Corner of Jay and Front Sts, Brooklyn
Cheapest drink: $2.50 beer at happy hour ($3 during regular times) Most expensive drink: You might pay the price if you eat the food. Overheard: “Enjoy this country sweetheart. Just don’t give the panhandlers money.”
On my way to work, I pass by what is arguably the hottest block in Dumbo — the corner of Jay and Front Streets. Not “hot” as in trendy or up-and-coming (though it probably is), but “hot” as in a baking sheet of molten steel in the summertime. Attached to this junction of desperate heat is Pedro’s, an eating and drinking establishment seemingly ripped from some East L.A. street corner. For all of Dumbo’s successful evolutions, from artist colony to yuppie outpost of modern furniture and fashion, Pedro’s proudly remains, with its disembodied booths lined up on Front Street, beckoning dry mouths with the prospect of a cold beer or even colder margarita.
Not only is the corner of Jay and Front particularly hot, it’s also the epicenter of all the noise and garbage and construction that constantly assaults the neighborhood. Hanging out at Pedro’s takes exactly one margarita before the above health-deflating distractions and smells melt away (and anywhere from 2-3 margs to really knock you on your ass). Sometimes you’ll hear traditional Latin music or the occasional blaring death metal (also good for drowning out said distractions), but either way the only bar in Dumbo with sidewalk seating is truly a great hangout, even if it appears the seats and tables have been ripped out of some dumpster behind a 1950s diner.
A bonus to hanging outside is the murals on the outside of the building. For one, you’ve got a Mexican guy in a sombrero with ammo strapped around his neck, a knife brandished in one hand with a whole baked chicken attached to it, and another knife at his side in a skull-covered holster. Sitting in a lawn chair, a cigar is clenched in his summer teeth. You’ve also got a rendition of Captain America holding maracas with a cartoon bubble that says, “Eat beans cha cha cha.” Even if it sounds crappy, given the description, these are all reasons why people love it. And you will too.