Sometimes it seems like our whole live revolves around the L train – a harrowing fact considering most of us have either been cursed out by a sassy teenage girl or seen someone strip down to their skivvies during the long commute home. After rides like those (or, let’s be honest, any subway ride), all we want, all we need is a stiff drink. Which is why we’re depleting our MetroCards to round up the best bars within steps of each L stop in Bushwick. Let’s start at the Montrose stop, where we can toast (or curse) the MTA at these five within-walking-distance bars.
This new kid on the block opened in August, attempting to seduce locals with 18 rotating taps (pouring $5-$8 brews), cozy booths, dim lighting, and typically quirky BK décor like a bronzed Roman helmet, mismatched vintage lamps, and a large fish sculpture that looks like it’s ready to dance (probably during the DJ-ed dance parties on Thursday and Saturday nights). Aiming to be a neighborhood spot, The Graham cuts $2 off any drink during their daily happy hours which go ‘til 8pm …just enough time to throw back a few post-work drinks and get home in time to watch Downton Abbey.
Winter Drink: The thick-as-a-blanket Ithaca Gorges Smoked Porter ($6)
Housed in a converted garage, Duck Duck expanded to 2x its original 2006-era size, offering more than just the opportunity to make a few fowl-related puns. The décor’s irony factor is high, with a mix of tongue-in-cheek art, mismatched sofas, and a winding ceiling staircase to nowhere. But let’s focus on the important stuff: alcohol. Along with their infamous beer and shot specials (ex: the Dirty Sanchez, a Modelo Especial + shot of tequila, $6), they also pour seasonal cocktails ($8-$10), craft beers ($5-$7) and the classics, including a killer Moscow Mule ($8). Happy hour is seven days a week… a waste since you only work five. Cash only.
Winter Drink: Hot cider spiked with rum or bourbon ($8) or a “Hot Roddy,” a hot toddy made with spiced ginger rum ($8)
No need to break out your woodworking tools to appreciate the rustic vibe of this unpretentious tavern. It’s a spot where you can simply drink like you’re meant to drink, with twelve American craft beers on tap, classic cocktails, and a selection of spirits from local distilleries. Grab a drink at the 17-foot-long white oak bar or sneak into a cozy alcove enclosed by exposed wooden walls. The vibe is laid back, happy hour lasts ‘til 9pm and warm weather will call for drinking a Coney Lager ($6) outdoors on their patio…the ideal end to any work day. Cash only.
Winter Drink: Seasonal beers from local Brooklyn Brewery ($5) and Kelso Beer Co ($5)
Opening as soon as the weather’s warm enough, The Well boasts 60 beers on tap, 250 bottles, and a fully stocked bar, providing plenty of much-needed liquid relief after a long day. Half outdoor beer garden (The Well) and half indoor drinking hall (The Wick, not yet open), it’s housed in the former Hittleman Brewery, once part of the historic Brewer’s Row. On warm summer nights, you’ll find events like “Bike-In Movies”, indie music concerts (like last September’s Ty Segall & Thee Oh Sees) and straight-up dance parties…a well known stress reliever. Cash only.
Winter Drink: Belgium’s Hof ten Dormaal Winter 12 or Denmark’s Evil Twin Bikini (for drinking while dreaming of summer)
Behind the somewhat forbidding metal-barred windows, this small, unassuming cocktail joint packs a lot of warmth into a narrow space. Sidle up to the long, burnished metal bar to order from a simple menu, consisting of four draft beers, 15 bottles, and classic cocktails done right (including a very stiff Dark & Stormy, $8). Located diagonally from the Montrose stop, right on Bushwick Ave, Post No Bills is classy but unpretentious, offering beer and shot specials ($6) that take the edge off any long day. Cash only.
Winter Drink: Warm up with a muy spicy Diablo Caliente margarita ($8).