours retro cocktails like the Old fashioned and snacks like tater tots and a waldorf salad. You’ll find old-school pinball in the back and DJ sets on the weekends.

What to order: The 14 drafts include five that rotate from choice kegs, local and rare beers, while the rest feature standards like Captain Lawrence Liquid Gold, Six Point Sweet Action and Allagash White. Try a signature cocktail with a sassy name like the “Salty Studebaker” of basil-infused vodka, fresh grapefruit and a salted rim. The kitchen that’s open until midnight on the weekends serves up 70s themed grub like swaddled hogs (cocktail weenies in flaky dough) and cheesy tots.

Regular tip: The bar keeps the 70s theme going for its beer and shot specials: a Cheech and Chong is a Tecate and Espolon tequila; a Dirk Diggler is a Coors tall boy and a shot of Dickel rye. Check out country and delta blues music nights on Wednesdays and vinyl Saturday afternoon too.

Skylark is a featured bar in the 2015 Cocktail Book, on sale now!

04/06/15 11:00am
Come into the parlor and sit a spell. Photo by Jammi York.

Project Parlor, photo by Jammi York.

Project Parlor
742 Myrtle Ave., Bed-Stuy
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What is it: A charming ragtime parlor bar with a patchwork punk vibe and killer tap selection.

Why we love it: As an early inhabitant of the soon-to-be, maybe-already-is bustling section of Bed-Stuy, this spot has earned its keep among the neighborhood and was voted Best New Bar by the Village Voice in 2012. Despite the status upgrades, we love them because they’ve kept their raucous roots intact and continue to be a destination for quiet drink seekers and late night revelers alike.

What to order: The house’s mulled cider from local Wilklow Orchards spiked with brandy and bourbon is a winter favorite, while spring brings sangria and summer packs some punch. 2-for-1 happy hour beers go well with a seat in the huge back patio, open year-round. Order from one of the more than 30 domestic and international bottles and drafts, including local and gluten free options. The bar is proud of its other cocktails, currently include bacon-infused bourbon and apple concoction they call the “Sir Francis,” and a “White Oaxacan,” a vegan white Russian with Guajillo chile chocolate. House darling “Paradise Lost” is a rye old-fashioned with muddled pomegranate.

Regular tip: The Parlor’s summertime BBQ showdowns are known borough-wide and have brought in some of the most serious smokers this side of the Mason-Dixon Line. If you’re burned out on BBQ, you can always go for the green fairy, with the old-school absinthe fountain.

Project Parlor is a featured bar in the 2015 Cocktail Book, on sale now!

03/27/15 1:00pm
A little party never hurt nobody, but not bringing anything may get you hurt.

A little party never hurt nobody, but not bringing anything may get you hurt.

Welcome to part 2 of our How to Be Better at Parties series. Yesterday we took you through a detailed tour of how not to suck at throwing a party; but today hits to the real crucial topic of bad NYC etiquette that spreads across our borough like crappy 10 year old Brooklyn jokes still spread across the normcore internet. Like yesterday’s guide, you might find some of these tips laughably — congrats to you! You are a functional human being who can interpret social cues. But you know you have friends you want to send this post too, the ones who show up empty handed, the ones who think hijacking your party playlist with their personal sludge rock mixtape is a good idea, the ones who vomit anywhere, ever. Send this to them with hopes of better party etiquette to come. (more…)

03/26/15 8:00am
Follow these tips and you'll have your party guests jumping for joy.

Follow these tips and you’ll have your party guests jumping for joy. Photo by Sarah Bibi Gainer.

Like getting into a crowded subway car, you’d think throwing a party would be something New Yorkers could handle on their own by now. Yet, much like how you have to yell at that clueless bro to MOVE THE EFF INTO THE MIDDLE OF THE CAR, too often you find yourself at a Brooklyn party that’s about as well thought out as as Budweiser millennial marketing campaign. This is New York City and we have high standards for parties: one false move and your event will be the cause of exodus, as displeased partygoers slip out the door on the hunt for a place that isn’t just six people sitting around a coffee table playing Cards Against Humanity. So here in the age of intense FOMO fear, Brokelyn provides this public service, your basic primer of How to Throw a Party. If some of these tips are excruciatingly obvious to you, great — send it to your less-capable friends as a gentle nudge to get their party game on top of a fleek.

And tune in to part 2, How to attend a party in New York City in 2015, tomorrow! (more…)

The cozy view inside Annex. Photo by Tim Donnelly.

The cozy view inside Annex. Photo by Tim Donnelly.

Annex
753 Fulton St., (at S. Portland), Fort Greene
718-858-4790

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What it is: The newly expanded coffee shop from the folks behind the Greene Grape is a vast, airy space, with ample room for laptop workers during the day, or a great bar anytime.

Why we love it: The fine folks at Greene Grape continued to grow their empire by opening this corner mecca of good coffee, baked goods and good times. The design is like a landlocked cruise ship, with big communal tables and window-side cushiony lounges that allow for great conversation spaces.

What to order: The coffee bar serves Blue Bottle and Oslo coffee, house-made pastries. The bar has a rotating selection of 10 craft (but not snobby) beers. Pop by in the morning for one of its signature breakfast sandwiches, and check back for its new night menu.

Regular tip: The bar is starting to partner with its across-the-street neighbor Greenlight Books to host literary readings (Sarah Vowell appeared there already) in addition to other cider, cheese and more events.

03/05/15 4:55pm
Choose wisely

Choose wisely

Brooklyn duo Ex Cops faced a classic dilemma this week: should they play a free showcase sponsored by McDonald’s at South by Southwest, that annual conference in Austin where #buzz is forged in the fires of a Mount Doom-like industry volcano? Or should they turn down the exposure to dozens of fish-filet stained faces in lieu of something with no buzz factor, like artistic integrity and refusing to be part of a brand’s attempts to be a hip brand? Ex Cops turned McD’s down, and wrote an open letter explaining why they wouldn’t play for free for a company worth $90.3 billion. McDonald’s responded in with the text equivalent of finding a chicken head in your box of McNuggets. Anyway, should you find yourself in a similar dilemma, we made a quiz to help you decide what to do. (more…)