Olivia Perry


We’ve all been there. It’s a Friday night, you’re broke AF, and not particularly ready to just Netflix the night away. Enter Carmelo’s and their $4 beer shot combo.

The bar is in the former Imperial Theater building at 1544 Dekalb Ave. at the corner of Irving Ave. In the 1940s, the building served as a knitting factory, and legend has it it was once a tailor and suit destination for mobsters. 

Carmelo’s opened its doors in December, making it the latest addition to the family of bars under the owners of Birdy’s (1215 Myrtle Ave.) and Old Stanley’s (226 Wyckoff Ave.). According to one of the bartenders on staff, Carmelo’s is named after the owner’s grandfather.

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The main hook of Carmelo’s are cheap libations and cheap pool tables. How a bar can get away with selling $2 draft, we don’t know, but it does make this one of the most affordable places to drink in Bushwick. They also have $7 Palomas and $8 piña colada if you’re really in the mood to “splurge.”

The interior gives off a calculated retro feel with wood panel walls, Tiffany lamps, and a few plants. A string of lights around the perimeter of the room adds to the warm vibe (as does the unusually large lava lamp if you can spot it).

On the upper level loft space, you can play pool at two tables at $1 a table as well as several arcade games.

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The bar gets crowded as hell on Friday nights, and the bathroom line, which stretches almost to the entrance, can have you in dire straits. The three-stall situation is not conducive to the size of the joint, which includes an upper level loft space with pool tables, games, and booths. The booths onlook the sole flat screen (yes, there’s a TV but you probably won’t notice it unless you want to).

Like most bars, Carmelo’s is a much chiller scene on a weeknight when you can hear Lauryn Hill bumping and the spacious place is relatively empty. But readers beware — even on an innocent Wednesday you can still run into the worst hookup of your life. Eventually they all move to Bushwick.

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Six-month-old bar earning points for super cheap drinks, a solid soundtrack, and pool tables on the second level.

 1544 Dekalb Avenue, Bushwick (off the Dekalb Ave stop on the L train)

 Mon-Fri: 5:00 pm – 4:00 am
     Sat-Sun: 3:00 pm – 4:00 am

Follow Carmelo’s on Facebook.

Cover photo courtesy of Carmelo’s