Getting drunk with a dog is one of life’s most underrated simple pleasures. To be clear, you’re the only one getting drunk. Your dog should definitely remain sober. But your dog won’t resent you for being drunk while he or she is sober like humans do. Just another great thing about dogs.
Only thing is—while it’s easier than ever to bring your dog to dining establishments with sidewalk patios in New York City, thanks to a Health Department law that came into effect on April 14 that allows dogs there—it’s still not a rule, and probably never will be, to allow them inside where the AC usually works so that you can stop sweating for a minute. Same holds for backyards. So here are some of Brooklyn’s best bars (and one outstanding outdoor spot, for milder days) that allow you to relax maximally, out of the sun, Miller High Life in hand, and in the company of each of your friends who matter most, and by that we mean, mostly your dog.
Bushwick Country Club: Bushwick Country Club is great because it is not actually a country club. Who likes country clubs?! They have dress codes; they are expensive. Bushwick Country Club has and is neither. More importantly, those places don’t allow your dog to come inside and drink with you. But Bushwick Country Club definitely does that! So you might have thought Bushwick Country Club could not possibly get much better because it already serves a frozen drink called Plan A—so sweet you can’t taste the alcohol—and it is the honest to goodness birthplace of the liquor industry’s finest invention ever, the Pickle Back; but it does get better because you can enjoy those things, pup in tow. Is this the real life? Yes it is, at least at BCC.
618 Grand St., East Williamsburg
Battery Harris: You know what Battery Harris serves? A frozen Dark N Stormy. Good luck drinking that in less than four minutes, because you’ve just been walking all over Williamsburg and gulping this is the most effective way to achieve brain freeze, which is also the most effective way, eventually, to lower your overall body temperature. Do you also want to eat brunch while you’re at it in this hybrid indoor-outdoor bar and restaurant that is centrally located near McCarren Park, two G trains, and an L, and therefore is perfect for gathering all of your neighborhood friends? Wonderful. This can be achieved, and then you can make it better because you get to bring your dog, too, who will happily pant at your feet while it happens.
64 Frost St., Williamsburg
Lucky Dog: What if Lucky Dog didn’t allow dogs? That would be hilarious! And mean. But luckily, Lucky Dog does allow dogs, and your lucky dog, at present, is mingling with all of Williamsburg’s other lucky dogs, whose owners are slowly making their way through $6 beer pitchers, while sitting in one of Lucky Dog’s backyard’s shaded seating clusters or while sidled up next to other lucky dog owners at the bar. Here, dogs might actually be luckiest, but a close second is you, living out your dream of drinking unabashedly with lots of other dogs in public, including your favorite dog, your own.
303 Bedford Ave., Williamsburg
The Levee: A couple of years ago The Levee closed down for a moment without much explanation, and the neighborhood flipped! Luckily, the matter at hand was simply a case of expired paperwork, and after taking a month or so to make much needed updates, the bar reopened. It’s a testament to this divey, cheap watering hole’s place in the community that a bar’s temporary closing could cause such a stir, and it’s unlikely that locals will take the spacious backyard, dart boards, pool table, and excellent country jukebox for granted ever again, especially because you can enjoy them all in the company of your pup, and while enjoying another kind of wiener, a hot dog, in both vegetarian and meat varieties.
212 Berry St., Williamsburg
Cafe de la Esquina: What is better than a big, attractive, shaded, fenced-in outdoor seating area with table service awash in margaritas, huevos rancheros brunch, and guacamole? The answer is, all of these things while enjoyed in the company of dogs. Home to the world’s first and official Puppy Brunch, Café de La Esquina might be Brooklyn’s champion of dogs-plus-dining-and-drinking. We don’t believe you should really need more information than this to feel solid about bringing your dog to drink with you here. Just do it. You’ll both be pleased as punch, or margaritas, as it were.
225 Wythe Ave., Williamsburg
Three Diamond Door: Even without dogs, Three Diamond Door would be the bar that I, unequivocally, would recommend to anyone looking for a place to drink in Bushwick, let alone all of Brooklyn. There is prosecco on tap, Everyone, and a big beautiful backyard, and—crown jewel of it all—a handsome, secret back lounge where, swear to god, you will see Christopher Walken one of these days, in a silken robe, drinking Champagne just like his glory days in The Continental. But then: take this, and add dog. Bam: your fantasy just became real life.
211 Knickerbocker Ave., Bushwick
[Editor’s note: Three Diamond Door changed their policy recently; sadly, no more dogs. But you should still go and drink in their lovely back lounge and guzzle their prosecco. As a replacement, might we suggest Sunshine Laundromat: Greenpoint’s fantastic hybrid laundromat, pinball center, and bar—very dog friendly!!—all in one. 860 Manhattan Ave., Greenpoint]
Mission Dolores: Let’s bring things south here, to the border of Park Slope and Gowanus. Mission Dolores is a nice little stroll from Prospect Park. You know what happens at Prospect Park? Dogs congregate there. You know what you, a dog owner, wants to do after having congregated at Prospect Park with your dog? Keep the party going, only with beer, and still in public, with your main squeeze, Dog. So you can walk together down to Mission Dolores, where—in the airy kind of indoor/outdoor space—you can guzzle lots of cold beers while letting all of the planet’s cutest things, babies and dogs, hang out and play together while you enjoy something cold on tap. You may never want to drink anywhere else.
249 4th Ave., Park Slope
The Owl Farm: The Owl Farm is a tribute to all things great craft beer; its 9th Street storefront window opens to an enormously long, dimly lit wooden bar opposite a line of built-in rail seating—all of it welcoming to dogs. The backroom is a bit wider, so, there, your pups can scamper around a little—with a handful of tables for more intimate drinking as well as for pinball playing. The menu is 28-taps long and pays homage to national brands like Ninkasi and Left Hand, neighborhood favorites like Grimm Artisanal Ales and Other Half as well as more obscure imports from Europe and Asia. Not a beer person? Check out Owl Farm’s impressive cider lineup for a totally non-lame gluten-free experience. You’ve got a lot of drinks to get through, but, no matter, your favorite comrade is by your side.
297 9th St., Park Slope
Pine Box Rock Shop: Known for its vegan-friendly snacks, Pine Box Rock Shop is one of the pioneering bars in Bushwick’s “Morgantown,” an area right off the Morgan L that became a haven for young people who couldn’t quite afford Williamsburg. The bar’s owners Jeff and Heather Rush are Seattle transplants, and along with their partner Colin Peer, they’re dedicated to selling food and alcohol that contains no animal ingredients—which is awesome, especially because, well, dogs are very much welcome. This for, them, is a safe hang, too. Hang out with your pup while you sip delicious Bloody Marys and munch the Northwest’s finest potato chip, Tim’s Cascade.
12 Grattan St., Bushwick
Nowadays: Perhaps the title gives it away, but Nowadays is a seasonal bar that’s only open during New York’s signature humid summer months–and even then, only when it doesn’t rain. Sporting a gigantic outdoor area with colorful picnic tables and enough of a lawn for both kids and dogs to enjoy, this far Ridgewood bar is family-oriented in a way that many can’t be. Nowadays serves drinks as well as food, and also provide games, so on a sunny day in Brooklyn, there’s absolutely no reason to leave, especially, need we say once more, due to all those gorgeous dogs.
56-06 Cooper Ave., Ridgewood
Forrest Point: In possession of what is easily one of the most beautiful backyards in Brooklyn (it feels like you’re in Fern Gully!), Forrest Point has an impeccable craft cocktail menu, featuring several amazing renditions of milk punch (our favorite is the Silken Road, redolent of bourbon, lemongrass, lychee, and coconut milk), and a great food menu with snack food and more hearty fare like a delicious quinoa salad (yes, quinoa can be delicious!). Eat and drink outside under the strings of fairy lights, with your best friends and your dog, surrounded by tables fashioned from stumps and adult-sized swings. This could be the happiest place on Earth, if not in Brooklyn.
970 Flushing Ave., Bushwick
4th Down: If you ever find yourself walking out the door to watch a game, and you look back at your pup and they’re giving you a look, like, hey what about me? Well, don’t worry, 4th Down is a welcome home for both you and your pooch. You’ll find plenty of space, a selection of craft beers, and bucket deals on bottles and cans. Not to mention a TV everywhere you look, including two big projectors. If you’re lucky you might even catch a glimpse of 4th Down regular, Ben.
750 Grand St., Williamsburg
The Gibson: So let’s say you’ve been hanging with your dog at the McCarren dog run for a little while and you’re ready to enjoy a human beverage. Just mosey on over to the Gibson. You can grab a beer or any of their huge selection of whiskeys, and relax on the patio for awhile. Or, snag a spot in the front window: you can people watch on Bedford Ave., while the people passing watch, i.e., ogle your handsome dog.
108 Bedford Ave., Williamsburg
Biba: In Williamsburg—and in all of Brooklyn—it’s difficult to drink alcohol in view of the East River and the Manhattan skyline beyond it. But within the bounds of East River State Park, a beer garden that also serves smoked sausages and other sud-absorbing foods provides that service. Plus, you can also bring your dog, who will likely be happy to keep both you and the Biba dog mascot company. Before or after, you might want to avail you and your pup of the brand new East River State Park Dog Run, just a hop skip and bound away. After all that imbibing and sitting, you both could stand for some exercise.
110 Kent Ave., Williamsburg