Help us find Brooklyn’s best birthday bars

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Bembe, photo by Francois V.

When it comes to birthdays, is there any brokester tradition more time-honored than inviting your friends to a bar? You don’t have to reach for your wallet all night, nor host a crowd in the foyer you call a living room. Plus you can get filthy drunk knowing that someone will get you home safely, and, in all likelihood, pay for the cab. Since the birthday bar is a perennial question (help us out florists, do we mean annual here?) we turned to our Facebook fans and Twitter followers for wisdom. And what a font they were. First, the Facebookers.

FBer David Koeppel gives the edge to Barcade (seconded by Joe Chacon), where the main draws are a long list of  frothy microbrews and old-school arcade games like Ms. Pacman and Arkanoid, but he also suggests Zombie Hut, the Carroll Gardens tropical spot where you can sip frozen drinks from a flaming bowl, or the Brooklyn Ale House, which might be better for the day after your birthday (get $5 cocktails with limitless bagels and cream cheese during Sunday’s hangover brunch).

FB dude Mike Borriello suggests Draft Barn, best known for its wide-ranging brew list, along with beer-drenched, deep-fried croutons that some consider Brooklyn’s best alcohol absorption devices. Alyssa Ginger Benson (How cool are we for having someone with that name as a fan?) chimes in with Soda Bar in Prospect Heights, where happy hour is a very happy seven hours (12-7) and the back room is prime for dancing. Christine Siracusa thinks highly of Sycamore, the quaint bar/flower shop in DP—host your party here and you may wake up to a beautiful bouquet one of your friends sent you stumbling home with.

Zombie Hut, by Lindsay Buckley.
Zombie Hut, by Lindsay Buckley.

Our Twitter friends also had loads of fun ideas: @erinmulrooney loves Bembe (and so do we!—it’s on the smaller side but that never stops the full-fledged dance parties). Another nod, this one from @loungeaxe, went to the 4th Ave. Pub, a great spot with 61 beers on tap, a short jaunt away from the the ginormous Atlantic Avenue subway hub. @margiavita says we must try the South Side Fizz at Clover Club. Although, at $12 a pop, make sure to invite some Brownstoner readers to your party.

Speaking of places where it’s best to let someone else pay, @feeaxilla suggests Sidecar where you can nosh on fried chicken, swig a classic cocktail like a gimlet, and create your own party mix, courtesy of a jukebox. 12th St. Bar & Grill also got a mention. While the dining room is on the snazzy side, birthday guys and girls are free to let loose near the bar.

So which bars have our Facebook fans and Twitter followers missed? We thank them all for a great start, but we’re feeling greedy, and yet somehow generous as well. We want more. So post your picks here, in the comments section, and we’ll randomly choose three birthday-bar suggesters to receive our new, never-before-seen, black-white-and-grey Brokelyn t-shirts, a snazzy birthday look if ever there was one.


  1. flatbush farm is a great birthday bar – you can take over the benches in the back, or the backyard if you were lucky enough to be born in a warm weather month. good bar food, good drinks (everyone seems to love their dark & stormy).

  2. the dirty basement of Park Slope Ale House. What with the great beer, awesome bartender and buffalo calamari (Oh, yes they did), it’s the best night ever!

  3. Sharlene’s Bar on Flatbush (formerly Mooney’s): great space for groups, decent jukebox, good beers on tap, close to trains, plus Sharlene behind the bar!

  4. i’ve been to many a fab birthday at pacific standard (82 4th ave). the staff is great, the back room is second to none for pizza/cake friendly socializing, they have ice cream sandwiches, and it’s close to atlantic so it’s easy to get to.

  5. Bushwick Country Club in williamsburg – if you bring 15+ friends you can drink for free on your birthday! i’ve done it twice and it was fun.

  6. Loki Lounge on 5th Avenue and 2nd Street, Park Slope has an excellent backroom (seats 25) with comfy sofas, a pool table, and a weekday happy hour of $3 draft pints(12 beers) and $2 Miller/Bud bottle.
    Hi Dive on 5th Avenue and Carroll Street, Park Slope has a good backroom, an open air patio, a free popcorn making machine, and $2 draft Miller Hi-Life pints. Both book special events there especially birthday parties. Both attract a quiet, easy going bar clientele.

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