The Knitting Factory
361 Metropolitan Avenue, Williamsburg
It's no secret that the Knitting Factory is a good place to see a band—the sound is good, you're never too far from the stage, and the wide room guarantees great sightlines wherever you stand. But if you're not really feeling a band that half your friends want to see, why waste your money on ticket a only to blab through the entire show and bug everyone around you? You know who you are, pal, and it's ok—the Knitting Factory has a place for you, too.
Besides their main show room, KF also has a front bar with no cover on the other side of a sound-proof glass wall. Here, you can grab a seat at the bar to watch a band pantomime through a set, settle into a big, cozy booth (with your fellow cheapskates and/or music-hating friends), or get a table in the front window, where you can scope out smokers and passers-by. You can comfortably sit and chat instead of shuffling around in silence during a show you'd rather not see.
And if you do hit the Knitting Factory to see a band, you'll find that the front bar is actually nice enough that you might want to come back when there isn't a show going on in the main room. They've got a bunch of beers on tap, including local selections from Brooklyn Brewery and Sixpoint, plus some organic ales, if you're into that sort of thing. Daily happy hour specials—$3 pints and $4 well drinks—run from 5 to 7pm. On Tuesdays, Lost is screened on a couple of big flat screen TVs, Wednesdays bring live acoustic performances, and DJs spin on Thursdays at 10pm. On Sundays at 9pm, SNL writer Hannibal Buress leads a cover-free comedy night.
But even with all these goings-on, it's just a friendly, no-frills bar at heart. It's a good place to know about when you're in the neighborhood and a pint, a big booth, and a friendly barkeep are all you really need.