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Entries in Bars (156)

Friday
Oct172014

Calexico (Finally) Gets Liquor License, Celebrating This Weekend

It's been eight long, torturous months since Calexico, an offshoot of the popular Manhattan-based Cal-Mex mini-chain, opened with much fanfare on Fifth between First and Garfield. Why torturous? Because the bar area, full of so much potential, was sitting there woefully underused due to the fact that the city hadn't yet bestowed upon it a liquor license. Well last week they finally received it, and this weekend they're celebrating.

From tonight through Sunday, the restaurant will be offering two-for-one specials on Margaritas and beer. Margaritas come both on the rocks and frozen, and in flavors including blood orange and jalapeno mint. Specialty cocktails include the Tequila Mockingbird, with basil-infused tequila, watermelon, jalapeno, agave, and lime juice, and micheladas, beers, wines, and plenty of tequilas are also available.

So nearly 2 and a half years since the owners first announced that they'd be moving into the space, they've finally come full circle. Congrats, team!

Photo via Instagram

Tuesday
Jul152014

Excelsior to Close, Looking for a New Home

The building that's been home to Excelsior, one of the area's only remaining gay bars, since 1999, has been sold, and it will be closing soon, a bartneder there confirmed.

The venerable establishment has outlasted plenty of other nearby watering holes, and along with Ginger's it's the only local one geared toward the LGBT community. While they're being forced to close, it's not due to a rent increase or the like; the building was sold and needs to be delivered vacant, and while a closing date hasn't been set yet there's a good chance that they'll be sticking around until August 31.

While they'll no longer be in the same space by the time cooler weather rolls around, they're not gone for good; the bartender told me that the owners are actively searching for a new home nearby.

Photo via Foursquare

Tuesday
May132014

Duke of Montrose Bar Loses Scottish Theme, Now Just The Montrose

Duke of Montrose, the Scottish bar that opened on the corner of 5th and Bergen last July, has rebranded: now they're just The Montrose, and they've jettisoned the Scottish theme.

When the bar opened, it had quite possibly the widest selection of Scotch whisky in the borough: nearly 200 were available, classified in a huge menu by Highlands, Lowlands, Islay, Speyside, and Islands regions. Apparently that concept wasn't working out; the owners have kept only about 15 of them and shipped the rest off to their other pub, Caledonia, on the Upper East Side.

The beer selection used to be primarily Scottish, with five Belhaven varieties. That's also been replaced with a more run-of-the-mill craft beer selection, with 15 beers on tap including Goose Island IPA, Sixpoint Sweet Action, Stone Arrogant Bastard, and three Brooklyn offerings. They're also planning on introducing a menu of burgers and other traditional pub fare in the next several weeks.

A manager told me that they were losing potential customers, especially those attending events at the Barclays Center, because they didn't stock the expected beer and liquor selection.

Scotch whisky isn't an easy liquor to get really into (enough so that you seek out brands not available at most bars), but Duke of Montrose was unique and valuable for just that reason: it specialized in something, and employees were extremely knowledgeable about it. There should be someplace in the neighborhood where you can get a glass of Bunnahabhain if you want one, and have the bartender walk you through what makes it different from a Glenfarclas. 

Thursday
May012014

Breaking: Terroir Park Slope is For Rent

 

Terroir, the outpost of the popular East Village-based mini-chain of wine bars that opened in September of 2012 in the prime corner storefront on Fifth Avenue and First Street that was last occupied by bar Great Lakes, is for rent. Many thanks to a tipster for sending over the above listing (click for a larger version).

The wine bar anchors one of the best blocks for food in the city, which also includes Calexico, Blue Ribbon, Bonnie's Grill, and Naruto Ramen. It opened with plenty of fanfare, and all signs pointed to it being a success: a great selection of wine, a small if well-curated menu, and a heck of a pedigree (chef Marco Canora and sommelier Paul Grieco are the brains behind it and the four other locations, all in Manhattan).

The listing doesn't mention monthly rent, but one can only expect that it's exorbitant. I've reached out to the owners for comment and will update if I hear back.

UPDATE: Grieco has confirmed the impending closure to Eater: "Yes, Terroir Park Slope will be closing after we find a great tenant to take over the space."

Friday
Mar212014

Loki Lounge Officially on the Market

It's been a couple months since word got around that the owners of Loki Lounge, the bar that's held down the corner of 5th Avenue and 2nd Street since 1999, were planning on seriously downsizing due to a rent increase. When I spoke with a bartender a couple weeks ago he told me that the plan was to sell off the portion of the space that's currently the bar area but hold onto the back "lounge" area and convert that remaining portion into a new bar, with an entrance on 2nd Street. That all appears to be finally underway, as Park Slope Stoop noticed that the space is currently up for rent on Craigslist.

A rep from the bar confirmed to me that the initial plan to split in half is still in place, and that Benchmark, the adjacent steakhouse with the same owners, will be remaining open as well. The space is on the market for $11,500/ month (the equivalent of 2,300 $5 well drinks), and can be turned over as-is with no key money.