Fancy bars and restaurants with all sorts of sexy food and drink (Tørst, Beloved, Nights and Weekends) are all over Greenpoint these days, but let’s face it – sometimes you just want get hammered on a budget, pay homage to the neighborhood’s longtime establishments, or just check out something different and new (or old). Greenpoint definitely has no shortage of dive bars, but where to begin?
This weekend I hung out in some of these dives (a.k.a. “old man” bars) in the neighborhood and got to know them and their clientele a little better. I scoped out the drink specials, watched Jeopardy with the regulars, and relaxed in some sweet backyards. And now I present to you, along with my little rating system, some of the neighborhood’s best kept secrets:
Irene’s Pub (623 Manhattan Ave)
Despite being so centrally located, Irene’s is somewhat of a mystery. Perhaps most Greenpointers are unfamiliar with the bar’s philosophy:”it’s happy hour all the time,” which I verified as TRUTH. Irene’s prices are actually equivalent to happy hour deals, all the time – we’re talking $2 drafts and dirt-cheap mixed drinks. I repeat: all day and night long. Continue reading →
Are you thinking it is too cold to leave the hood for this NYE? Did you not make any plans but now want to do something fun (that’s me!)? The good people at Boulevard Tavern (579 Meeker Ave) have you covered!
Ring in 2013 with good friends and great fun. Boulevard Tavern’s New Years Bash is always a blast and the biggest bang for your New Years Eve buck!
No Cover: Free champaigne, free munchies, DJ Spaz, ball drop on the bigsceen! Hat and noise makers too!
<a href=”http://thegreenpointers.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/onyx1.jpg”><img src=”http://thegreenpointers.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/onyx1-225×300.jpg” alt=”" width=”225″ height=”300″ /></a> The first time I entered the newly-managed Onyx on Morgan & Nassau in Greenpoint, I heard one of the barkeeps refer to the neighborhood as Greenpoint Heights. I thought this rather fine, since the term North Brooklyn includes northern portions of Williamsburg, and we up here surrounded by Newtown Creek on two sides, the BQE to the south and the treacherous McGuinness Avenue to the west, we are in our own special paradise so many dozens of blocks from the trains. Out here where “Greenpoint” does not mean the Nassau & Greenpoint stops on the G – or only by proxy. (Someone on Yelp referred to the area as Greenpoint SewTrePla – meaning the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant, which moniker is less than wonderful.)
When we (me and my various roommates) moved to Greenpoint in 2004, we came from 156th Street in Washington Heights – and our neighborhood bar was on 80th. In Greenpoint we found a fine bar at the end of the block, at Nassau and Morgan avenues: Lyric Lounge. We patronized the place as often as our pockets allowed, but it closed within the year anyway. We were forced to Twisted, and after their demise, to Boulevard, an outpost of a watering hole beneath the crashing rushes of the BQE on Meeker Avenue.
When Lyric Lounge reopened, it was 2006, and it was called Onyx. Instead of rock and roll and some dart-boards, it was a techno-playing Polish-oriented club. And it was an appropriate place for such an establishment, really.
In early 2010 Onyx closed. In Spring 2011 it reopened under the same name (why?) but new management. Back came the rock n roll (whole albums, even) and a place to sit outside with a drink and smoke.
<a href=”http://thegreenpointers.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/onyx2.jpg”><img src=”http://thegreenpointers.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/onyx2-300×225.jpg” alt=”" width=”300″ height=”225″ /></a>The menu is surprisingly good – surprising I guess because of the ruggedness of the environs. (Boulevard’s menu, in contrast, is culled from a grill crammed into a corner in the back outside-area of the place.) Friends and I have tried Onyx’s grass-fed burgers, chicken sandwiches, mac n cheese, etc. Beers, wines, liquors. No complaints.
Given that the place is the only bar in the area (not including Connie O’s), that they have a backyard, that their happy hour includes $2 High Life, and that the burgers don’t make me feel funky, I will go here as often as they stay open.
And if we’re going to be particular enough to adopt a new handle, please, let’s go with Greenpoint Heights. Not Greenpoint SewTrePla. The mush of its pronunciation is horrible reason enough.
<span style=”color: #ff6600;”><strong>Update by Justine 8.9.11</strong></span>: I knew I spotted that Greenpoint Heights term used before – back in 2007 on <a href=”http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2007/11/01/car_toastathon_marathon_greenpoint_action_edition.php”>Curbed</a> someone used it and since then <a href=”http://www.google.com/search?q=%22Greenpoint+Heights%22″>it pops up on the blogs every so often</a>.
I received the following email from Nicole of Greenpoint and it just warms my heart to see all of the local charitable things going on around the hood this season. There’s the Toy Drive at Boulevard Tavern and at The Diamond from Sat, 12/1-Tues 12/18 they’re doing a Coat Drive/Canned Food Drive raffle where even 3rd place gets you a $50 bar tab!
We have created a NY Cares Coat Drive drop-off at the Church of the Ascension in Greenpoint to make an easy nearby drop-spot for people who wish to donate coats to this good cause. It involves nothing more than people bringing by gently-used coats and they get a tax write-off and everyone feels good and people who need coats get them.
Drop offs can be made at the Java Street entrance to Ascension Hall during the following times:
It’s 1996 and my surprise 21st birthday party is being thrown by my Dad at Teddy’s. My Dad and his best friend who’s like an uncle to me have been hanging there since Partners closed. It was a great party. Afterwards, a few of us went to JD’s on Meeker, which is now Boulevard Tavern.
That night one of the most horrific things my eyes had ever seen happened. I went into the ladies room to find my overweight and seriously unfortunate looking ex-roommate bent over the sink with my uncle’s tongue in her mouth. To this day the abuse he received from my father and I is nothing shy of torturous. It’s a small price for him to pay considering I have that vile picture in my head that will just never leave.
And damn them both for causing me to never enter JD’s or now The Boulevard Tavern because of their shenanigans.
But that should not affect you, dear reader, from enjoying the fact that their kitchen is now open and open late. And they’re also doing a toy drive.