Six Great Spots for Outdoor Drinking
Named after the military bunkers found at Fort Tilden in the Rockaways, the sunny Williamsburg complex takes its design cues from the Caribbean. The star of the bright and breezy bar is the sprawling deck, where you can claim picnic tables and beach chairs to soak up sun while you down a frozen dark ’n’ stormy or perhaps a pitcher of Ithaca Flower Power. For sustenance, there’s jerk chicken, tofu, and calamari, plus some of the tastiest patties this side of Jamaica.
64 Frost Street, Williamsburg
This mom-and-pop outfit—owners Bill Pace and Molly Bradford live upstairs—is the platonic ideal of a neighborhood beer bar. The 16 taps dispense of-the-moment breweries (Transmitter, To Øl, Ballast Point), and the fridges are filled with bottles available to-go- or-better still, to stay and sip in the grassy backyard alongside
a DIY spread of charcuterie and cheese from Crown Finish Caves.
730 Classon Avenue, Crown Heights
Since its December debut, the Gowanus brewery and performance space has become one of our favorite hangouts, offering rotating pop-up restaurants (see pg. 64) and house-hewn IPAs, saisons, and wild yeast–spiked curiosities. They’re best out back, where an asphalt lot has been reconfigured into a verdant refuge outfitted with trees and trellises. Plant yourself at a picnic table with several pitchers and drink away the day.
333 Douglass Street, Gowanus
This former cop-car repair shop (the Crown Victoria sedan was used for police cruisers) has been converted into one of North Brooklyn’s choicest venues for outdoor imbibing. The front and back patios cover 11,000 square feet and are filled with umbrella-topped picnic tables, which are perfect perches for sipping Allagash White and Founders All Day IPA, or perhaps a Pimm’s Cup while breezes rush in off the East River. For your amusement, there’s bocce, ping-pong, and badminton, as well as Tuesday night films.
60 S. 2nd Street, Williamsburg
Superfund? Try super-fun! After your next kayak outing on the Gowanus Canal—it’s actually pretty excellent—hightail it to Lavender Lake, a former horse stable rebooted as a charmingly low-key drinkery with nicely priced drafts ($6 pints of Captain Lawrence Kölsch) and $11 cocktails like the tequila-steered Electric Funeral. Drink them in the greenery-filled 1,600-square-foot patio, which is lit up with strings of light bulbs and loaded with communal tables begging for a half dozen friends.
383 Carroll Street, Gowanus