Thursday, October 14, 2010 at 6:27PM
Sharlene's, on Flatbush, near Seventh, has a rather long history. The current incarnation has only been open since last year, but the space has been a bar for as long as anyone can remember. First O'Reilly's, then Mooney's (which moved from Seventh Avenue in 1986 and closed in 2008), now Sharlene's, named after the owner, 37 year-old Sharlene Frank.
As it sat vacant for over a year after Mooney's closed, regulars feared what was to come, but the new owners just cleaned it up and gave it a fresh coat of paint and some new seats ("Made it less of a Blarney Stone," as one regular put it). They also added a great jukebox and a Bride of PinBot pinball machine, which was recently joined by an Addams Family machine.
Today I had a chat with Marcq Brooks, who can be found there Mondays and Thursdays from 1-8, and at Commonwealth Sunday afternoons from 3-8.
HPS: How long have you been bartending here?
Marcq: Since we opened, in May of 2009.
HPS: Did you ever visit when it was Mooney's?
Marcq: I didn't, actually. Some of my friends would come by, but it was one of those bars that I saw but never really went into. If I had known anything about it I would have gone though.
HPS: What's your favorite thing about this bar?
Marcq: My favorite thing is that the bar is so long. I really like the length of it. Lots of seating.
HPS: Can you talk a little about the happy hour here?
Marcq: Oh, it's a fun happy hour. Some places do 2-for-1; the way we do it is $3 drafts. People ask which one's the three dollar one? All of 'em. Twelve drafts, all three dollars. Everything else is a dollar off. Wine, liquor, bottled beers, and that runs from when we open at 1 PM to 7:00.
HPS: What's the strangest drink order you've ever received?
Marcq: One guy asked for a Red Stripe with a shot of Campari in it. I'd never thought of combining the two.
HPS: If you could have a drink with one person from history, who would it be?
Marcq: I think I'd want to have a drink with Emiliano Zapata. These days it doesn't happen so much where someone says "We have to change things! We have to do something!" and then go actually start this whole process. We talk about grassroots organizing, but it only goes so far. He actually took it all the way. Maybe I don't agree with all his methods, but at the same time it would be really cool to talk to him and find out exactly how he came up with this, did he think that it was possible, was he scared and think it wasn't going to work?
HPS: Are there any cocktails that you pride yourself on your ability to make?
Marcq: I like my Margaritas. I like my Martinis. I like my Manhattans a lot too.
HPS: What mixed drink is made the most frequently here?
Marcq: We sell a lot of Dark and Stormys.
HPS: I usually ask which bottle is poured from the most frequently, but everyone says Jameson's.
Marcq: Yeah, I'd agree with that. I actually drink Powers'. It's non-denominational. You got Jameson in the South, where it's Catholic, and Bushmill's in North Ireland, where it's Protestant, but Powers' is neutral. I like that.
HPS: Which bottle is poured from the least frequently?
Marcq: Clan MacGregor.
HPS: If you weren't tending bar, what other profession would you like to have?
Marcq: I'd actually like to be a photographer. I really enjoy it. Not necessarily studio photography, though. Natural things.
Sharlene's Bar, 353 Flatbush Avenue Brooklyn NY 11217. 347-350-8225.