Rye oh rye?! Cobble Hill whiskey joint Char No. 4 is closing

for The Brooklyn Paper
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Talk about low spirits!

Popular Smith Street whiskey joint Char No. 4 announced Thursday that it will mix its last Manhattan next weekend, leaving many locals mourning their favorite neighborhood hangout.

“I’ll miss this place. I’m going to miss the people — the bartenders, the manager. That’s what makes this place awesome,” said Claudine Z., one of many Char-flies who gathered at the Cobble Hill tavern on Thursday night to pay their respects. “This is my people. This is where we come. I don’t know where we’re going to go now.”

Owner Sean Josephs sent out an e-mail on July 2 announcing the restaurant’s impending closure on Sunday, July 12 and thanking patrons for their support since the bar opened in 2008.

“We have had an amazing seven years in business during which time we have made so many great friends and served our share of bourbon and smoked meat, which I’d like to think has made for a lot of happy people,” Josephs said.

Josephs did not say why the bar was closing, and no one at the restaurant answered calls, but regulars said it did not seem like the venue was struggling for business.

“This place is always packed,” said Richard Chamblin of Prospect Lefferts Gardens, who added that the meatery is his favorite place in Brooklyn. “My wife and I come here for brunch and for date night.”

The saloon is best known for its extensive menus of American whiskeys and smoked meat dishes. The Brooklyn Paper famously reported in 2012 on a 24-year-old bottle of Martin Mills bourbon that the bar was serving for $100 a sip. At the time, no one had ever ordered a drop, but the bottle is almost certainly empty now — the venue was selling all its old and rare whiskeys for $6 an ounce on Thursday night, and by 9 pm, patrons had drunk the top-shelf tipples almost completely dry.

The drop-and-chop-house will serve a limited bill of fare for its final 10 days in business, featuring long-time favorites and some of its most successful specials, according to Josephs’ e-mail.

— On-the-scene reporting by Bill Roundy

Char No. 4 [196 Smith St. between Warren and Baltic streets in Cobble Hill, (718) 643–2106,].

Reach deputy editor Ruth Brown at or by calling (718) 260–9309. Follow her at
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Small biz owner sick of this bs from Brooklyn says:
These local businesses get hit up by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce who does nothing for them but take membership dues. Then if they are popular they get hit up for membership by NYC&Company which does nothing for the businesses Then you got the clueless staff at NYC Small business services where the staff have never operated a lemonade stand before, it's pathetic.
July 3, 2015, 10:14 am
Tyler from pps says:
Only two reasons... either the owners have decided to do something else or their rent has been jacked up and running a business there is either impossible or unappealing.

I hope it's just a new venture -- the latter has become sadly too common. A local (always busy) pizza place in Flatbush decided to close when their landlord *doubled* the rent when their lease expired. Building is now vacant producing $0 in rent.
July 3, 2015, 2:01 pm

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