Alchemy Bar

Alchemy Restaurant & Tavern
56 5th Ave. (5th Ave. and Bergen St.), Park Slope

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What it is: A cozy, low-key pub in Park Slope with a rotating set of hard-to-find beers, an extensive cocktail menu, and excellent food.

Why we love it: Alchemy is the perfect place for a date, a casual meal, or enjoying a quiet drink and a book. Its die-hard set of regulars and bartenders who remember your name make it feel like a local pub. You’ll also find secluded tables and booths if you’re looking for a little privacy and a great outdoor patio if you’re looking to chill outside during the summer. Need WiFi? They’ve got that, too.

You won’t find greasy bar food here. Four different menus — breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner — have something for the vegan, the veggie, the foodie, or the guy who just wants a good burger. The chorizo eggs (brunch) is a great way to start a Sunday, while the wild mushroom barley risotto with truffle oil (dinner) is one of the many uncommon treats you can share with a date. And if you do have a hankering for some chicken wings, you can get those, too, during the way affordable weekday happy hour.

What to order: Alchemy’s beers rotate every couple of weeks, but you’ll always find a stout, an IPA, a pilsner, an ale, and special seasonal beers on tap. Pair one with the gooey shells and cheese or the Monday Mussels deal—a dozen mussels for six bucks!

Regular tip: The bar was named Alchemy because at the time the owner was reading up on the ancient art of chrysopoeia, thanks to the Da Vinci Code.

06/17/15 4:00pm
south 4th 1

Images by Sarah Bibi

South 4th Bar and Cafe     
90 South 4th St. (Bedford Avenue and Berry Street), Williamsburg
718-218-7478

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What it is: A neighborhood bar in forever-transient Williamsburg, South 4th Bar that transitions with the seamlessness of a Transformer from quiet and productivity-enhancing coffice to loud and populated drinking spot.

Why we love it: You can spend the entire day here. Start at 7am and take advantage of the free wifi and cheap coffee to get your work done, and then sidle up to the bar and relax when the regulars start coming in around 4 or 5. And don’t bother leaving for lunch, just ask the bartenders which spot in their full menu book will best satisfy your hunger. Kings of Karaoke starting on Thursdays is just one more reason to stick around. Trying to get acclimated to the neighborhood? Bring yourself, the friendly cast of regulars provide the closest thing to Cheers that you’ll find in Williamsburg.

What to order: Their $5 beer and shot special is a cheap complement to their coffee if you want to change speeds.While things are icy, take advantage of hot toddies, but once things warm up around here, try their totally refreshing Hucklberry Vodka Lemonade..

Regular tip: South 4th is the perfect bar for creative types, offering an absolutely stacked Make Your Own Bloody Mary Bar every Saturday and Sunday for just $5, and holding a yearly chili cook off around the same time as the Super Bowl.

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!

10/28/14 12:47pm
supercollider

via Facebook

Supercollider     

609 Fourth Ave.
(between 17th and 18th)
South Slope
347-725-3419

 

What it is: Supercollider is a coffee shop/lounge that will amp you up with its local coffee in the morning and mellow you out with its 15 craft beers and cocktails later in the day (yeah, that’s a typical day, right?). This newcomer to Fourth Ave boasts trivia nights, open mics with live musicians, and even film screenings in its backyard.

Why we love it: Supercollider is a relaxed spot that would make for good date drinks, hanging out with friends, or even just stopping by solo and seeing what’s happening. Beyond the long bar there are booths where you can park and take up one of the serious board games kept behind the bar (Settlers of Catan, among others). Add in a backyard that hasn’t become overcrowded and you have a nice gem that welcomes a nice, steady booze-a-thon.

Who to bring: This is a great lounge to stop by with those game night friends, or for that nice, quiet first date drink.

What to order: Any of their 18 craft beers will do fine, or their coffee, if that’s your steez.

Fun fact: One block away from the Prospect Ave stop on the R train, this bar might be the easiest to get your drunk on within moments of your Metrocard swipe.—Eric Silver

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10/21/14 10:05am
the bodega

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Bodega     

24 St. Nicholas Ave.
Bushwick
646-924-8488

 

What it is: Bodega is a wine and beer bar that shows new, like really new, movies, as well as some very classic cinema like the award winning films Vampire’s Kiss, Witches and Showgirls.

Why we love it: Did you not see that film line up?

Who to bring: It’s a good spot for a date, or going out for a work thing. Because it’s not crowd-y or rowdy, you could easily go with someone that you have to you know, talk to.

What to order: We are a big fan of their wine on draft and any of their melty cheesy sammies.

Fun Fact: Bodega hosts a storytelling night the first Sunday of every month. Stay tuned and follow them on Facebook to stay on top of their other pop up events.—Emily Berninger

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09/25/14 12:45pm
d.b.a. brooklyn

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d.b.a. brooklyn     

113 North 7th St.
(between Berry and Wythe)
Williamsburg
718-218-6006

What it is: A beer bar at its finest. A long bar lined with taps and casks will greet you at the door, where you can check your pretension and just enjoy some good beer, or as the owners say, “drink good stuff”–the d.b.a. motto.

Why we love it: d.b.a has a laid back vibe and a modesty that can be rare around the Bedford Ave./North 7th epicenter of the Williamsburg swirl. What it bypasses in we’re-your-BFF kitsch they make up for with their carefully curated beers from 16 taps, 3 casks and more than 100 bottles ranging from Brooklyn local beers to Belgian specialties.

Who to bring: Bring a beer-loving pal you’d like to catch up with over some really good beer. d.b.a. is pretty relaxed, so you might want to save the pregame with your party animal friend for another bar. But the backyard is pretty sweet too.

What to order: The beer menu here can change daily, so you’ve really got to go to see what’s on tap —but rest assured it will be good. For those whose palates expand beyond brewsy suds, there is a fine selection of whiskeys, bourbons, tequilas and even rums to choose from. If you’re hungry, d.b.a. offers a sample menu of Lucy Roux, a flavorful Dominican Republic meets Creole and Cajun tradition, available Friday nights and weekends for an extended brunch.

Fun fact: You may already be aware of d.b.a.’s sister bar in Manhattan, but what many don’t know is that another d.b.a. sits on the historic Frenchman Street in New Orleans. The NOLA affiliate is a live music club that opened in 2000 and prides itself on being one of the first smoke-free venues in the city.—Cat Wolinski

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08/14/14 12:56pm
skytown

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Skytown    

921 Broadway (Melrose St. and Arion Place)
Bushwick
347-921-2911

 

What it is: A self-described as a café with a drinking problem.

Why we love it: The people that work there are super awesome. They make the place like stepping into a friend’s apartment only they make better food. It has been incredibly renovated to have a rather… I’m going to say it… rustic feel.

Who to Bring: It’s a chill enough place to stop by on your own, go in with a couple of friends or even bring the parents when in town (I did, and they were all like, woah, Brooklyn is so kewl).

What to Order: Their Skybowl with feta and bacon is pretty much my fav. They have a beer and a shot combo for $5 and some totally affordable, totally delicious cocktails.

Fun Fact: Every Friday, Skytown has a menu of homemade cheeses. Cheeses, that are homemade. Yes.—Emily Berninger

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08/12/14 12:46pm
Photos by Sarah Bibi Gainer.

Photos by Sarah Bibi Gainer.

The Double Windsor   

double windsor 2

What it is: The Double Windsor is a mainstay in South Brooklyn, as famous for its beer selection (and growlers) as it is for its burgers. With a gorgeous long bar, spacious interior and table sections, it’s long been a great spot for anyone grabbing a drink after some quality time spent in Prospect Park, whether after a Celebrate Brooklyn concert or aninformal frisbee game in the Long Meadow.

Why we love it: Though it doesn’t have an outdoor area, there’s something that double windsor 3says “summer” about Double Windsor. It could be all those trips to try any of the 14 rotating craft beers on tap, or to grab some food after a concert at the bandshell, or Prospect Park in spitting distance from the front door. This is the kind of place you head over to for a couple rounds after a hard run with Team in Training, or just to get your day drink on, knowing you won’t have any issues getting through their food menu.

Who to bring: Anyone who made it down to the park to hang with you beforehand. Or really, any fun group of friends who may not all know each other. The Double Windsor has a fun “the more the merrier” vibe to it with a combination of ample long, communal tables with wait service and a good standing area.

What to order: The burger. It has a reputation that precedes it as just one of the more solid burgers in the area. And of course, the sriracha honey chicken wings are probably not a bad bet.

Fun fact: Double Windsor has a trivia night the first Monday of every month, with “boozy” prizes. Given that that they’re a bar, that’s a good sign you have a chance to try some of their quality beers for free. -Eric Silver

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08/07/14 12:27pm
Photo by Sarah Gainer

Photo by Sarah Gainer

[EDITOR’S NOTE: As of September 2016, Bedford Hill no longer serves booze.]

Bedford Hill    

343 Franklin Ave. (Lexington Avenue and Greene Avenue)
Bed-Stuy
718-636-7650

 

What it is: Neighborhood coffee shop by day, relaxed spot to get a beer by night, great place to sit and read the paper in the afternoon.

Why we love it: Welcoming locals and newcomers alike, Bedford Hill provides a relaxed atmosphere in a neighborhood increasingly seen as the next big thing. Of course, even with its relaxed vibe, the bar manages to squeeze the most out of its modest size, hosting the occasional reading or dance party. Plus, its 6pm to 10pm happy hour helpfully straddles the line between when most happy hours end and late night happy hours start.

Who to bring: The candlelit bar and tables, plus the small space that’s way more cozy than cramped, translates into a great place for a relaxed date. Especially when the windows get fogged up in the winter, and give the bar a sense of romantic isolation on a cold night.

What to order: Seasonal mixed drinks, like the Sake Toddy (sake, cider and tea) will do you right, as will the full sake selection itself. If you’re feeling peckish, grab a sandwich like the pork on black bread ($9), that piles pork, daikon, shredded carrots and hoisin between two perfectly toasted slices of black bread.

Fun fact: For those of you unafraid of cream cheese experimentation (some Team Brokelyn members are terrified of it), Bedford Hill has new “weekly schmear” concoctions every week, like roasted garlic mushroom.—Dave Colon

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07/31/14 12:30pm

Mission Dolores - photo by Flickr user kliff53

Mission Dolores photo by Flickr user kliff53

Mission Dolores    

249 Fourth Ave. Park Slope 347-457-5606

What it is: This former auto shop has turned into an awesome funky bar with outdoor space that is indoor. Does that make sense? You may think not, but it is truth.

Why we love it: You can go there and get the best of both worlds having yourself an indoor/outdoor bar experience. We love their selection of drafts and the fact that the bartenders are always super chill.

Who to bring: The openness of the space lends itself to larger groups or events. However, we’ve popped in with a friend or two and had a total blast. Two pinball machines provide some fun while you’re working through the beer list.

What to order: Grab a pint of the rotating cask beer.

Fun Fact: Mission Dolores loves to update their 20 taps and one cask beer regularly. Be sure to follow their blog in order to monitor when your favorites are coming out.—Emily Berninger

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