579 Myrtle Avenue, Clinton Hill
Yesterday was one of the most brutal days I can remember in a long, long time and not just because I started out the day supremely hungover but because snow blobs rained down on the entirety of our fine borough, mocking us with their insolence, their relentlessness. Winter will not end; surrender is the only option. So it was in the face of our collective defeat at the hands of this interminable season that I headed to Moot Bar–a good 20-minute walk plus 20-minute bus ride from my comfortable abode in Bed-Stuy. After a day of hustling and working and running to and fro, I just wanted to put my feet up on a cardboard box and slam a couple of beers in silence, solitude, and partial nudity. But that was not to be.
Right around the corner from Pratt, Moot Bar joins other relative newcomers on the block such as Beast of Bourbon, a bar whose corniness I can’t emphasize enough. It’s all Guy Fieri, Friday’s, hot rods, and tech bros who think walking into a badass rock n’ roll bar with babes and guitars and BBQ will give them that requisite New York edge they felt destined to inherit after moving here from somewhere bland, like anywhere in California. The same people that patronize B.o.B. probably signed up for Monster Cycle after reading the Times’ infamous health goth article. Whenever I walk past I become flush with embarrassment inspired by the memories of that one time I hung out there.
You can imagine my fear when I heard another bar claiming to have a great beer selection had opened up down the street. What on earth was this neighborhood turning into? So I was relieved to find that Moot Bar was a pretty straight up bar’s bar, with no awkward boy-man clientele in sight—just the regular neighborhood crew and maybe a couple of Pratt kids.
And it’s true, the beer selection is fabulous; plus, it’s affordable. Grab a pint of Founder’s Dirty Bastard, Stone Cali-Belgique, Dale’s Pale Ale, or Allagash Dubbel for between $6 and $8 during regular drinking hours, and during happy hours, which daily span the seriously awesome time range of 1–7pm, it’s even cheaper. You will definitely find me day drinking here at the next opportunity I get.
On top of that, the cocktails are way better than they should have been. During my visit, there were two “house cocktails” on the menu—hot cider with a choice of bourbon or rum and cinnamon (a little on the sweet side, but still delicious) and Rosemary’s 2nd Baby, which brings together Wild Turkey, simple syrup, lemon, and rosemary for a really balanced take on a whiskey sour. I’m surprised how good these are—usually cocktails at a place like this are an afterthought, ordered only by suckers.
The bar itself is pretty small by neighborhood standards, but it never felt packed. There’s plenty of room to stretch and plenty of options to choose from besides bar seats. But really, sit at the bar because at least one of the bartenders is a beautiful, bubbly man who probably will take a shot with you if you’re nice to him. There were plenty of man-guys he took the time to bro out with, but he did not ignore or simply politely acknowledge us two nerdy ladies at the end of the bar. Rather, he chatted us up, pushed us to try new beers, and poured us complimentary shots like a true gentleman barkeep. He made us feel comfortable and welcome even when the sports-screams became slightly annoying.
Moot Bar isn’t just no frills because of their great drinks, though; there are also conveniently located, discrete phone-charging outlets (truly a necessity in this city), as well as Hot Dog Tuesdays, which is just as gross or amazing as it sounds, depending on your wiener proclivities, I suppose. If you’re a fan of said slippery pooches, then dive right in to these special days—each drink comes complete with a hot dog and fixings. See how many slick torpedo sausages you can jam into your gullet while trying to get wasted at the same time. What better way to ruin your yoga bod? You know where I’ll be on Tuesdays: Knocking back beers and glaring at Beast of Bourbon down the street and washing my winter misery away. Join me, won’t you?