8 of the best dive bars in Williamsburg and Bushwick

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Dive bars aren’t just about sticky table tops and cracked vinyl banquets. They’re also about being able to afford to buy a round for the new friends you just met on the concrete patio out back, about a certain friendliness and camaraderie that just doesn’t develop over fancy cocktails. Here are a few of the best dive bars to be found in two neighborhoods with a lot of hip, young people who don’t have a lot of money to throw away — Williamsburg and Bushwick.

Bushwick Country Club
Confusingly, Bushwick Country Club is in Williamsburg and is also not a country club. This is a “craptacular” (their word) local dive bar that has mini golf. This bar claims to have invented the pickleback — a shot of whiskey with a pickle juice back. They also have a big outdoor space and a slushie machine for frozen margaritas and Jim Beam and Coke slushies. Also, free cheesy puffs with your drinks.

 

rosemarys-greenpoint-tavern-neon-signGreenpoint has the holiday spirit year-round | Huffy S. via Yelp 

Rosemary’s Greenpoint Tavern
Another misnomer — Rosemary’s is in Williamsburg, right on the main drag on Bedford, not in Greenpoint. This might be the queen of all Brooklyn dive bars, with $32-ounce foam cups of Bud or Bud Light for $4. Year-round Christmas lights, comfy booths–it’s a place to hole up and forget the outside world.

 

brooklyn-ale-house-pool-tableNo ruff-housing around the pool table | Daisy P. via Yelp

Brooklyn Ale House
A sweet, homey spot with a pool table, a dart board, peanuts on the bar, and peanut shells on the floor. There’s a good mix of beers on tap and a free bagel brunch on weekend afternoons.

 

east-river-bar-outdoor-patioSpacious outdoor patio at East River Bar | via Yelp

East River Bar
Tucked in under the Williamsburg Bridge, the East River Bar has cheap beers, shots and well drinks, a big outdoor area with an awning for rainy weather, a pool table and Big Buck Hunter. There’s often a bike messenger crowd here, and it’s the kind of place where you’re likely to strike up a conversation with someone at a neighboring bar stool.

 

duck-duck-bar-bushwickWell, what did you expect? | Duck Duck

Duck Duck
This is technically East Williamsburg, but it’s much closer to Bushwick in spirit. Duck Duck is huge, with a long bar and a sort of 90s feel, from the mix of cans and craft beers to the mismatched furniture throughout. The bartenders are friendly, serving up happy hour seven days a week, two-for-one well drinks, and Rolling Rock and Narragansett on draft. Beer and shot specials start at $5 all the time.

 

lone-wolf-bar-sign-bushwickDon’t let the Lone Wolf scare you | Justin L. via Yelp

Lone Wolf
There’s a daily $5 PBR and well shot special, a pool table, a great juke box and happy hour starts at noon on the weekends.

 

wreck-room-bar-front-bushwickThe graffiti on the outside is a sneak preview of the inside | Warren K. via Yelp

Wreck Room
The bathrooms here are covered with graffiti, as you might expect from the name, but the ever-present beer and shot special for $5 will help you appreciate the art. Happy hour starts at 2pm, and (if you last this long) rice balls from Arancini Brothers are available next door for midnight snacks.

 

gotham-city-lounge-front-bushwickGrab some super shot specials at Gotham City Lounge | jeff w. via Yelp

Gotham City Lounge
Yes, there’s a superhero (and anime) theme at Gotham City Lounge. Bruce Wayne would never be caught dead in here, but there’s a pool table and a $3 PBR and shot special.

 

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