Brooklyn in 1995 looked a lot different than it does now. Especially Red Hook. Back then, there was no Red Hook Lobster Pound, no Metal & Thread, no Baked. But there was Sunny’s Bar.
The first time he saw Sunny’s Bar, Tim Sultan was lost, thirsty for a drink, and intrigued by the single bar sign among the forlorn warehouses lining the Brooklyn waterfront. Inside, he found a dimly lit room crammed with maritime artifacts, a dozen well-seasoned drinkers, and, strangely, a projector playing a classic Martha Graham dance performance. Sultan knew he had stumbled upon someplace special. What he didn’t know was that he had just found his new home. Soon enough, Sultan quit his office job to bartend full-time for Sunny Balzano, the bar’s owner.
Sunny’s Nights is Tim’s ode to a strangely wonderful bar and the strangely wonderful man who stands at its helm. Born next to the saloon that has been in his family for one hundred years, Sunny has over the years partied with Andy Warhol, spent time in India at the feet of a guru, and painted abstract expressionist originals. But his masterpiece is the bar itself, a place where artists, mobsters, honky-tonk musicians, neighborhood drunks, nuns, longshoremen, and assorted eccentrics rub elbows.
Tom Perrotta, author of Little Children and The Leftovers, calls Sunny’s Nights “a vivid and loving portrait of the larger-than-life eccentric who gave the bar its name and its spirit, and a moving memoir about friendship and finding a home.” Enter below for a chance to win a free copy for yourself. It will give you and Sunny something to talk about the next time you’re at his bar.