A new watering hole has just opened, breathing a little more life into the corner of Wyckoff and Menahan Aves. Old Stanley’s is “an everyman’s bar….no pretentious bullshit,” said Bryan Quackenbush (yes, that’s the real name), one of the owners. He’s in cahoots with Ben Altman, Chelsea Altman, and Matt Weber. And he’s right, too. Old Stanley’s is not some dimly lit, wannabe dive, but they don’t hand crush their ice either. The beer selection is approachable. The jukebox is curated by the hand of an expert — someone who knows how to impress, but not pander to, a crowd with potentially discerning tastes.
A conscious selection of hodgepodgery creates a calm and engaged ambience.
Although there was not much of a crowd when I stopped by (~10:30 PM on a Sunday), those who live in the immediate vicinity are thirsting for something exactly like this. And oh, as they parch they shall be quenched, with Bootleg now open and some other kind of boozerie opening soon on Irving and Bleeker. In other words, the blocks immediately surrounding the Myrtle-Wyckoff stop are about to get slammed into party town, just in time for summer.
Nothing says ‘pleasant summer evening spent getting drinks with a couple of close friends’ like Three’s Company.
Big, long booths, perfect for resting your shootin’ arm after a long day of big game hunting.
Perhaps the strongest element of Old Stanley’s design is the dynamic spacing. Interior steps and several large but intimate corners create a smooth, viscous fluidity. A large, illuminated, stained glass piece anchors the bar, while the bartender manages the low key crowd with a gentle grace. A functional juke box and one of those Safari Hunting video games fosters activity and atmosphere. The booths are light blue (periwinkle?), and the floor is billiards-colored with a backgammon-esque pattern. Old Stanley’s is homey and polite and comfortable, but it’s still a little rough around in the edges, in the best possible way. Light taxidermy, a painting of John Ritter holding a puppy, and an actual television: all hallmarks of a bar I’ll be spending many summer nights at.
No man can understand the mind of a bird…
Although Old Stanley’s boasts a large and inviting backyard, it’s not ready for public consumption yet. “It needs a lot of work, but our air conditioner is 8 tons. When it’s 95 degrees outside, it’ll be 30 degrees in here,” he boasts, like a man well prepared for the apocolypse ought to.
The jukebox is like a tractor beam for people who got too many quarters at the laundromat.
Drink specials abound, and the prices are quite reasonable across the board. Expect ‘hot dogs and peanuts’ to be available in the coming weeks.
This is actually a picture of Bryan’s grandma, no lie.
Old Stanley’s is open seven days a week, but they close at midnight on Sundays. The bar is located at 226 Wyckoff Ave.
How would you describe this color scheme?