Monday, July 11, 2005

Wobbly in Williamsburg

Well, I headed back to Williamsburg and made another minor dent in the numerous bars over there. I need to go a bit later in the day next time though because many of them don’t open until then. Although I didn’t make much of a dent in the bars, they made a dent in me. Once again, Bar Man failed to show the proper restraint.

637) Teddy’s Bar And Grill



I wandered down Bedford but didn’t see any bars that were open other than the ones I had been to yesterday. I stopped back into Spike Hill and the bartender said I should check out Berry Avenue, just a block away. I did and the first place that I came across was Teddy’s on the corner of 8th Street. It is an old bar with a mix of Williamsburg’s old-timers and younger, newer arrivals. Good sized wooden bar with a foot rest that is too narrow to be useful. Black metal bar chairs with black vinyl seats and backs. Two brass beer stations with nine draft beers sit on the bar. A large, ornate wood back to the bar replete with large mirrors and, for some reason, a large clock mounted dead center. A decent liquor selection and racks from which hang stemware under wooden shelves on each side. Televisions at each end of the bar and signs invite you to watch Monday night baseball games and drink discounted Brooklyn Brewery beverages. Sounds like a mighty fine idea to me.

Large windows look out onto Berry Avenue and there is a stained glass band at the top with “Peter Doelger’s Extra Beer” spelled out in gray on a pale green background. I am not sure what it means though.



Translucent white lights of varying shapes hang over the bar from the silver tin ceiling. One shelf behind the bar holds a bunch of stuff including a bust of an Indian maiden decked out in Mardi Gras gear and a colorful Mexican style box holding a few plastic skull. A big sculpted bear head glowers out over the front half of the bar. A large blackboard colorfully displays the wine selections. Lots of tables and chairs line the walls and a few pictures on the back wall round out the décor. The clock was ticking, or at least running, so I moved along.

I had a draft Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.

638) Oznot’s



A block away, still on Berry Avenue and on the corner of 9th Street was this somewhat innocent looking place. Looks can be deceiving. It is a neat little Moroccan restaurant with a small, elaborate mosaic covered bar up front. It kind of looks like there should be incense burning in here but, thankfully, there wasn’t.

Large windows and a widowed entryway look out on Berry and smaller windows look out on 9th Street. Colorful patterned tiles behind the bar with clear shelves holding a decent liquor selection. Too decent, it turns out. An array of tea boxes decorated with colorfully gowned Asian women add to the décor. Kind of Swedish modern bar chairs and smaller ones sit at the tables in this fairly small place. The floors are kind of a plain, grayish looking plywood and the wall opposite the bar is gray is well with a couple of mirrors with interesting looking figurine lights mounted on top of them.



The back wall is yellow with an oval mirror. The ceiling is yellow painted tin with a couple of arches, one brown up front and a wavy blue one in back. White globe lights hang over the bar and a few lights in differing styles hang elsewhere. A couple of interesting looking lights sit on the bar including one that looked a bit like a cross between a fan and an electric heater.

I had a bottle of Argang 2004 Stark Porter. This is from D. Carnegie & Co., a Swedish brewery. It is supposedly made from the original 1836 recipe and was very good indeed, dark, heavy, a bit of coffee and chocolate flavor. It wasn’t too strong, 5.5%, but it was big. One pint, 9 ounces. I believe. Enough to keep me there long enough to get into even more trouble. I spotted a nearly empty bottle of Metaxa, a Greek brandy that is one of my favorites. The same company also makes a good ouzo. I asked the bartender if that was all they had and she said she thought so. Well, I figured it couldn’t do me too much damage so I ordered a glass. Turns out they did have more so after I drained about half of what I was served she brought out the new bottle and topped it off. And then I had another one. The bartender, Katharine, turned out to be from Minneapolis, Bar Man’s home town.

Katharine, The Generous Bartender


Whew. It was a good combination, the beer and the brandy, but not the smartest thing to do in only your second bar of the day. The Neil Young playing on the sound system didn’t encourage me to leave either, he is one of my favorites.

639) Fada



This place was a couple of blocks away on Driggs Avenue (another good avenue for bars) and 8th Street, a French bistro with kind of a simulated tin ceramic top with a wood front but nowhere to but your feet. The walls were kind of a simulated tobacco-stained yellow, giving it that authentic look, with a bit of exposed brick. I felt like I should be smoking a cigarette. It was a nice enough place with barstools with green vinyl seats. A low partition topped with glass with etched floral designs opposite the bar separates it from the little tables against the walls.

Lily, The Charming Bartender


I couldn’t have a cigarette so I did the next best thing, I had a glass of Pernod with a bit of water.

640) Blu Lounge



Just diagonally across the street was this bar. I tried to pawn of the writing of the review to a woman sitting at the bar and was somewhat successful. What follows is what I can decipher from her notes:

The best thing about Blu is the feel (well, after the delicious flavored martinis that is). You feel like you are in a cool place. Does feel a bit like Whiskey A Go Go, love it, love it, love it.”

She wrote more but I cannot decipher it. I wonder how many flavors of martinis she had tried. We had a long rambling conversation so it was a fun stay.

My New Friends - Send Me Your Names


However my powers of observation, to say nothing of my concentration, was fading fast about this time. There is a big back room with a lounge-like look to it. Lot’s of 1950’s style pinups on the walls. There were candles on the bar and an industrial pipe sized bar rail.

Angela (Her Name I Remembered) The Bartender

I had a Tanqueray and tonic.

641) The Abbey



Well, never being one to say enough, I headed to The Abbey at 536 Driggs Avenue between 7th and 8th Streets. Several people had mentioned this place so I felt compelled to drop in. I am glad I did. This is a deep, dark place with bright red lights hanging over the bar. There is a pool table and a pinball machine in the back. It does have a medieval feeling to it. Again, I passed off my writing duties to the heavily tattooed and a work in progress bartender Nicole, aka Miss Pie.

Miss Pie, Front


Miss Pie, Back


“Good Music, Good Pool, Good People. ‘It ain’t no church.’ The oldest bar in Williamsburg reflected by the old charm and ambience. Stained glass reflects the red lights as the core of regulars and Williamsburg tourists knock back a few and chat about whatever. Late night crowd and happy hours that keep you there well into your bedtime. Come by for one and you’ll stay for one too many."

Well, I can see how it would be easy to stay for one too many, but Bar Man was already at that point when he walked in. I had a Tanqueray and tonic and just wobbled out of Williamsburg and back on home to Brooklyn. Thank goodness the subway was close.

16 comments:

brianharto said...

Bar Man - Peter Doelger was a New York Brewer in the late 1800's until prohibition. After Prohibition he moved his Brewery to Harrison, NJ. Peter Doelger Extra was the name of one of his Brews. Bar Man's readers know all!

Rochester Bar Man said...

There is a brief but interesting history of the brewery at
http://www.breweriana.com/history/historydoelger.html
- written by a direct descendant of Peter Doelger, no less!

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