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Entries in Bars (165)

Thursday
Aug082013

Big Changes at Pork Slope

Pork Slope has changed in some not-so-subtle ways since it first opened almost exactly a year ago: the menu has expanded to include burritos and jettisoned unpopular items like the Chicago dog and country ham, prices have gone up a bit, and table service has replaced the awkward "order at the back" system. But within the past week they've made some of the first real physical changes to the space: the pool table has been replaced with extra seating, video games have been brought in, the giant Pabst sign has been moved, and an alcoholic slushie machine has been added to the mix.

The back area used to be dominated by a pool table, which would often remain unused while diners clamored for somewhere to sit (and would serve as a gathering place for kids). By getting rid of the pool table, they've created room for more than 20 additional diners, and to satisfy those who still need something to play a Big Buck Hunter and an arcade game table with a handful of old-school video games have been added to the mix. Additionally, the giant Pabst sign that dominated the back room along with the pool table has also been moved to the less-visible right wall.

The board that used to display the menu has also been cleared, and has been converted into a calendar. Weekly events already include a crab boil every Wednesday until the end of the summer, Burger & The Beast Mondays (where $10 gets you a burger, a side, and a can of beer), and bingo every Sunday.

Finally, a slushie machine has been added to the bar, but this isn't your average margarita maker: it's from the popular truck Kelvin Natural Slush Company, and serves up an addictive Arnold Palmer mixed with overproof rum.

Pork Slope hasn't been afraid to adapt and change as needed, and there's not much to compain about with these most recent tweaks to the formula.

Wednesday
Jul312013

Open for Business: Duke of Montrose Bar, 47 Fifth Avenue

Park Slope's newest bar, Duke of Montrose, opened last night on the corner of Fifth and Bergen, in the space vacated last June by Trade Winds Furniture. It's a full-on Scottish pub, with a giant selection of Scotch whiskys, Scottish beers, and soon, Scottish food.

Owners Michael Ferrie (from Dundee, Scotland) and Steven Owen also own Caledonia Scottish Pub on the Upper East Side and the 7 month-old Isle of Skye in Williamsburg, and the drink selection is nearly identical: a whisky menu divided into Highlands, Lowlands, Islay, Speyside, and Islands sections, boasting nearly 200 varieties like Glengarioch, Glendronach, Ledaig, Bunnahabhain, and Glenfarclas that are all but impossible to find elsewhere in the city. They start at about 8 bucks and top out at around 40. There are also brief Blended, American, and Irish ("Something for the ladies") selections.

Beers, which average six or seven dollars, include five Belhaven varieties (Lager, Ale, Stout, IPA, Twisted Thistle, and Wee Heavy), Innis & Gunn, and Old Golden Hen, also selections that you'd be hard-pressed to find on tap elsewhere. Also on the menu are cocktails that make use of those whiskys, like an Old Fashioned with Bowmore Legend ($12) and a Rob Roy with Auchentoshan Classic ($11). There are also 5 red wines by the glass ($8-13) and six white wines by the glass ($8-15).

Ferrie told me that a Happy Hour is in the works but hasn't been settled upon yet, and a menu will soon be rolled out that includes shepherd's pie, burgers, and possibly haggis. Brunch is also being planned.

It's a sleek space, with nearly floor-to-ceiling windows looking out onto the corner, walls and floor of black stone, and a ceiling of light wood slats artfully arranged into a unique design. There are 15 seats at the bar, an additional 15 window seats, and additional seating for about 10 (but something tells me that this number will increase). There's a small upstairs loft overlooking the room that seats about 10 (and can double as a great VIP area, should the need arise), and a bi-level basement that will soon be home to a whisky library and private party room.

They'll be open from 4 p.m. to 4 a.m. during the week, and from noon to 4 during the weekend.

Something tells me that this bar will have no trouble pulling in the crowds. Its proximity to the arena and prime location on the avenue will keep it full on event nights, its unique selection of drinks and stylish layout helps to differentiate it from other bars in the area, and its overall approach, knowledgeable staff, and unpretentious vibe will most likely make it a regular hangout for locals as well.

Duke of Montrose, 47 5th Avenue brooklyn NY 11217. 212-879-0402.

Thursday
Jul252013

Seventh Avenue's Bar 4 To Close August 15th

Bar 4, one of the only full-on bars on all of Seventh Avenue, will be closing after 14 years on the corner of 15th Street on August 15th, according to a post on their website.

the bar opened back in 1999, when Seventh Avenue was a bit more ragtag than it is now, to say the least. The bar was best known for its live music, which isn't a real moneymaker thee days. That said, it was a good spot for local musicians to showcase their talents, and with its couches it had a low-key vibe that resembled that of a coffee shop more than a bar, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

With its closing, Seventh Avenue is now left with only the Old Carriage Inn, which could use a visit from the Bar Rescue crew, as its only full-scale bar. Meanwhile, Fifth Avenue is chock full of just about every type of bar you can imagine. No reason for the closure is given, but I wouldn't be surprised if it has to do with people just not associating Seventh Avenue with a place to barhop, and the fact that it opens at 6 PM every day (even weekends) and is cash-only certainly didn't work in its favor. It did foster a community, though, and had plenty of regulars.

Photo via Uplup

Thursday
Jul182013

Flatbush Avenue's Kemistry Lounge Denied Liquor License

It's not easy to open a nightclub on Flatbush Avenue these days.

Kemistry, a combination restaurant/lounge, has been in the works at 260 Flatbush Avenue (between St. Marks and Prospect) for about a year and a half now, with plans to offer bottle service, late-night live music, and an emergency exit on tree-lined Prospect Place. They've repeatedly been hamstrung by refusing to negotiate with community groups, and Wednesday afternoon the New York State Liquor Authority rejected its liquor license application.

This latest blow came as the panel decided that the lounge "would not serve the best interests of the community," according to Patch, even though owner James Brown vowed to cut off liquor bottle service an hour before closing and said that he's cutting ties with business partner Leonard Bartletto, who was arrested in March for selling marijuana.

There were still some major issues, however; namely, the entire premise of the lounge. There were some major comprimises put in place when the Barclays Center was negotiating their license, and the panel saw the same exact issues (namely, the late-night sale of booze) arising in this case. They also believe that folks will head over to the lounge after leaving events at Barclays.

So what's next for Kemistry? "Kemistry's lawyer Jerome Sussman said he and his client would consider next steps after they receive an official notice from the SLA outlining the exact reasons for the rejection of the liquor license," according to DNAinfo.

Photo via PS Stoop.

Thursday
Jun272013

Checking In on Duke of Montrose, In the Works on Fifth And Bergen

Duke of Montrose, a high-end Scottish whisky bar that’s been in the works on the corner of Fifth and Bergen since September of last year in the space that was last occupied by furniture store Trade Winds, was supposed to open last winter. That obviously didn’t happen, but construction has really picked up recently.

The old sign has been removed (revealing a “Headquarters for Holiday Poultry” sign for the former Jaime’s Meat Market beneath it), and the storefront has been replaced with one that’s floor-to-ceiling glass.

Inside, there’s some interesting wood décor going on all along the upper left wall and along the stairwell that leads up the a tiny second floor area (DJ booth?). There’s obviously still a ways to go, but the final product should start shaping up very soon. 

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