5721 Fourth Avenue, Sunset Park
When the old owner sold the place a few years back, you couldn’t smoke inside anymore or stay there drinking whiskeys well past sun-up. But that was Bloomberg’s New York for you; we were just happy they kept the inside the same—and, for that matter, the outside, which is blocky with small windows, even though it has a coveted corner spot. Like the other Sunset Park bar at the top of this list, the crowd here feels made up of the last bunch of white European Catholic holdouts in this part of the neighborhood, which has otherwise become thoroughly Latino. (Or maybe they’re ringers who walk down from Bay Ridge?) One of the first times we stumbled in here, a traditional Irish song was on the jukebox but was then quickly skipped in favor of something from the Dirty Dancing soundtrack. If that doesn’t sum up the state of Brooklyn dive bars, we don’t know what will.