395 Nostrand Ave., Bed-Stuy
Sasha Petraske did something good in 1999 when he opened Milk & Honey on the Lower East Side, and re-introduced an exacting cocktail to New York City drinkers. But as you know—because you live here—there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. I’ve enjoyed my fair share of nights in candle-lit booths, water spigot en suite, slurping egg-white froth off the top of my whiskey sours, too, but come to think of it, a High Life and tequila shot sound pretty great right about now.
When it comes to bars that have cropped up in New York City in the past 20 years, it’s become increasingly difficult to find ones that don’t offer more than the basics. But the main attraction at places like these, the ones high in rudiments and low in frills (RIP Daddy’s!), are the people you drink with.
And so The Corners, just three months old in Bed-Stuy, is a gift to the neighborhood for that reason. Throw out the specialty Rob Roy and Ramos Gin Fizz because I’ve got some rum punch to drink with an unspecified variety of that spirit, and I want to follow it up with a Miller Lite and well shot for $8. With that decided, I want to appreciate the simple two-tiered space, and listen to the admittedly quirky music (think funk, think slightly hokey 80s, but think, above all, about not taking any of it too seriously), and then I want my friend Chris to sidle up next to me to talk about how much we miss our friend Siobhan. Every once in a while, it’s also nice to see a friendly bartender check in to confirm we have what we need. (We do!)
There is one extra at The Corners, and it’s hidden in the very back. Twice a month, a second smaller bar is host to a comedy night, and a gathering for a charity. These distractions—jokes and giving—are forgiven.
The Corners was named for Bedford Corners, one of several neighborhoods that once composed present-day Bed-Stuy. It was also named for the idea that Bed-Stuy gathers its community and friends on its street corners to socialize. The two times I’ve visited The Corners, I’ve sat at a bar where that happens as well. For this purpose, and some basic cash-only drinking, The Corners is very well-situated.
Photos by Jane Bruce