If Graham Greene had been stationed in the wilds of the Gowanus, surely he would have enjoyed a gentlemanly drink at this handsome bar tucked away on an unassuming stretch of 3rd Avenue. The colonial theme is unmistakable, from the burlap-covered walls hung with drawings of exotic animals and mustachioed boxers to the antique globes and leafy green plants sitting in the front window.
When I last visited, there was nary a man with a white linen suit holding a dandyish cane. Instead, expect your usual array of 30-something creative types, who fill up the long, communal table and bar in front as classic ‘70s punk rock blares on the stereo. The bar keeps things Brooklyn when it comes to its beer selection with four different brews from local favorites like Sixpoint and Kelso on tap. Small-batch spirits from artisan distilleries should satiate any liquor snobs, while owner Edward Colley curates his small wine list with care.
Halyards also features a small, affordable menu of casual eats. Opt for the simple, pressed cheese sandwich instead of the bready slow-roasted pork sandwich; it’s cheaper and much more satisfying. You can come in as early as 8:30am for pastries and fair-trade Crop to Cup coffee, although know the bar doesn’t start serving booze until 11am, a policy that should upset only the most committed of alcoholics. It even has Wi-Fi so you can get a little work done while waiting for a socially acceptable time to get blitzed.
Stop in early and watch the bar transform. Around 6pm, it’s filled with couples and people still in their work clothes enjoying pickle and charcuterie plates in the front. As the night progresses the bar’s considerable space fills up as people filter into the many nooks and rooms hidden away in the back. Some nights, Colley’s musician friends come in to play a set, fun and folksy music from bluegrass and tin pan acts that liven up the casual atmosphere. Halyard’s has barely been open a few months and already its incredibly popular; visit soon before you’re no longer able to get a seat.