5 Brooklyn Dive Bars To Get You Through The Loss of Jackie’s 5th Amendment


  • Photo via ynotjetlag/panoramio

Yesterday, we learned that Park Slope’s dingy, perfect decades-old bar Jackie’s 5th Amendment will be closing its doors for good next month. For lack of a more eloquent way to put it, the whole thing is just awful.

It’s not for everyone all the time, but in a bar landscape littered with sweaty crowds and drinks that cost more than an actual, honest-to-god fancy meal, sometimes you just want a place where you can sit in peace and drink something cheap around people who don’t want or expect anything significant from you. And even with the loss of Jackie’s, there are still a few places in Brooklyn that fit that bill. Once the place officially shuts down in September, here’s where you should go to nurse your wounds (and a $2 mug of something watery).


  • Photo via beerinthevening

Smith’s Tavern
With Jackie’s on the way out, a lot of people are bringing up Smith’s as Park Slope’s natural successor for Lone Neighborhood Holdout, and with good reason. You can get a beer for $2 or under, the jukebox is decent, and its Yelp page is peppered with glowing reviews from locals alongside this one-off: “Had a beer here last night. There is a terrible smell here. Not sure what it is. I think the health department should come and find out. I think there is a dead animal here.” Funny as long as it doesn’t happen to you. Like most things.

440 5th Ave., Park Slope


  • Photo via ElisabethCondon

Tip Top Lounge
With plastic trays of “party mix,” a handwritten all-caps sign that reads “ABSOLUTELY NO DRUGS YOU ARE BEING WATCHED,” and cozy, slapped together backyard area, this family-owned Bed-Stuy staple more or less speaks for itself. The owners have lived in the neighborhood for decades and whether it’s with fish and chips or a James Brown cover band that occasionally stops by the place’s makeshift stage, they know how to keep a wide demographic of drinkers very, very happy. More of a feat than you’d think.

432 Franklin Ave., Bed-Stuy


  • Photo via Alex Lopez/NYCgo

The Turkey’s Nest
Probably the best-known of all these bars, and with good reason. Their giant styrofoam to-go cups of lethally strong margaritas have been a Williamsburg staple for years. Unclear how they manage to keep doing what they do without significant ramifications (and probably best not to use the bathroom if you can avoid it), but sometimes, it’s best not to ask too many questions.

94 Bedford Ave., Williamsburg


  • Photo via Google Plus

Rosemary’s Greenpoint Tavern
Another surprising Bedford Ave. holdout, this place is actually made better by the fact that it’s now down the block from places that sell things like $22 champagne cocktails. Here, the going deal is a $4, 32-oz styrofoam cup of beer, and a tendency toward excessive use of Christmas lights as decorating staple. A welcome respite from everything going on around it, to say the least.

188 Bedford Ave., Williamsburg


  • Photo via Pubcrawls

Capri Social Club
One of a couple different cheap-beer-and-dollar-jello-shot bars in Greenpoint, Capri Social Club gets extra points as the most spacious and legitimately pleasant of any of them. And, for whatever reason, Mambo No. 5 is still on their jukebox (so is “Imagine,” if you ever wanna see an entire bar clear out in 60 seconds flat on a Saturday night). Do with that information what you will.

156 Calyer St., Greenpoint


  • Photo via Offthepresses

Bonus: Sunny’s
So they’re not technically open right this minute, and this beloved Red Hook cornerstone has had plenty of well-publicized struggles recovering from the damage incurred during Hurricane Sandy. But the current word is that they are coming back to us, and are in the midst of putting final touches on their repairs. In the meantime, grab a beer nearby at equally-worthy Red Hook Bait & Tackle, and take comfort in the knowledge that not every place you love has to evaporate into the ether. At least, not right now.

Sunny’s, 253 Conover St., Red Hook
320 Van Brunt St., Red Hook

Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.


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