All neighborhoods in Brooklyn have their own special charm, but there’s something really delightful about Greenpoint. Maybe it’s the way the light hits the buildings along Franklin Avenue, or the stately charm of the Astral. Maybe it’s just that it’s nice to feel like you’re close enough to the hustle and bustle of Williamsburg, but far enough away so that you don’t have to live in it, every single day. Whatever it is, Greenpoint is one of Brooklyn’s crown jewels, and a great place for a night on the town. Here’s where we’d suggest for your inaugural Greenpoint bar crawl.
Start the night off easy and slow before you venture to the far reaches of almost-Queens. Head first to Nights and Weekends, a dark little bar on that triangular slice of street where Bedford Avenue ends and Manhattan Avenue begins. Their beer list is pretty basic, but that’s because the real star of this spot is their extensive cocktail and spirits list, which is heavy on the tequila, cachaca, and mezcal. Continue to squeeze the last rays of sunshine out of summer and order one of their signature frozen specialty drinks, which are miles away from the TGIF mudslides you made at house parties in college. We like the watermelon margarita, which is sour and sweet and relatively dangerous.
Nights and Weekends – 1 Bedford Avenue
The next stop on this epic journey is No Name, which indeed has no name or label on the exterior, lending a sort of cool-kids, members only vibe to the whole situation. Once you’ve figured out where this place is, push through the unmarked wooden door and enter what is best described as a Prohibition-era lounge with some vague Chinese inspiration — a nod to their secret menu, which is a changing assortment of Asian cuisine, served in the teensy basement. This is a fantastic place to end the night, but starting it here works better, because you won’t be picking your way through the crush of humanity that hits this place late-night. Make your way to their dreamy backyard, and have a couple beers before you continue your long journey north.
No Name Bar – 597 Manhattan Avenue
At this point in your journey, you will surely want ice cream, donuts or both. Luckily, you’re within spitting distance of two great places to get these items. Van Leeuwen has a storefront nearby, so pop in and see if they have the limited edition Salted Caramel with Buffalo Trace Bourbon, and treat yourself. If the soporific effects of your watermelon margarita are starting to take hold, waddle down the block to Peter Pan Donuts, where you should eat a french cruller and drink a strong coffee.
Van Leeuwen – 632 Manhattan Avenue
Peter Pan Donuts – 727 Manhattan Avenue
By now, Manhattan Avenue is probably getting a little crowded, full of raucous adventurers who just realized that the G train isn’t running in their favor this weekend. Avoid this like the plague and cut over to Franklin Avenue, which is probably the nicest stretch of street in these parts. You’ll lose your one bookish friend at Word, but after they’ve tipsily purchased “The Bone Clocks”, head to the Moonlight Mile, a nice spot on the corner that has an impressive whiskey list, great beers and the best free jukebox this side of the Pulaski Bridge. All their drinks are great, but the most delicious by far is the RAD to the Bone, which features bourbon, honey, pixie dust and a dash of Sixpoint’s RAD, which is a low-ABV grapefruit concoction that ties the whole thing together and makes it go down nice and easy.
Word Bookstore – 126 Franklin Street
The Moonlight Mile – 200 Franklin Street
Finish off the night at tbd, a big bar with an even bigger backyard, just a little ways down Franklin Ave. It’s a nice, low-key place, with a backyard reminscient of Crown Victoria, but without the crowds and the NYU freshmen. It’s great during the day, but it’s also a wonderful place to get a nightcap and prepare yourself for the long journey back to a dollar slice and your apartment. Once you show up with whoever’s left, post up at a picnic table and toast to the end of summer, for real, this time.
tbd – 224 Franklin Street