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Know Your Bartender: Ralph Andradez, 4th Avenue Pub

If there's a formula behind solid neighborhood bars, 4th Avenue Pub, on Fourth between St. Marks and Bergen, hits the nail right on the head. Not only is the space comfortable, with a laid back, unpretentious vibe, plenty of seating, and a great backyard, there's a rotating selection of 27 draughts, mostly from small domestic microbreweries, the bartenders and regulars are friendly and conversational, and to top it all off, there's free popcorn and specials for just about every holiday (drop by tomorrow and you'll find free corned beef and cabbage for St. Patty's Day).

A group of four friends started the bar up in November 2006. One of them, Ralph Andradez, used to run The Mule Cafe, right across the street, and can be found behind the bar nearly every day.

HPS: What's your favorite thing about this bar?

Ralph: It's definitely the people. They're all from the neighborhood. I'm pretty much just hanging out with my friends all day, bartending. We know just about everyone who comes in. 

HPS: Can you talk a little about the Happy Hour?

Ralph: Sure, it's two dollars off everything, from 3-8 Monday through Friday, then Saturdays and Sundays we have four dollar Bloody Marys.

HPS: What's the strangest drink order that you've ever received? 

Ralph: Tequila and milk. A guy comes in all the time, actually, and that's his drink.

HPS: If you could have a drink with one person from history, who would it be?

Ralph: For me, it'd be a three-way tie between Joe Strummer, Carl Sagan, and Nietzche. 

HPS: Are there any cocktails that you make that you pride yourself on?

Ralph: I think I make a good Manhattan. Our summer drink is called the K-Bomb, and people tend to like that. It's got Stoli Razz, Stoli Vanilla, sour mix, cranberry, and St. Germain.

HPS: What mixed drink is made the most frequently here?

Ralph: I'd say vodka sodas and gin and tonics. We serve mostly beer, though.

HPS: And are there any bottles back there that you've never touched?

Ralph: I think we've had the same bottle of Campari since we opened.

HPS: If you weren't running a bar, what other professions would you be interested in?

Ralph: I was actually about to go to grad school for philosophy when the offer came up to jump on board here. If I'd done that, I'd probably be a couple hundred thousand dollars in debt and tending bar somewhere else!

4th Avenue Pub, 76 Fourth Avenue Brooklyn NY 11217. 718-643-2273. Open from 3 on weekdays, 1 on weekends.

Reader Comments (2)

Ralph is awesome! Seriously one of the best bartenders I know - totally cool and calm, and can take care of a frenzied, packed bar with style. I miss 4AP.

March 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDenis Hurley

Yay Ralph!

March 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca

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