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This might be the city that never sleeps, but if you’ve ever wandered out of your apartment during the wee small hours of a weekday, you might get the sense that it’s taking a quick nap. Not so, however, at this bar, where palm trees, nightly DJ sets, a fog machine, an outdoor patio and $9 tropical cocktails (that would be $16 anywhere else!) provide the necessary accoutrements for its main attraction: dancing. With Manhattanites drawn to the J train on Saturday nights, 3am on a Tuesday just might be the ideal time to visit.
1271 Myrtle Avenue, Bushwick.
You won’t need a designated driver to chauffeur you between multiple drinking destinations if you just stay on this booze-blessed strip. Start with martinis (they unfortunately dropped the manicures) at the glittery Beauty Bar; let it all hang loose with whiskey shots, cask beers, free popcorn and Dirty Jenga at the rowdy High Dive; and wind down with Irish Nachos (tots instead of chips) at Pork Slope.
We’ll admit we were skeptical about longtime Lower East Side dive Welcome to the Johnson’s opening up a slicker outpost in Bushwick, but this spacious new iteration feels like a laid-back homage to the original rather than an overbearing copycat. The drinks are still cheap (though they’ve got cocktails, too) and we predict that, a few years down the line, this place will have broken in nicely.
369 Troutman Street, Bushwick.
Many a Brooklyn bar has a rooftop (for how else would we stare contemplatively at the Manhattan skyline, drink in hand, thinking about our place in the world?), but none with the charm of your grandmother’s garden patio—which is impressive, considering this place is right under the BQE. Overhead strings of exposed bulbs illuminate wrought iron chairs and tables; Chinese lanterns and flowering plants decorate the walls. It’s almost as cute as its downstairs counterpart, where bargoers peruse handwritten cocktail menus on mismatched velvet furniture. We’d barf if it weren’t so damn inviting.
667 Lorimer Street, Williamsburg.
Over the past few years, we’ve noticed that once anyone discovers this odd little spot under the BQE (right across the street from McDonald’s) they’re converted into an instant lifer. A no-nonsense sports bar during the day and a free-form, strobe-lighted dance party by night during the weekends (when they bring in surprisingly good DJs), Call Box is always the right place for the end of the night.
2 Lombardy Street, Greenpoint.