There's been a bar at 297 Ninth Street, just west of Fifth Avenue, since the 1930s. Most recently it was Harry Boland's, which sadly closed a little over a year ago. It's been brought back from the abyss, though: brothers Mike and Ben Wiley, who also own local favorites Mission Dolores and Bar Great Harry, purchased the space and turned it into a bar of their own: The Owl Farm, named after Hunter S. Thompson's Colorado compound.
The space has been transformed since its Boland days; due to water damage the back bar and most other wooden fixtures had to be removed, and the bar itself was replaced. The space is no-frills to the max: there's a long bar, a few tables, three pinball machines in the back, a couple TVs, and that's it. It has a decidedly "unfinished" look about it, as the walls behind the back bar weren't altered in any way after the wood was removed. It's dimly lit by Edison bulbs, and if the three bars that have opened in the South Slope this year (along with Skylark and The Monro) it's the starkest.
While it may take a few seconds to get accustomed to the surroundings, it'll take a bit longer to fully digest the beer menu, which is expansive and clearly the bar's centerpiece. There are 28 beers on tap, and two casks, divided according to high and low ABV in a helpful menu that gives you a little explanation of each one. The selection spans the globe, with an emphasis on American craft beers.
The bar opens at 2 PM daily, and there's a Happy Hour until 7 in which well drinks and selected beers are 2 for $5. And if you beat any of the high scores on the pinball machine, you win a free pint of your choosing.
The Owl Farm, 297 Ninth Street Brooklyn NY 11215. 718-499-4988.