This is the fourth in our series on the venues featured in the Brooklyn Beer Book. Today’s spotlighted establishment is The Bell House, the Gowanus bar and music venue best known for live music, comedy shows and other events events including the Connect 4 championship featured in a fancy video produced by Rob Blatt and hosted by Brokelyn’s very own Beth Hoyt(left). Check it out after the jump.
What it is: In the back, a great venue for rock shows and comedy fests, in the front room, comfy couches and 12 taps. Why we love it: It’s that rare event space that even feels inviting when there’s nothing going on. Who to bring: An old friend you haven’t seen in eight years—or a new friend you want to see more of. What to order: Dub pies and Kentucky beer cheese. When you’re done with your beer, trade up to a cocktail. Bell House fun fact #1: Whoever wrote the drink descriptions is a genius. The bourbon-and-ginger-ale Tighten Up cocktail is “Like a wedding vow whispered only to you under a willow tree … by a stranger … holding a Louisville Slugger.” Bell House fun fact #2: The world’s largest Connect 4 board was officially documented at this bar. Watch the video here. (more…)
Keith, the big winner, warming up. (Sorry you look kinda weird in this photo dude but we're not so good with the red-eye-removal tool).
If you were there, then you may recall the chill in the room as Keith Sanders, from his spot in front of the World’s Largest Connect Four board, beat fiction blogger Constantine Markides in a slick five moves during Game 2 of the Connect Four championship last night. The masses chanted, they wanted more, perhaps there was a way! But there was no doubting Constantine’s fate, when—ten moves later—Keith became the winner of the World’s Largest Connect Four Tournament, and with it, a $200 prize. It happened last night, Nov. 24, 11:15 p.m., at the Bell House.
It all comes down to this: 11/24, 8 p.m., The Bell House. Weeks One, Two, and Three brought on a round of champs who will all compete tonight. But only one will leave with a million dollars, a new car and the golden checker. Or, at the very least, $200 and major pride.
And guess what? For those of you us who lost the last three weeks, there’s ONE MORE CHANCE to win! The Bell House is opening up one last chance at qualifiers tonight from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. for anyone 21+ to come down and try one last time at getting into the finals. (more…)
The author two weeks ago. How far she's fallen. Photo by Eric Reichbaum
Listen, I lost. I lost pretty bad. Not only did I lose in the competition, but also in the practice round and in the “fun” rounds after. But… Amber won! Remember her from rounds one and two? Amber won, and my partner, Rob—he was a sweetie.
I arrived at Bell House and went up to the podium to pay my $3 and get placed with my randomly-selected defeater opponent. This week, though, the registration chick kind of just said, “play whoever you want.” I took out my wallet, and the bartender, Mitch, said “you shouldn’t even waste your money.” “Why? Are there no more singles?” I asked. “No,” Mitch replied. “I just remember you. You keep losing, right?” The evening was starting out just great. (more…)
The author, bracing for battle. Photos by Eric Reichbaum.
The World Series is at 3-2. Brett Favre just beat his old teammates on their home turf. And last night, 18 people saw victory over a seven-column, six-row vertically-suspended grid. The “game” we now refer to as Connect Four is centuries old, when Captain Hook used to play it so often with his fellow mates it was coined “Captain’s Mistress.” Well, last night was surely an affair to remember.
The checkers are no longer red and black like the Milton Bradley version most of us remember from our youth. They are now a cheery red and yellow. The Grid isn’t yellow anymore, it’s blue. Get over it, because it’s over you. The rules haven’t changed—get four of your color in a row, whether it be vertical, horizontal or diagonal. Let your opponent do so and you lose.
At the Bell House around 6:30 p.m., 40 challengers gathered to play practice rounds and scope out their competition before the real rounds began at 7. Heather D, the coordinator of the tournament, insisted that I enter. It suddenly became more than just a “blog post” to me. I was going to win this bitch. The last time a Connect Four board was in front of me I was being baby-sat—but last night no one was looking out for me. (more…)
Connect Four, the seemingly-simple, ambiguously-named pastime of dropping checker-like pieces into little yellow slots, is about to be vaulted to the competitive level of a major-league sport. Drop into the Bell House (149 7th St.) tomorrow night, November 3, for round one of the self-proclaimed, yet not-to-be-downplayed “World’s Biggest Connect Four Championship.” Tomorrow is the first of four weekly tournament rounds that will culminate in one master of connectivity being named “Connect Four Champion of Brooklyn” on November 24. Just imagine the excitement: four evenings, the ruthless, fast-paced fusion of basketball, checkers… and beer. (more…)