Food and Local Business Editor
Betsy Maher, the owner of beloved Bushwick bar Pearl’s Social & Billy Club, has teamed up with longtime Brooklyn bartender Jesse Sullivan to give another life to The Windjammer, the delightful Ridgewood bar that first opened decades ago in 1982.
Located at 552 Grandview Avenue in Ridgewood on the corner of Bleecker Street, The Windjammer’s original iteration closed this past March. Maher and Sullivan quickly reimagined the bar, and opened it again this past summer.
Bushwick Daily chatted with Sullivan, who moved to Brooklyn in 14 years ago from New Mexico and has been bartending since he turned 21, mostly near Williamsburg, but also at The Johnson’s in Bushwick.
Inside the Windjammer, model ships are one of the signature design elements. Stained glass cabinetry behind the bar gives patrons a glimmer into the bar’s storied past, too.
Judging by its ceiling, which was originally cork-colored and since has been painted over with a navy blue, The Windjammer’s history most certainly included the neighborhood’s chain smokers, “who probably smoked here well after it was illegal,” jokes Sullivan.
Another object with a story to tell in The Windjammer is the bell hanging behind the bar.
A former bartender at The Windjammer, who was previously a fisherman in Alaska, brought a fishing tradition with him to his new job: Alaskan bars hang a bell near their doors so that when a fisherman catches a large haul, he or she can ring the bell upon walking in to signal to the whole bar that they’re celebrating a successful day by buying a round of drinks.
The bell at The Windjammer hangs on the other side of the bar so that it’s harder to reach for those to might be compelled to give it a tug without really committing to buying a round. “You don’t ring the bell unless you’re prepared!”, laughs Sullivan.
Other attractions at The Windjammer include Big Buck Hunt, a Star Trek pinball machine, and a pool table.
The beer selection includes 17 different beers, which start at $4 for a Bud Lite or Cigar City’s Tampa Style lager. The $5 Narragansett 12-ounce and shot special is a pretty appealing deal, too!
The Windjammer also carries a naturally flavored vodka selection, Deep Eddy, from Austin, Texas. “It’s a better option than, you know, Absolut Citron,” promises Sullivan.
We highly recommend The Windjammer’s signature hot toddy ($8) made with cinnamon tea, fresh ginger and lemon, honey and, of course, whiskey, which is served as if given to you in the comfort of your own home, in a quirky random mug.
For the brunch drinkers, The Windjammer has a bacon-infused beef jerky garnished Bloody Mary as well as a vegetarian, beet-infused Bloody Mary, both for $7.
The house’s nice, inclusive selection of whiskies and scotch includes Johnny Walker Black Label scotch, Bulleit bourbon and rye, Cutty Sark blended scotch, and Old Grand-Dad bourbon.
Besides offering an assortment of chips, The Windjammer doesn’t currently offer food, though Sullivan says that they are hoping that shortly after the new year, they will start offering Stan’s Tacos.
The Windjammer is open every day as follows: on Monday through Wednesday from 4 p.m. until 2 a.m., on Thursday and Friday from 4 p.m. until 4 a.m., on Saturday from noon until 4 a.m., and on Sunday from noon until 2 a.m.
Go to Ridgewood for The Windjammer, Bushwick!
All photos by Cristin Noonan for Bushwick Daily.
Ridgewood’s bar which has reopened with new owners with the same name and same nautical theme since 1982.
552 Grandview Avenue on the corner of Bleecker Street, a ten minute walk from the Forest Avenue stop on the M train.
Mon-Wed: 4 p.m.-2 a.m., Thurs-Fri: 4 p.m.-4 a.m., Sat: noon-4 a.m., Sun: noon-2 a.m.