I know so many people who consider Brooklyn to be a foreign land and the thought of crossing the river to reach it equivalent to an Andes trek, but they’re missing out. Park Slope is a great alternative to Manhattan bars for a night of drinking and easily reached by the F train. Overrun by baby carriages during the day, it’s fun restaurants and bars at night. Fifth and seventh avenues are where most of the action is and after a culinary experience rivaling Manhattan, try one of these bars or lounges for the perfect nightcap or evening out.
Quintessentially Park Slope, Bar 4 is a warm and inviting lounge bar with a relaxed vibe and crowd. Mood lighting, exposed brick, and cushy, colorful sofas and arm chairs make for a comfortable setting to kick back and enjoy some music and creative cocktails; the drink list features flavored martinis like blueberry and white chocolate. DJs or live bands play most nights with the music spanning a huge spectrum so you never know what you’ll find but it’s also hard to be disappointed. Open mic on Tuesdays at 7:30, comedy Sundays at 9. Location: 444 Seventh Avenue
It doesn’t look like much from the outside, but as is often the case in New York, looks can be deceiving and Bar Reis is a delightfully surprising gem on the inside. It’s a great date spot with several romantic nooks and crannies perfect for a stolen kiss. There are four bar areas: the main floor, the downstairs lounge with curtained two-people booths, a large garden out back accented with string lights, and a small loft reached by a windy wrought iron staircase which overlooks the bar below and is great for people watching.
For fun there’s pool, a juke box, live indie, eclectic and rock music many nights and you can order sandwiches from Reis 100 next door. Drinks are inexpensive, averaging about $5 each and Reis, the owner, is friendly and welcoming. Cash only. Location: 75 5th Avenue
Dive Bar (kind of)
A good beer option is High Dive. Laid back with loyal regulars, it’s a find for its undiscovered, uncrowded appeal. The name High Dive is a bit of irony, while dimly lit it’s far from a true dive, and runs more toward “high class” dive. Generous bartenders, a diverse selection of wallet friendly beers and $2 Miller High Life will keep you happy weekdays until 8PM. There are over 25 bottle choices and 9 on tap from Brooklyn and around the world, including organic and gluten free options.
Several other fun features add to High Dive’s charm: a loaded jukebox to satisfy all music tastes, pinball, free popcorn with an array of toppings: Frank’s Red Hot sauce, Old Bay seasoning, cayenne pepper, seasoned salt, curry powder, and the most fun part: the bathroom walls are chalkboards so if you just can’t leave the loo without commemorating your visit, problem solved. Location: 243 Fifth Avenue
No bar list would be complete without at least one wine bar on it and the best in Park Slope is ['brook-vin]. It looks and feels like a wine bar should with exposed brick, sleek wood, long bar, dark blue walls, beautiful tin ceiling and a ladder behind the bar to reach the upper most shelves.
The owner also runs the Big Nose Full Body wine store, so the wine selections at ['brook-vin] are vast and informed. International wines by the glass, bottle and half bottle are available and the staff is helpful as are the better than average descriptions. The chef also rocks if you’re interested in a nosh. Light but amazingly delicious menu. Location: 381 7th Avenue