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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.

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Reader Comments (75)

"Something for the ladies" ? Ouch. Some of us ladies love whiskey and know our single malts.

July 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSnotty

Hard to believe they got away without any construction permits displayed in the windows during their renovations. I'm surprised a competitor didn't rat em out.

July 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCrack Head

I guess it wasn't a DJ booth after all...

July 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFelton

You beat me to the comment on the DJ Booth Felton.

July 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBaDaBing

Double ouch on the "something for the ladies" bit. Really? Get w/ the times!

July 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDonna Hey!

Looks like the Prime Eight Lounge in a tartan disguise.

July 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMacLovin

I got something for the ladies!

July 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJust Shlopin

for what it's worth, I read the 'something for the ladies' as just a cheeky a stab at irish whiskey

July 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTony

Crack Head sounds like a disgruntled ex-employee or contractor who got the heave-ho.

July 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMarty Markowitz

What a sweet-looking place. Going to be great to try all those scotches. Keep the arena crowds at Tony Roma's and keep this place for us.

July 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJay

Since Marty can't refute what I said regarding the obvious lack of permits in their windows during construction, he resorts to personal attacks. Disgruntled ex employee? Yeah, that made sense since the place is two days old. Feeble attempt at discrediting the message while ignoring the message.


Don't mess with a crack head.

August 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCrack Head

@Crack Head; Mary was just assuming you were an illegal day laborer who was working on the construction.

did you do anything about the permits you did not see? maybe any picture proof?
w/ the city hungry for money i doubt they would let a construction of this magnitude fly under the radar w/ no permits.
a quick search on the DOB permit website shows they did have permits for all construction they performed.

August 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterjbobPRIME

I saw permits posted.

Bar looks pretty nice, walked by it the other day. Nice space.

August 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterIan

Went in last night around 11pm. The space is very clean/modern looking and the woodwork on the walls and ceilings is very cool.

Sat down at the bar and perused the scotch list. Broken own by region and had a lot of stuff I've never heard of. Tried out three different scotches -- all between $15 and $25. They were plenty of $8 - $15 offerings, and also plenty more expensive than my price range as well. It was fun to see them opening up the respective bottles for each of my pours the first time. Poured into a snifter-type glass. When I asked for a splash of water, they put it in a little quartino to let me add the water myself. Their ice cubes are small so as to avoid watering down too much. (One of the bartenders/owners(?) made a funny joke about someone who wanted their single malt on the rocks.)

Talked with the two bartenders/owners(?) -- Michael and Alex for a bit. They were quite friendly and shared their thoughts about their favorite scotches and what they consider good values and whatnot. The downstairs is still under construction, but it should be all ready for the grand opening next month. Still working on the menu for food offerings, but they indicated they were considering a Chicken Tikka Masala, as it originates from Edinburgh (which I did not know.) If they do that or some sort of curry with chips, then this will be my go-to place.

I hope they do well.

August 1, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermattlaw74

Thanks jbob for clearing up the permits issue, but whats with the illegal day laborers?

August 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCrack Head

@tony How does that make it any less demeaning and insulting to women?

August 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlex

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