01/20/17 10:52am
Look familiar? That's because it's every bar in Brooklyn. Photo by Maria McClure

Look familiar? That’s because it’s every bar in Brooklyn. Photo by Maria McClure

What makes a Brooklyn bar?

Is it the wood? Is is the draft list that features only craft beer and local breweries? Is it the bartender, whose surly, I’ve-seen-it-all disposition seems out of sync with his youth? And which of these things explains why you find yourself so hopelessly drawn through the door, night after night, to pull up a stool at your neighborhood joint and order the same thing you can’t nearly afford?

These questions form the partial premise of [PORTO], a new play by Kate Benson running at the Bushwick Starr through Feb. 4, as part of the Exponential Theater Festival. “A neighborhood bar in a gentrifying outpost of a major American City,” reads the play’s tagline. “I know this will end badly, but for now, it tastes really good.”

The “city” turns out to be a borough: The narrator eventually admits that we are in fact in Brooklyn, albeit only once, as if the city name could be supplanted were the show picked up for a run in Portland or Chicago. But Brooklyn is an easy sell for [PORTO]; the bar is a cliché so self-serious that it almost feels new again.

“Edison lights glowing,” Benson narrates. “Serious food. Serious beer. Serious booze. … You know the place.” (more…)

12/22/16 12:27pm
The Pour House of Bay Ridge has teachers bartend on Fridays; learn a thing or two. via FB

The Pour House of Bay Ridge has teachers bartend on Fridays. We give their bar game an A. via Facebook

This article appears as part of Brokelyn’s “Year in Review” series, which will continue throughout the week. 

Drinking has gone from habit to necessity in the year 2016, and Brooklyn’s bars have undoubtedly reaped the fruits of our misery. We certainly don’t fault them for being on the come-up in the wake of America’s comeuppance. We’re just glad to have a constantly revolving door of solid places to drown our sorrows, revel in what’s left of our hopes and dreams, and occasionally get our taxes done in the process.

In that spirit (never gets old), we present to you: This Year in Bars, in the form of beer and shot specials you might find at any of our borough’s fine watering holes. Which one of our specials/bar roundups suits your tastes and qualities best? Read on to gain that liquid knowledge, my friend, and here’s hoping our livers survive the next four years.  (more…)