You've still got time to darken the door of this dark bar.

You’ve still got time to darken the door of this dark bar.

Have a good weekend guys? Avoid being trapped by hipsters? Maybe do a little repenting? Did you go to Jackie’s Fifth Amendment expecting to have a very meaningful time because it was supposed to close Saturday? Well, we’ve got good news and bad news. The bad news is that you didn’t have a meaningful experience, because of the good news, which is that the bar is still open. For how much longer, no one knows. (more…)

09/12/13 1:36pm
The Empire Kites Back. via @brooklynkitefestival

The Empire Kites Back. via @brooklynkitefestival

1. Learn Italian, because you never know if Italy will invade and conquer us someday. Oh sure they say we’re on the same side, but you know in your heard you don’t believe that (Friday)

2. Get a cheap tattoo, because what else are you doing with all that skin on your body? (Friday)

3. Word on the street is that Hullabaloo Books is opening, so go check out what they’ve got and buy a book. Even if you’re illiterate, a book is a good decoration! (Friday) (more…)

Jackie's Fifth Amendment

Goodbye forever. Photo by Dave Colon

All good thing things end. We don’t know who made that stupid rule, but so far there hasn’t ever been a good thing that lasts forever. The latest victim of this stupid rule is Park Slope’s Jackie’s Fifth Amendment, the dive bar that staunchly remained the same as it ever had as Park Slope was inundated with children and giant strollers and yoga. Jackie’s is closing in September and we couldn’t be more upset. (more…)

Jackie's Fifth Amendment

Dive in. Photo by Dave Colon

Brooklyn bars have to be kind of nimble and light on their feet, because neighborhoods are always changing and there are a ton of bars to compete with. Even if you’re Jackie’s Fifth Amendment, best dive bar in Brooklyn, times change a little bit and you might be curious about branching out a bit. So that’s how a place that’s known more for buckets of nips and trying to secede from Park Slope came to have a literary series in their back room. (more…)

08/31/12 2:00pm
Lone Wolf in Brooklyn

Dive bars of Brooklyn, we drink to you. Lone Wolf photo by Emily Paup.

A sports bar conjures up images of chads chowing down wings and sexually harassing waitresses who laugh it off for a decent tip. Beer bars have all the brews in our solar system, and bartenders who can write you a dissertation on each one. Gay bars have jukeboxes containing only Robyn. What is a dive bar though?

It definitely shouldn’t be defined by the terrible old cliche of “a place where hipsters rub elbows with [INSERT BLUE COLLAR TROPE]” because that veers dangerously close to giving a cop or a sanitation guy mystical features. It shouldn’t be a place that is cheap above all else, because a hellhole with cheap beer is still a hellhole.

A dive bar is a place that should have cheap beer, yes, but also decent service and some sense of being permanently etched into the landscape. If it’s baffling or intimidating to newcomers, all the better. If you walk into a bar, sit down with your beer and are suddenly being lectured on the terrible decision the Rangers made to trade for goddamn Phil Esposito 40 years ago, you know you’re in the right place. Or at least I know I am. A dive bar, more than any other kind of bar, is a place that acts as a bulwark against a world that is more often completely shitty than anything else.

Some of the bars on this list have existed as bars since seemingly the beginning of time, others are new but well on their way to permanence. Several reject the slummy dive bar aesthetic for something a little snazzier. Due to the sometimes anonymous nature of the dive, this list is far from all encompassing. Still, all these spots share an edge and patrons who don’t give a fuck what you think when you walk in the door. And Brooklyn is all the better for them. — Dave Colon (more…)