Your last name doesn’t have to be Johnson in order to feel welcomed at this new Bushwick bar. Located at 369 Troutman St., The Johnson’s opened shortly before Christmas with a big, cheap booze-bash. This offshoot of the Lower East Side’s (in)famous dive bar, Welcome to the Johnson’s, will remind you of its older, divey brother only in its prices and free pool table. Cans of PBR are $2; cocktails are $9-10, but $5 during happy hour.
The interior of The Johnson’s is, unlike its crazy Lower East Side counterpart, fully correspondent with what I would call Brooklyn Nouveau design, if you promise not to hate me for that. Their brilliant neon sign gives you a big, beautiful, stylish welcome as you step inside the large garage door-turned-front patio. Oh, how that front area makes me impatient for the spring and summer (dibs on that swinging egg chair!).
The inside features a lot of wood, a long tiled bar, several cosy tables, a pool table, juke box, and a couch covered in plastic. On the wall is a large mosaic made of little stones, which is pretty, but I suspect that people will love to drunkenly poke into it.
As much as I dig this place, with its favorable prices and homey decor, I can’t help but yawn here a little, especially in light of the frantic development around the Jefferson L stop. And with more bars and nightclubs soon to come, the question begs to be answered: How many more bars do we really need in Bushwick?
Anyway, I asked the Bushwick Daily crew what they thought of The Johnson’s. Here is our Google group conversation:
Jeremy Nguyen: “Anyone with a last name Johnson feel at home there?”
Maria Gotay: “I’d mention that they have “liquid brunch on weekends” with bloody marys ($9) and a $5 cocktail menu during the day. Great place to bring the newspaper, settle into a plastic couch, and relax in the dimly lit spot for an hour.”
Jenna Aranda: “NINE DOLLAR BLOODY MARY’S??? WHAT THE HELL ARE THEY MADE OUT OF?”
Daniel Ryan Adler: “I love The Johnson’s. They were getting some flak for being just another fancy gastropub in Bushwick, but to me their decor is like the basement that your parents redid once the kids went to college, when they finally had the money.
I envision The Johnson’s as a ’90s style den, a grown up version of the hair-metal enthused Welcome to the Johnson’s, with the same elements that make the original fun—pool table, shot special—but more adult. Their outside area, with the furry chain-chairs contributes to the feel of hanging out in my best friend’s late-century modern front yard. A great place to meet old pals and catch up. “
Yamil A. Saade: “I liked the 70s decor/mood, but it seems very unfinished.”
Maria Gotay: “Its unfinishedness pays tribute to its Lower East Side location, “Welcome to the Johnsons”, which literally looks like your grandma’s basements — if you plopped a bar in the corner and took to graffiti-ing the bathroom. It’s… not the nicest place around, but a definite LES staple, especially since Max Fish closed.”