Ever wanted to drink by a fireside, but didn’t have the money to rent out a cabin with your friends? Now you don’t have to go very far to get that comfy, cozy experience. At The Bad Old Days (1684 Woodbine St), Ridgewood’s newest bar that opened this past Black Friday, you’ll get a good drink with your friends, with the ambience of going to your childhood home for the holidays.
The Bad Old Days is co-owned by two boss ladies–Sonja Lutnicki and Rina Haverly. The bar sits right on the corner of Woodbine St and Cypress Ave. As Sonja told us, it was a bit of a risk, opening on a Black Friday, with it being the holiday weekend.
“We couldn’t get some purveyors to come in with inventory, but we put something on Facebook, and it just blew up,” said Lutnicki. “There were a lot of neighbors, and mainly people who’ve walked by and watched the build-up. I think about 90% of the people that came in said ‘Oh you’re finally open, I live around the corner!'”
Sonja and Rina met while bartending at Rockwood Music Hall many moons ago. Between the two, the ladies have about 35 years of experience in the service industry, and have done just about every job, ranging from working as a line cook to managing. Since Sonja and Rina both love bartending, they felt opening Bad Old Days was the next natural step.
When their mutual friend came into some money, she said she wanted to open a bar, in which Sonja and Rina quickly joined. Their friend eventually dropped out, but the two continued their new bar venture. Two and half years later, Bad Old Days opened.
Sonja said that opening in Ridgewood was a bit of luck, although they had a few speed bumps along the way. The women originally had a lease for a building behind the Wyckoff Paint Store, but due to continuous legal issues, Sonja and Rina decided to look elsewhere.
“We started working with brokers and looked at different locations, and nothing was really jiving. And one day when we were off from work, we walked into this space and it was love at first sight,”Sonja said.
The space is indeed beautiful. With the exposed brick behind the bar, and the library complete with a cute lil’ fireplace and endless books, The Bad Old Days feels just like home. Old timey newspaper clippings line the walls of the bathrooms, and a collection of tchotchkes and board games are prominent throughout the bar.
What did we like the best about The Bad Old Days? The plaques placed on bar stools and the library from the Kickstarter campaign, the owners ran in order to raise funds for the bar
“Rewards for the Kickstarter were dedications, so if you donated x amount of money, you got a bar stool. The badges around the bar are sponsors from the Kickstarter. Somebody got the library, which was $1,000!” said Sonja.
The bar currently offers six beers on tap–think Narragansett ($4) and Sixpoint’s Bengali Tiger ($6), and four different cans including Downeast Cider ($6) and Ommegang Rare VOS ($7).
The Bad Old Days plans on rotating one of the taps for a seasonal brew, as well. Along with an expansive collection of liquors like Knob Creek and both types of Chartruese, this bar has just about everything you’d need for your perfect drink.
The specialty cocktails are also equally great. I tried the Winter Vixen ($11), a cocktail created by Sonja, which is inspired by a Friendsgiving tradition, and it combines rosemary infused gin, Lillet, and cranberries. Their Brandy Punch ($8), “tastes like Christmas,” as Sonja says, is another favorite. In it, you’ll find brandy, Cruzan Black Strap Rum, lemon, and sugar. They also offer Hot Spiked Apple Cider ($4 virgin, $9 spiked), which they warm in of a crock pot!
Monday through Friday happy hour (2pm to 8pm) is worth your while as well with $4 drafts and $5 well drinks. Once they get their wine stocked, they’ll include that into the happy hour, as well.
The ladies are also working on starting a food menu, which will be served until the bar closes. They only have an electric kitchen, which is a little limiting, but BOD will be introducing snacks within a few weeks. They’ll eventually be including appetizers, with the food staying reasonably under over $9.
Sonja also said that she and Rina are playing around with a few event ideas, but for now, they’re taking pride in serving beers, cocktails, and good times to their community. There are a lot of great things happening at Bad Old Days, and I for one, can’t wait to see what’s going on.
The Bad Old Days is located at 1684 Woodbine St, Ridgewood, NY. The bar is 3 blocks from the L train’s Myrtle-Wyckoff stop, and 1 block away from the M train’s Seneca Ave stop. Daily hours are Monday-Sunday from 2pm-2am.