November 20, 2017 / Brooklyn news / Go There Now

Borough of dives: A guide to Brooklyn’s best no-frills watering holes

Diving in: Sunny's Bar in Red Hook is one of several dive bars still going strong in the county of Kings.
Brooklyn Paper
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The proprietor of Boerum Hill’s Hank’s Saloon announced she will close the beloved dive bar next year because the building’s owner is ready to redevelop the property. But those who do not want to wait in line to spend $16 on novelty prostitution-themed or other fancy cocktails in the borough can still find spots that offer little more than a cheap beer, a stool, and a moment of peace after a long day. Here’s a list of Brooklyn’s best, still-operating dives, where bartenders are almost guaranteed to know your name — and do a double-take if you ask for rosé.

Boat Bar

All draft and bottled beers, along with house liquors, are $3 until 8 pm at this Carroll Gardens watering hole, where they keep the lights real dim and the fireplace nice and toasty.

[175 Smith St. between Wyckoff and Warren streets in Carroll Gardens, (718) 254–0607] Sun–Sat 5 pm–4 am.

Farrell’s Bar and Grill

Regulars of this classic Irish dive in Windsor Terrace will tell you how — back in the day — there were no stools, and women weren’t allowed past the front door. But these days, the bar is hip to both stools and women, and you’ll find both at the neighborhood staple, which is also a favorite among cops.

[215 Prospect Park West between 16th Street and Windsor Place in Windsor Terrace, (718) 788–8779] Mon-Sat 10 am–4 am, Sun 12 pm–4 am.

Gotham City Lounge

There’s nothing like this comic-book-themed Bushwick hole-in-the-wall for getting drunk on pennies — its $3 beer-shot combo features Pabst Blue Ribbon and something that’s supposed to be whiskey. The bar, which is decorated with pages from graphic novels, isn’t much bigger than the bedroom of this reporter’s Sunset Park apartment, but its owners managed to pack a pool table and a Marvel versus Capcom arcade cabinet into the tiny space.

[1293 Myrtle Ave. between Hart and Cedar streets in Bushwick, (718) 387–4182] Tue–Sun 6 pm–4 am.

High Dive

There are divier dives in Park Slope, but none of them give you free popcorn. And you can usually find a seat at the bar here, too, where you can also usually talk the bartender into switching out the $8 beer-shot combo’s whiskey for tequila — because cheap tequila is always better than cheap whiskey.

[243 5th Ave. between Carroll Street and Garfield Place in Park Slope, (718) 788–0401,] Mon–Fri 3 pm–4 am, Sat–Sun 1 pm–4 am.

Montero’s Bar and Grill

This Atlantic Avenue joint may have the world’s smallest pool table, and if you happen to go on a night when the owner is behind the bar, the place is something to see. It could be packed, but he’ll start telling a joke out of nowhere and the whole room will quiet to a hush. Also, a friend of this reporter caught Mike Myers of Austin Powers fame drinking here once. Groovy.

[73 Atlantic Ave. between Hicks and Columbia streets in Brooklyn Heights, (646) 729–4129] Mon-Tue 4 pm-4 am, Wed–Sun 12 pm–4 am.

PC’s Bar and Grill

The no-frills Bay Ridge watering hole is a dive among dives, catering to an older, after-church crowd of day drinkers. Locals convene here on Wednesdays to play league pool on a billiards table that’s seen better days, and dart boards, golf, and bowling games round out the bar’s playthings.

[7215 5th Ave. between 72nd and 73rd streets in Bay Ridge, (718) 491–2845] Sun–Sat 11 am–3 am.

Sunny’s Bar

The owner of the 127-year-old Red Hook institution recently raised more than $65,000 in order to keep its doors open for customers who continue to return for its live music and cheap beer.

[253 Conover St. between Beard and Reed streets in Red Hook, (718) 625–8211,] Mon 5 pm–2 am, Tue 4 pm–2 am, Wed–Fri 4 pm–4 am, Sat 11 am–4 am, Sun 11 am–12 am.

Wheeler’s Restaurant

This Sheepshead Bay staple is on the large end of the spectrum when it comes to dives, with spacious dining areas in the front and back. But the way it fills up on a Friday night, both areas are needed. And in addition to serving thirsty locals, Wheeler’s was once the go-to haunt of Courier Life reporters, before their office moved uptown after that publisher and this publication’s became one in the same.

[1707 Sheepshead Bay Rd. between Voorhies Avenue and Shore Parkway in Sheepshead Bay, (718) 646–9320] Sun–Sat 11 am–2 am.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at or by calling (718) 260-4505.
Updated 5:52 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Bar Expert from Sunset park says:
You left out Feeney's on 62nd street & 5th Avenue
Nov. 20, 2017, 6:09 pm

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