Ah, summer—time to finally come out of hibernation. Unlike denizens of sun-soaked cities like L.A. and Miami, we Brooklynites actually appreciate summer. The temperature rises, the days are longer (more time for drinking!), and we rediscover the joys of living in this glorious—if sometimes infuriating—city. And what better way to soak up the summer than by reconnecting with your friends (remember them?) over drinks at one of Brooklyn’s best new bars? We surveyed the latest and greatest, from a tropical-inspired spot by Manhattan’s top cocktail gurus to the rooftop of one of the borough’s sleekest new hotels with sweeping skyline views.
Lobby Bar at the Williamsburg Hotel
96 Wythe Avenue
Wythe Avenue is officially Williamsburg’s trendiest (or at least, most expensive) street for barhopping. The Wythe Hotel is now joined by the William Vale—which boasts the neighborhood’s highest rooftop bar—and the more down-to-earth Williamsburg Hotel. What the Williamsburg Hotel’s lobby lounge lacks in skyline views, it makes up for in style. A big oval bar crowned by a multi-colored yarn installation by street artist Eric Reiger anchors the voluminous space, while horseshoe-shaped banquettes line the exposed brick perimeter. It might be the only place in Williamsburg that serves high tea complete with bite-sized financiers and mini-quiches (at least, it’s the only place I know of), but the boozy options are great too, especially the Pirata, which blends rum, sherry, all-spice, orange curaçao, and citrus. Go on a Sunday afternoon for live jazz and day drinking.
The 1 Rooftop
60 Furman Street at Brooklyn Bridge Park
Shh! Don’t tell anyone about this awesome rooftop bar, now in soft-opening mode. Dumbo’s 1 Hotel opened its doors to guests in February, but it’s been launching in phases, with a restaurant still to come. Located in a prime spot just steps from the ferry landing in Brooklyn Bridge Park, this eco-chic hotel commands the best views of Lower Manhattan’s skyline—not to mention a certain famous bridge. Now you don’t have to shell out $500 for a suite just to enjoy the views. All it’ll cost you is $16 for a cocktail (or $8 for a beer) and you can snag a lounge chair—if you can beat the crowd, that is.
1057 Atlantic Avenue
This chill bar by the cocktail experts behind Attaboy has been open since March, but now’s your first chance to enjoy its backyard and new menu of bar bites. In a departure from Attaboy’s speakeasy vibe, this 1,300-square-foot bar on the Crown Heights/Bed-Stuy border looks like a mid-century tropical paradise, with aquamarine booths, wood paneling, and palm-frond wallpaper. In the summer heat, you’ll want to guzzle the Penichillin, a frozen version of Sam Ross’s Penicillin made with scotch, lemon, honey, and ginger blended in a slushy machine.
93 South 6th Street
Though it’s technically an all-day café, not a bar, Loosie’s starts happy hour at noon with margaritas. And for freelancers, this newly opened extension of Loosie Rouge and Loosie’s Kitchen makes an excellent office away from home. It’s got plenty of natural light, an eye-catching abstract mural, banquette seating, free WiFi, and a refreshing iced matcha with cucumber in addition to the aforementioned margaritas. The only drawback is that it reverts to extra seating for Loosie’s Kitchen at 6 p.m. You can always continue the revelry at the adjacent bar, which has a more extensive cocktail menu and the kind of too-cool-for-school vibe that naturally results from the combination of a French team in a Williamsburg setting.
136 Atlantic Avenue
Like so many other East Village denizens, Elsa finally made the move across the river and is now at home in Cobble Hill—and it was worth the wait. For Elsa’s new incarnation, Home Studios—the award-winning design studio behind Alameda, Cherry Izakaya, Tørst, and myriad others—kitted the space out with luxe materials, giving it a glamorous, grown-up vibe. Custom crystal pendant lights and the steel-and-mirror backbar nod to Art Deco silhouettes, while the bulbous glass lights and brass-and-marble tables feel more of-the-moment. The cocktails are inventive but approachable, and dangerously easy to drink. If you like gin (or perhaps if don’t know you like it) try the Handsome Grandson, which blends the juniper-tinged spirit with bay leaf syrup, pomegranate, basil, lime, and soda for a more flavorful twist on a G&T. And whatever you do, don’t miss the coolest part: the bathroom, where slatted mirrors create a halo effect that just begs you to take a selfie.
Taking off soon…
Stay tuned for this one. The team behind Grand Banks is converting a 1924 schooner into an oyster boat scheduled to debut in July on the Dumbo waterfront. The menu will be similar to Grand Banks, so expect oysters and rosé.