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6 Best Bars in Brooklyn

The most heavily populated borough of New York City, boasting nearly 3 million permanent residents in the last census a couple of years ago, Brooklyn, which directly abuts the borough of Queens at the southwestern end of Long Island, is a famed neighborhood that is very important to the overall culture of the Big Apple, with many famous movies, books and plays having been made about its people, history and traditions.

Once viewed as a rundown and rather shabby area, Brooklyn has experienced a bit of a renaissance in the first couple of decades of the 21st century, becoming a popular region for the city’s younger hipster crowd.  With this recent renaissance, many of the area’s bars, lounges, pubs and nightclubs have received a total face lift, while others have stuck to their roots as popular dive bars for the local crowd.

In the following article we will highlight several of Brooklyn’s most well liked bars, pubs, lounges and nightspots, including a sweeping, yet comprehensive description of each of these fun drinking spots—the typical crowd, types of music, characteristics and amenities.

June Wine Bar

Located in the Cobble Hill section of Brooklyn, New York, the June Wine Bar was recently named the Best Wine Bar in the city by a local vote that was published in that region’s most popular daily periodical.  With a layout and clientele that may seem a bit out of place in the rough and tumble borough of Brooklyn, the June Wine Bar truly shines as a relaxing, fun hangout.

In addition to its excellent natural wine list of dry whites and bold reds, with selections from around the world, the June Wine Bar boasts a magnificent menu of inventive cocktails, small plates of food that are reminiscent of a tapas bar, and a simple, yet gorgeous space that is spacious and elegantly furnished and designed.  Its customers range from seasoned wine connoisseurs to newbie tasters, and the friendly pourers and servers ensure that everyone who visits here feels welcome and comfortable.

Maison Premiere

If you head over to 298 Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn, you’ll find the upscale bar known as the Maison Premiere. This French-themed bar, which pays homage to the glory days of gay Paris, is a wonderful place to relax and unwind, a bar featuring soft and very private booths and a sleek bar area that seats 20-25 customers.

In addition to Maison Premiere’s terrific wine list and well crafted cocktails, guests can snack on a variety of oyster and absinthe pairings that are simply too delicious to miss.  In fact, the bar is home to the “world’s most accurate working replica” of the absinthe fountain from the renowned Olde Absinthe House in New Orleans.  A great place at which to meet friends for a pre-dinner drink, Maison Premiere delivers on all levels.

Erv’s on Beckman

As its name indicates, Erv’s on Beckman is a bar located at 2122 Beckman Street in Brooklyn.  It is perhaps best known for its terrific collection of homemade, intricately infused cocktails that are tasty and reasonably priced.  The bar is tucked away on a little corner near the region’s Prospect Park stop on the city’s Q train, making it very convenient to get to.

Erv’s on Beckman is open 7 days a week from noon until Midnight, with extended nighttime hours on weekends and some holidays (like Cinco de Mayo and Saint Patrick’s Day).

Hot Bird

Those looking for a romantic drinking spot, a place, perhaps, for a first date or anniversary, should head to Brooklyn’s Hot Bird bar, located at 825 Atlantic Avenue in the Prospect Heights region of the borough.  With dim lighting and candlelit tables the bar is a great place to enjoy a glass or decanter of sparkling wine, ice cold beer or a signature cocktail, all while taking in some much coveted privacy that is difficult to find at other drinking establishments.

The Hot Bird boasts a number of comfortable two person booths, as well as large tables that are able to accommodate bigger groups.  The space is sparsely, yet classily decorated, and the bartenders are well-dressed and very professional.  An outdoor drinking area in the back consists of large and small picnic tables, as well as a few comfortable chaise-style seats encircling a romantic fire pit that are perfect for getting to know someone new.

Tooker Alley

An interesting bar to say the least, Tooker Alley is fashioned after Chicago’s historic and renowned “Dil Pickle Club,” a mostly secret drinking locale and cultural meeting spot that, at the time of its opening, went far beyond your prototypical speakeasy of the 1920s and 1930s in terms of layout, characteristics and service.  Known for its classic—and now modern—cocktail menu, with drink choices that give a nod to the original founders of the aforementioned Dil Pickle Club, the bar is a fun place to go when you long for something different and unique.

Tooker Alley consistently hosts scores of after-work locals as part of its sizeable clientele, but the bar truly comes alive on the weekend nights, when both younger and older couples arrive to drink, talk and enjoy each other’s company amid the DJ-supplied music that spans many different genres.

Boobie Trap

The Boobie Trap is a (mostly) theme bar that all visitors to Brooklyn should experience at least once.  Located at 308 Bleecker Street, and bearing a name that sounds more like a gentleman’s club than a bar, the Boobie Trap, located in the borough’s Bushwick district, offers a number of fun games and diversions, and several televisions that keep customers coming back for more.

In addition to great draught beer, a fabulous wine list and magnificent homemade cocktails, the Boobie Trap entertains guests with special theme nights that range from “Wacky Board Game Night” to “Trivia Test Thursdays,” as well as “Ladies’ Night” and Karaoke sing-alongs.

There is always something happening at this raucous and entertaining bar, where the décor is kitschy, the drinks are reasonable and the crowd is perpetually in a good mood.

Brooklyn Bridge by Unsplash/Pixabay CC0 license

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