It isn’t hard to find cheap booze in this city of abundant happy hours and deeply stressed citizens looking to palliate the clamor and angst of their daily lives. So a good after-work drink is about more than dollars and cents—it’s about the little things, the perks… And that’s why we love these happy hours.
113 Franklin St, Greenpoint
No one would ever call Lulu’s relaxing (skee-ball), but if you’re looking to forget the day’s troubles, half-priced drinks for five hours and a frenetic, carnival-like atmosphere is not a bad start. But the key here is the more-than-passable pizza you get for free (with drinks) after 6pm.
126 Front St, DUMBO
The happy hour itself isn’t particularly thrilling, but c’mon, the giant industrial space makes you feel like you’re in a TV version of Brooklyn (or, when the sunlight streams in, just so, like you’re drinking inside “The Tennis Court Oath”). Real talk, though: free pool puts this over the top for us, and makes us wish we were unemployed so we could spend long afternoons just whiling away our lives…
212 Berry St, Williamsburg
This will date us, but we remember (sometimes fondly) this space as the aptly named “Cokie’s,” from way back in the day. Well, it’s the Levee now, and while its happy hour isn’t all that great (a dollar off from 5-8pm), the drink specials are worth your attention (i.e. The Sportsmen Special, $4 for a can of Black Label and a shot of Evan Williams). Oh, AND DON’T FORGET THE FREE CHEESEBALLS (which is what gets them on this list).
706 Washington Ave, Prospect Heights
We’ve always loved those tricky two-a-day happy hours, the kind that lure you in for after work (4-8pm) and then seduce you just as you’re about to leave (midnight-2am). We’ve also always loved straight-up two-for-one specials (rather than mere half-price happy hours): getting two drinks at once helps you focus. For these reasons (and the TV-less space plus pigs-in-a-blanket on the menu), we love the simple pleasures of a night at Minor Arcana.
(Photo Alex Solmssen)
600 Metropolian Ave, Williamsburg
You could almost say Alligator Lounge is a Metropolitan Avenue institution at this point (we’ll say it!). Taking over a former pizza parlor, the owners decided to maintain the wood-burning oven and, you guessed it, give out pizza for free. Throw in some pool, some booths, and karaoke on weekends, and you don’t really have to leave.
298 Bedford Ave, Williamsburg
Though we generally feel underdressed and overweight at absinthe specialist Maison Premiere, we can’t really argue with dollar oysters (nearly 20 varieties!) between 4-7pm. So we won’t. (Photo Alex Solmssen)
1073 Manhattan Ave, Greenpoint
Like Maison Premiere, the Lobster Joint also has dollar oysters from 4-7pm, so that’s great. Unlike Maison Premiere, they also serve beer in pitchers, which reminds us of the old country, and makes us happy ($2 off at happy hour). (Photo Cody Swanson)
The Mark Bar
1025 Manhattan Ave, Greenpoint
If it’s a Tuesday and you want more than oysters (weird), you can just stumble down the street to the Mark Bar for pizza and cheese tastings (seriously?); if it’s not a Tuesday, you can enjoy their dangerously long-ass happy hour (2-8pm, fucking noon to 8pm on weekends). And sure, maybe we’re getting predictable with our love of free food, but how are we supposed to behave in the face of free bagels and coffee on weekends? A “Poor Man’s Speedball,” that’s how.
The Brazen Head
228 Atlantic Ave, Boerum Hill
The nice thing about this Atlantic Avenue stalwart is that every day there’s a different enticement: Monday, it’s free wings and thighs; Tuesday, all pints are $5; Wednesday, complimentary cheese (our two favorite words) and happy hour all night for DA LADIEZ; Thursday, Friday and Saturday feature a variety of deals, but then Sunday swoops in with free bagels with all the fixings. Yup, see you there.
Mullane’s Bar and Grill
71 Lafayette Ave, Fort Greene
All we’re going to say is “FREE HAPPY HOUR BUFFET.” It’s 4-7pm, Monday to Friday. We’d also say, “perfect for pre-gaming a BAM show” but really now, “drunk and bloated” is no way to take in the latest Schaubuehne.