05/28/15 1:12pm
It's going to look something like this. Photo by Alex Piorun

It’s going to look something like this. Photo by Alix Piorun

Brooklyn’s a big place, but oftentimes it only gets a mild treatment. You’ll read about the same places over and over, and you won’t realize there are new ones popping up left and right. Enter Oriana Leckert, a Brooklynite with a special love of the borough (and our fantastic new events editor) who’s been celebrating off-the-beaten-path cultural hubs as they appear for the last five years. And now you can own the inside scoop in hard-copy, because Brooklyn Spaces just became a book!

This in-print guide comes flush with 50 introductions to places you’ve probably never heard of. It tells you about underground music venuestiny terrariumsindie co-working spaces, and so much more. This Saturday, Brooklyn Spaces is throwing its book launch party, and you should definitely show face if you want to call yourself a true Brooklynite. (more…)

From left to right, signature cocktails "The Duneagle Castle" and "Handsome Hound" look pretty smokin' together! via Hunter's on Instagram

From left to right, signature cocktails “The Duneagle Castle” and “Handsome Hound” look pretty smokin’ together! via Hunter’s on Instagram

Hunter’s Bar
213 Smith St. (Baltic and Butler)
Boerum Hill

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What it is: Classic cocktail bar and New American restaurant on Smith Street.

Why we love it: The cocktails are all named after famous hunters—Katniss Everdeen, Handsome Hound, Boba Fett—which shows that Hunter’s is a laid-back establishment with a tongue-in cheek bent. But that doesn’t mean they don’t take the quality of their food and libations very seriously. You can get a really excellent meal here of locally and sustainably sourced dishes inspired by Chef/owner Angelo Schifilliti’s Italian heritage.

What to order: Can’t wait for episode VII? Geek out with the “Boba Fett” made with Brooklyn Republic Vodka, pear nectar, Grand Marnier and star anise. Enjoy 2-for-1 cocktails from 4- 7 daily, or anytime with our Cocktail Book, and half-price wine bottles on Sundays. To eat, go for a house made pasta and one of their fresh, inventive salads, such as the farro and bacon. The mushroom pot pie and rolled stuffed pork chop are among the wholesome, delectable entrees. Sit at the bar and share the mussels and a cheese plate made up of selections from Stinky’s just down the street.

Regular tip: Host a private party or event at Hunter’s—pick from their pre-fixe packages “Arrival at the Lodge” “A Hunter’s Feast” or “Avant-Chasse Brunch.”

Enjoy 2-for-1 drinks at Hunter’s Bar with our Cocktail Book, on sale now!

05/11/15 2:40pm
Ridgewood has great views

Ridgewood has some lovely views

Last year, we all freaked out when Starbucks sprouted in Disneywo Williamsburg. A lot of cafes and circuses and Trash Bars have making the dusty, Steinbeckian, journey to Bushwick, where they’re at least safe from the corporate coffee sharks taking over Williamsburg. Bushwick is where our locally roasted Americanos are safe. Or so we thought. Starbucks has announced they’re opening a spot in Ridgewood, which means Bushwick may be facing a two-front corporate brand battle. (more…)

04/30/15 4:35pm
The most exciting 90 seconds of your week. via Wikipedia

The most exciting 90 seconds of your week. via Wikipedia

Do you guys know what Saturday is? That’s right, it’s the day you get to read “The Kenucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved” and have it mean a little more, because it also happens to be the day of the Kentucky Derby. Even if you don’t care for horse racing or Southern gentility all that much, drinking a bunch of mint juleps and shouting at the TV is much more fun if you do it in the company of strangers instead of home alone. Still, you may as well enjoy that at a cheap or free Kentucky Derby party, so we found you six free parties and one you’ll have to pay a pittance to get in to. (more…)

04/27/15 2:33pm
film biz recycling

Goodbye to all this. via Facebook

It was a final resting place for movie props instead of the dump, an innovative thrift store that instead of selling cast-offs from everyday people sold furniture, electronics, sports equipment and even a giant naked man statue that had been used on movie sets. Sadly, after recycling 600 tons of movie set waste and being recognized by the EPA for their efforts, Gowanus’ Film Biz Recycling has announced that they’ll be closing at the end of June due to an inability to raise money to cover their rent. Despite disappointment over having to close up shop, the non-profit’s founder Eva Radke told us she’s still proud of the work Film Biz has done in the past six years.

“My heart is broken, but I’m walking away with my head held high.” (more…)

04/21/15 8:59am
swim with swain

Christopher Swain, before a terrible experiment turns him into something not quite man, not quite beast. via Instagram

Gowanus might be the night hot neighborhood in Brooklyn, but that hasn’t done anything to fix its Canal, previously seen being so poisonous an injured dolphin that washed up in it was left to die. A card that says “The Gowanus Canal is gross, don’t jump in it,” even comes in people’s Brooklyn Starter Packs when they move here. Everyone’s pretty much on board with the idea of not swimming in the Gowanus. Everyone except one man, clean waterway activist Christopher Swain, who’s planning to jump in and swim the length of the canal on Wednesday  in order to call attention to the fact that the canal is gross. Makes sense to us. (more…)

Lowlands' epic backyard.

Lowlands’ epic backyard.

Lowlands
543 3rd Ave. (Between 13th and 14th), Gowanus
347-463-9458

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What it is: Lowlands is a prime refueling station for the locals of lower Gowanus, and anyone staying at La Quinta around the corner.

Why we love it: The low-key Lowlands has one of the best backyards in Brooklyn and an awesome old time music jam every Monday night that brings folks in from all over New York, plus Thursday night trivia. The drinks are cheap, the bartenders are friendly and they’ve got a Checkers that’s open till 3am across the street.  What else could you ask for? Definitely a place to unwind with friends or catch some sports.

What to order: Lowlands has 12 taps featuring a rotating selection of craft brews as well as old standbys like Guinness and Miller Lite. Cocktails lean toward classics: negronis, old-fashioned, greyounds and margaritas made with freshly squeezed juice. Hungry? Grab a pressed sandwich from HBH or a pretzel from Pelzer’s.

Regular tip: The name comes from its position at the bottom of Park Slope’s….slope.

Get 2-for-1 drinks from Lowlands with a Brooklyn Cocktail Book.

Pickle Shack. Minus the pickles.

Pickle Shack. Minus the pickles.

Pickle Shack
256 4th Avenue (between President and Carroll), Gowanus
347-763-2127

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What it is: This vegetable-focused bistro and beer bar is a bright spot amid the blight, an oasis in the Fourth Avenue desert or any other cliché you can think of that translates to “really surprising and special food and beer in an unexpected location.”

Why we love it: We love burgers as much as the next guy but just because we’re drankin’ doesn’t mean the food needs to be a meat-and-grease feast. Pickle Shack keeps it classy and light with smoked tofu, kale salad, artichoke dips and other stuff that feels like an indulgence but not an arterial train wreck. There are dozens of beers to choose from and the taps run heavy on the Dogfish.

What to order: Try the transformative fried hop pickles ($6)smoked tofu bahn mi ($12, topped with a house-fermented kimchee of local greens, avocado, aioli, quick pickled carrots), the veggie burger ($14) and the hot smoked Carolina BBQ pulled oyster mushrooms ($14), as deliciously whack as they sound.

Regular tip: If you like the pickles, get ‘em to go at the Brooklyn Brine store, around the corner at 574 President (between 3rd and 4th aves).

03/20/15 8:06am
clench and release

It was a rough winter for all of us, including Charla

We were big fans of Charla Lauriston’s first season of her web series Clench and Release, which if you haven’t watched, you should watch here right now. Obviously other people were too, because Lauriston parlayed that and all the other stuff she did into a writing job on the first season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. If you worked your way through that too and still want some Charla, you’re in luck, because Clench and Release season 2 is about to drop, and you can see it premiere live and catch stand up from a bevy of Brooklyn comics next week at Littlefield. (more…)

The Halyards.

Halyards.

Halyards
406 3rd Avenue (between 6th Street and 7th Street)
Gowanus
(718) 532-8787

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What is it: Halyards is a low-key spot with a nautical feel, located surreptitiously in industrial Gowanus.

Why we love it: Its relaxed atmosphere, affable bartenders and reliably clean surfaces. There are a wide variety of beers on tap, and a seasonal cocktail menu. Bring anyone you’re trying to impress — like a date or friend you haven’t seen in many years. The pool table, dart board, and bowls of Jenga blocks break up the awkwardness, and the music is never loud enough to be intrusive.

What to order: The Root & Ginger Beer for $10. A great choice for those of us who are indecisive about our soft drinks–and wish that root beer was actually alcoholic. Alcohol-wise, pick from a selection of rotating drafts or order one of the old-school cocktails, such as their super citrusy, super refreshing version of a Pimm’s Cup, with Pimm’s No. 1, lime, lemon, orange, cucumber, mint and lemonade.

Regular tip: The owner is British, so it definitely feels more like a pub than a bar.

Halyards is a featured bar in our 2015 Cocktail Book, on sale now!