At first glance, with its massive carved wooden bar, ornate iron work, and soaring ceilings, the Brooklyn Inn may not seem like a dive bar. But with a certain haunted, romantic atmosphere, a steady stream of regulars, and a dusty (literally- this place needs to be dusted), faded sense of grandeur, the Dive Bar Tourist begs to differ. Let’s consider the evidence:
No bells and whistles. The Brooklyn Inn is a drinking establishment at its most basic. If you’re hungry, you’re out of luck. (Though there are a smattering of take out menus lying around, so you could have some grub delivered if you’re really desperate). If you’re looking to watch the game, or catch up on the news…no dice- there are no TVs in this place. You pretty much have no choice but to chat with the enthusiastic regulars that crowd the place nightly. Or you could shoot a game of pool in the dimly lit back room, which has a particularly spooky, down-and-out feel, with its peeling paint and ancient light fixtures. There’s always the eclectic jukebox to provide entertainment and set the mood.
Full Mood. Speaking of mood, the bartenders certainly add to the vibe as well. But it’s anyone’s guess as to what vibe they’ll be providing. The Dive Bar Tourist has experienced all varieties of service here: warm and friendly, to rude and grouchy. Not to worry, the inconsistent service keeps things interesting, and though they may be somewhat surly at times, the barkeeps pour a killer drink.
Old. Really old. The Brooklyn Inn has an old-school feel, and that’s because it IS old. The front room opened as a bar in 1885, and the back room was added in 1892. With its dark and candle-lit interior, this place can easily make you feel that you’re in a gothic romance novel. After a particularly vicious blizzard shut NYC down several years ago, the Dive Bar Tourist spent a fun evening nursing whiskeys and watching out the window as snow swirled around the streetlights, and locals pulled friends and supplies through the middle of the car-less streets on sleds, stopping in for a drink as they made their way home.
If you’re strolling the streets of Boerum Hill in Brooklyn, treat yourself to a stop at the Brooklyn Inn. Just remember to bring cash- credit cards aren’t accepted.
Location: Boerum Hill, Brooklyn
Be sure to try: A perfectly poured Guinness.