569 Flatbush Avenue
You have been to a bar like Midwood Flats before. It’s the kind of bar with spare wood furnishings and vintage electric bulbs, the narrow space filled with high tables in the front and a couple booths in the back, chalkboards on the wall announcing a rotating crop of twenty locals beers on draft. It’s the kind of bar that serves traditional bar chow like cheese fritters and chips and dip alongside upgraded comfort food like duck torta and two kinds of lobster rolls. It’s the kind of bar where, if you walk in from a sudden downpour on a recent evening, the waitress will cluck sympathetically and tell you “Aw, sweetheart, you need a drink!” to which you will heartily agree.
In short, Midwood Flats is a gastropub in the manner of many Brooklyn establishments that bear the same description. In a neighborhood like Park Slope or Williamsburg or even a mile further north, on Franklin Avenue, it would hardly be remarkable. But in this particular stretch of Prospect Lefferts Gardens right below the Prospect Park Q stop, it’s something to get excited about. Until now, the bar options in the neighborhood came down to a handful of lounges with unpredictable hours and Lincoln Park Tavern, a decent-but-not-great pub currently in danger of closing, which serves up large, bland helpings of Mexican-American food and which seems to frequently host Evanescence karaoke. Other choices necessitate a hike up to Crown Heights, an increasingly daunting distance for a quick pint as the winter weather settles in.
Which is why on a Wednesday night, Midwood Flats was packed with locals, braving the rainy weather to sample the new bar’s offerings. The draft list, which includes offerings from Kelso, Evil Twin, and Singlecut, was decent if expensive: there wasn’t a beer on the list for less than $6. The whiskey list, which covers the entire back half of the laminated menu, offers an impressive array of bourbons. The soundtrack seemed firmly stuck in the British mope-rock spectrum. Coldplay’s “Yellow” played, by my count, three times in the hour and a half span that I stopped by. Still, if not an objectively great bar, Midwood Flats is a perfectly good place to grab a drink. It would be a find in Midtown and a shrug in Prospect Heights, but it’s a pretty solid thumbs up for the location.