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Open for Business: The Owl Farm Bar, 297 Ninth Street

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.

References (8)

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  • Response
    Have you considered adding some relevant links to the article? I think it will really enhance everyones understanding.
  • Response
    Response: YeXIQnle
    Open for Business: The Owl Farm Bar, 297 Ninth Street - HOME - Here's Park Slope.
  • Response
    This is a good,common sense article.Very helpful to one who is just finding the resouces about this part.It will certainly help educate me.
  • Response
    Good he needs to be off the streets, but please take that awful picture of Paris down, now after the Dr. Murray scam pic. yesterday this may not even be Paris.
  • Response
    @above me .lol Do you have another idea about my comment
  • Response
    Response: More Tips
    Open for Business: The Owl Farm Bar, 297 Ninth Street - HOME - Here's Park Slope.
  • Response
    Open for Business: The Owl Farm Bar, 297 Ninth Street - HOME - Here's Park Slope.
  • Response

Reader Comments (20)

OMG! A new bar! Incredible.
Now, let's get a new coffee lounge next door.

July 12, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterstella

Well. the Bagel Pub IS next door. Does that count under coffee lounge?

July 12, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterportie

The incessant comments about too many bars and coffee shops is so childish.

What would you have preferred here, stella?

July 12, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterlinkin

just ignore those comments that rub you the wrong way.
that's what i do with 90% of the comments here.
but really, have we turned into a community that needs two or more bars on every block?

July 12, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterstella

I'm genuinely curious what you think should go here? What is Park Slope so severely lacking that you need to comment every time someone spends their own money to open a business of their choice?

This space has been a bar for over 80 years. It's still a bar. What's the problem?

July 12, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterlinkin

And you must be new here, Stella because there were about twice as many bars in Park Slope 30 years ago as there are today.

July 12, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterlinkin

I think a bar should go here. I certainly don't want hard-working entrepreneurs to lose money by opening a business that will fail. I sometimes wonder how certain business owners arrive at the decision to open a certain-to-be-doomed business, like a frozen yogurt store or the like. And I wonder how they get financing to do such a venture. If I were a banker, I'd want a business plan with demographics and calculations designed to convince me that Park Slope needs another fro-yo place (or whatever the bad idea is). On the other hand, bars are usually very profitable, with a respectable mark-up. I have lived in Park Slope for as long as you and would respectfully suggest that your math is off a bit...there are certainly more bars now than there were in the early 80s. They are not centralized in particular spots as they were then. I'm sure there's a way to determine who is correct here: maybe a peek at an early-80s phone book. In any case, the type of bars opening now are different than those that existed then. The demographics of the neighborhood are different, particularly the Third to Sixth Ave. corridor and the South Slope. The old-time bars didn't feature microbrews and the like (actually, the selection of beers at this new joint looks pretty good). I happen to think the proliferation of bars says something about the homogenization of the neighborhood. That's not a particularly popular opinion among regular readers here, I'd guess.

July 12, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterstella

The South Slope has become a drinking destination in Brooklyn. When I walk my dog at night and overhear conversations outside Buttermilk or The Black Horse, most of the time I hear people say they live in Ft. Greene, or Ditmas Park; basically anywhere but here.

July 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSlopeLIfer

When theres no longer anything left to really complain about , its human nature to make things up. Its the trials and tribulations of the upper middle class. Blogs all over PS complaining about too much

Ice Cream/fro yo

Those are things to celebrate my friends

July 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJbob

We have too many bars, restaurants, bakeries and froyo.

Please let's get in some methodone clinics and Off track betting parlors and vacancies please!

July 12, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterlinkin

No one cares that the place looks like a loaded diaper compared to the polished, old-world wooden elegance that was Harry Boland's?

Another quality place to libate, great. Another pile of painted poop rolled in glitter, meh

July 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMr. RE

I don't have an early 1980s phone book, but I do have phone listings from 1978 and 1986 that indicate what was on Fifth and Seventh Avenues then. We can combine these listings and get some idea of how many bars there were in the early '80s on those two streets at least.


Seventh Avenue: The Gaslight Inn; Mooney's; The James (more of a restaurant?); Snooky's; The Stack of Barley; The Iron Horse; Minsky's; The Carriage House; The Mother Lode... also, what was The Spirit of Man/L'Espirit d'Homme, maybe a bar?

Fifth Avenue: O'Connor's; Jim's; Smith's Tavern; Timboo's; Sonny's Playpen Lounge; plus something called Moon's Place which sounds like it could be a bar

There would've been additional bars on 9th St. and maybe Union and/or Prospect Ave. or other side streets. Can any old-timers add anything to what I've got here?

Still, I would wager we have more bars in the neighborhood today. Fewer on Seventh Avenue perhaps, but way more on Fifth Avenue plus a bunch on Fourth Avenue, where I suspect there were none 30 years ago.

July 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJocelyn

Five Guys has been closed by health department in brooklyn heights

July 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterThomas

I know it's on montague street ,The burgers have never impressed me. They are just greasy nasty piles of meat soaking into the bun.

July 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew

What we really need are good restaurants. Fifth ave doesn't compare with smith or court street. All we have are glorified burger joints, al di la and canaille.

July 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTheodore

It really is a no frills place but whether you want another bar or not I'm glad it's occupied and not sitting empty for months like some places.

I like that Bagel Pub.

July 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEC1234

Dude! I called the Hunter S. nod and never received credit. I am now an officially grumpy commenter and will rail against all new businesses in the neighborhood. Blent!

Seriously, people, clearly some people who don't frequent bars regularly don't appreciate every new watering hole that opens when there are already plenty to go around. On the other hand, for those of us that do, more is better! This is another place to stop for a pint or two that's walkable from my apartment. So I, for one, welcome it with open arms and a healthy thirst.

July 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFelton

Great pinball machines. Well... Two out of three.

July 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterfluffleFlicker

Hope its changed from the soft opening a few weeks back. From what I know of Hunter S. Thompson he would not approve. Pretty sure they were playing top 40 indy hits and the crowd was terribly boring. Bartenders had no idea what Owl Farm meant, and I'll be damned if it wasn't full of typical 9-5 stroller yuppies.

If you're going to name it after the legend, at least make it appeal to the weird.

July 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCestan

The Sleater-Kinny bartendress is all sorts of hot.

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