Rock tunes are blaring while a sawdust-covered
man mounts a deer head to the barn wood walls of his country
No, this is not a day in the life of a Montana big game hunter, but hours before the Oct. 28 grand opening of Buck’s Lodge - a new honky-tonk bar that opened its antique wooden doors to bikers, NASCAR die-hards and hipsters alike.
"Think of it as Hogs & Heifers comes to Brooklyn," Buck’s Lodge owner and manager JD told GO Brooklyn, referring to the popular dive saloon in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District. "We’re going to cover the walls with hunting signs, road signs, fishing equipment, and all the country western props and paraphernalia we can find. I’m going to park my Harley right in front, so people know that bikers are welcome."
The decorating process is still in its early stages, as JD and his wife, Diane, continue to scour every flea market and thrift shop to make Buck’s a slice of kitschy Americana in Brooklyn Heights.
If anything, Buck’s Lodge deserves props for originality, as JD and Diane are still concocting outrageous games and drink specials to attract a diverse and eclectic crowd.
"We’re doing Thursday night drink specials for girls wearing cowboy boots, and a college ID night," said JD. "I wanted a mechanical bull, but it looks like those are pretty hard to get."
Mechanical bull or not, Buck’s offers an array of games and competitions such as dart tournaments, mini-golf, poker tournaments, and a "road kill chili" contest to name just a few of the attractions. The couple is still figuring out when to throw line dancing and karaoke into the mix.
Nestled in between the coffeehouse cultures of Brooklyn Heights and Cobble Hill, JD hopes Buck’s will offer an alternative for anyone looking to have some old-fashioned fun.
"Along with all the games, we want to be known for our wild drink specials and theme nights," explained JD. "This isn’t just a country saloon, it’s a great spot to watch NFL and sports, to participate in whiskey tastings, and to go to happy hour."
Some of these themed specials include "3 F’in Mondays" (for those not hip to Buck’s slang, that’s "free food football Mondays"), when appetizers like "road kill hot dogs," "critter wings" or "crack house chili" are served.
Whiskey mixed drinks are the specialty on Tuesday nights, when all libations and shots are $1.50 off. JD recommends "Moose Buzz," "Whistlin’ Dixie," "White Trash" or "Red Neck," all drinks ranging between $6 and $8 before the discount. On Wednesday nights, Buck’s offers $1.50 off all bourbon drinks, when you might want to try the "Bourbon Peach Cobbler," a "Brooklyn Roadhouse" an "Elmer Fudd Cooler" or a "Daisy Puke," which are also $6-$8 before the discount. (For the hesitant, a "Daisy Puke" is a mix of bourbon, lemon juice, simple syrup, Cointreau and soda.)
They say there’s nothing better to cure Saturday’s hangover than the hair of the dog that bit you, so on Sundays, from 1 to 4 pm, Buck’s offers Bloody Buck’s Liquid Brunch, where $12 will buy you all-you-can-drink Bloody Mary’s and do-it-yourself bagels.
So how does an Italian-American native of Carroll Gardens come about opening up a honky-tonk lodge? It turns out that it’s JD’s spouse who has honky-tonk in her genes. Diane grew up on her family’s ranch in Lake Hughes, California, where she passed the time branding horses, riding tractors and hanging around bikers. When she envisioned a country-western themed bar, she called upon JD who has a background in interior design and furniture design.
Together, JD and Diane have handcrafted the entire lodge from the antique distressed wood walls and sawdust-covered floors, to the drinks specials.
Although open for business, Buck’s is still a work-in-progress, as can be seen from the walls that are still quite bare and the outdoor beer garden that has yet to be covered for winter use.
"Hopefully we can get these things as soon as possible, but it’s difficult because I’m the only one fixing this place up," said JD. With or without the fourth deer head that JD promised will be arriving soon, Buck’s Lodge is bound to bring a different tune to Brooklyn Heights.
Just don’t forget your cowboy boots, ladies.
Buck’s Lodge is located at 145 Atlantic
Ave. at Clinton Street in Brooklyn Heights. It is open Monday
through Thursday, from 4 pm to 2 am; Fridays, 4 pm to 4 am; Saturdays,
from 1 pm to 4 am; and Sundays, from 1 pm to 2 am. Hours are
subject to change for sports events. For more information, contact
Buck’s Lounge at (718) 624-7658, or send an e-mail to buckslodge