05/25/17 10:50am

It’s that time of year again, when you want to drink your favorite cocktail, spritzer or beer outside. Here’s a selection of some of our favorite places in Brooklyn (and a couple in Queens) for sips in the sunshine.

Coming Soon

Parklife in progress: the brand-new bar and restaurant will be open year-round with indoor seating for 20 and a 4,000-square-foot lot for outdoor eating and drinking. Photo: Parklife

Coming soon to 636 Degraw St.
When Julie Kim and Scott Koshnoodi were forced to relocate their beloved Gowanus venue Littlefield because the landlord wouldn’t renew its lease, they not only found a great warehouse around the corner, they got a lot of open space to work with—4,000 square feet to be precise, directly in back of the new Littlefield. When it opens in June, Parklife will become a year-round bar and restaurant featuring Mexican food from the geniuses working the kitchen at El Atoradero in Prospect Heights. Parklife will be most pleasant, of course, in summer, seated at one of the 12 communal tables outside or on a lawn chair, sipping one of their new signature cocktails like a mezcal, jalapeno syrup and citrus blend called Summer Friends or the Fake It Till Ya Make it—a frozen spin on the classic Penicillin cocktail with blended scotch whiskey, lemon ginger honey syrup and a single-malt scotch. The anticipated opening of the new Littlefield is next week, Parklife should follow the second week of June. –Nicole Davis


Rooftop Reds
Brooklyn Navy Yard, Building #275
Open Wednesday through Sunday

Take a friend, or a date, to Rooftop Reds in the Brooklyn Navy Yard and your cred for knowing the most interesting places for a drink will go through the roof–pretty literally. This rooftop spot is a little walk into the Navy Yard, up a few flights of stairs, to a heavenly roof topped with grape vines, hammocks and tables for drinking wine. (That is one caveat to this experience, if you don’t like wine, there’s not a lot here for you, other than the spectacular view of the river and Manhattan.) Order a flight of rosé and then continue with a bottle of whichever one you liked the most. New this year they’ve started a reservation service–you can do it online, even just minutes before you show up, so that when you go through the security booth at the Sand and Navy St. entrance, your name will pop right up and you can enter with zero hassle. –Annaliese Griffin

The view from the Westlight. Photo: @thewilliamvale

Westlight at William Vale
111 N. 12th St. 

Yes, Westlight was featured in the new season of Master of None, so you know it’s hip. But beyond that, the cocktails are large and stiff, the small plates (under the auspices of Chef Andrew Carmellini) yummy and the views incomparable. Located on top of the William Vale Hotel in Williamsburg, this spot is the tallest in the area. –Georgia Kral


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06/20/16 11:47am
Nowadays is more like a park where booze is allowed than your typical bar. Photo: Nicholas Rinaldi

Nowadays is more like a park where booze is allowed than your typical bar. Photo: Nicholas Rinaldi

Not quite a beer garden, Nowadays is probably best described as a park where drinking is encouraged. Any discussion of Nowadays should also mention upfront that this place is pretty out of the way, but it’s more than manageable from the L train–the hard-to-spot entrance is about a five minute walk from the Halsey stop, in a neighborhood you probably wouldn’t have visited five years ago. (And for anyone wondering, the area feels as safe as Morgantown.)

On an average evening at Nowadays groups of friends cluster at picnic or cafe tables, beers and hot dogs in hand. On busier nights, you may have to wait in line for a bit at the bar, which is separate from the food truck selling a surprisingly sophisticated menu of upscale street food. The beer menu is a rotating offering of regional brews, like Narraganset and Lagunitas, that run $6 or $7 a pop. Wine, red and (sometimes) white sangria, and prosecco on tap are available for $8, with bottles also available (but strangely, pitchers of beer are not). This is the kind of place you might worry would be cash only, but cards are accepted–which is a good idea, as the nearest ATM machine is blocks away. It’s a solid, reasonably priced selection, but we wish they had a full liquor license for cocktails. (more…)

05/31/16 11:07am
A row of hammocks at the ready at Rooftop Reds, for their "Hammock Happy Hour". Photo: Nicole Davis

A row of hammocks at the ready for happy hour at Rooftop Reds. Photo: Nicole Davis

The Brooklyn Navy Yard has been getting a lot of attention lately, with Fly by Night, the recent announcement that Brooklyn Brewery will open a new facility there in 2018 and a whole summer’s worth of events (including sunset yoga and dinners) underway at the Brooklyn Grange.

What may have flown under your radar are two new Navy Yard spots for outdoor drinking, Rooftop Reds and the new tasting room at Kings County Distillery, The Gatehouses. The latter has been open for cocktails on Friday and Saturday nights for several weeks now, and, as of yesterday, will be serving whiskey pours ($8-16), flights ($16 for three whiskeys, $30 for five), and cocktails ($8-14, and if you think that whiskey is too heavy for summer, remember the mint julep, $12) Monday to Saturday all summer long. Snacks from Vinegar Hill House and Crown Finish Caves and whiskey popsicles made in collaboration with People’s Pops round out the menu.

The real clincher on Kings County is the location. The tasting room is in the gatehouse at the Sands Street entrance to the Navy Yard (where Flushing meets Navy–glamorously close to the NYPD vehicle impound lot). Basically, it looks like a castle. This is the type of weird old building that is just such a pleasure to gawk at, amidst all the murderously boring glass and steel towers rising around the city right now. Also, you will definitely know that you are in the right place when you arrive, which is a slightly more challenging proposition when it comes to King’s County’s neighbor, Rooftop Reds. (more…)

05/27/16 11:24am

As if you needed another reason to visit Industry City. How about a dance party? Photo: Industry City

This weekend marks the unofficial start to summer, which means trips upstate, free movie screenings, and a lot of al fresco dining, drinking, and dancing. Here are just a few of the newest spaces for all your outdoor frolicking needs.

Courtyard at The Landing It seems like every week, Industry City finds a new reason to get us down to Sunset Park. The latest addition to the multi-faceted site is Courtyard at The Landing, a new outdoor space co-founded by the people behind Gowanus’ Bell House that’s fit for all your summer-y needs. Throughout the season, locals are invited to grab food prepared by executive chef Adam Shepard (Tavern On The Green, Union Pacific) and enjoy a full bar plus a slew of special events, including a brand new Saturday night dance party hosted by Freedom Party. The inaugural 80s versus 90s fête kicks off on June 4. (more…)

05/23/16 11:48am
Falcon Laundry is courting locals for rooftop cocktails. Photo: Kelsey Smith

Falcon Laundry is courting locals for rooftop cocktails. Photo: Kelsey Smith

Williamsburg has a new waterfront watering hole. Falcon Laundry has cast itself as a new neighborhood staple, a place for in-the-know locals more than a go-to spot for tourists spilling over from Smorgasburg. Built inside a–you guessed it–former laundry, which also took a turn as a steel fabrication mill, Falcon Laundry is a two-level bar and restaurant with rooftop patio drinking just in time for summer.

Take a seat at the long bar if you’re a party of one or two, or settle in to one of the comfortable green leather booths tucked against alternating walls of brick and wood paneling, for unrushed table service with a bigger group. You’ll likely also notice that the prices are surprisingly gentle for this part of Brooklyn. There are several choices on the wine list that are less than $10 a glass; the rosé from Wolffer Estate in the North Fork is an especially great deal at $8. Happy hour runs until 8pm with a rotating cast of wines for $6 and beers for as low as $5, with many locally-sourced choices in the mix. (more…)

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05/23/14 11:15am

Image Map

We know it’s not officially summer until June 21, but it is officially outdoor drinking season. We’ve put together 9 different guides to steer you to a bar with al fresco sips, no matter what mood you’re in or who you’re with.

Whether you’re looking for great food along with your drinks, a good wine list, a beer nerd’s paradise, a rooftop aerie, killer cocktails, sidewalk seating where you can watch the world go by, a total dive, a spot with room for your 10 closest friends or a place to bring the kids without dirty looks from the bartender or other customers, we’ve got you covered. We’ve also mapped them all out below, so you can plan some new happy hours.  (more…)

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05/23/14 9:10am

Most people can enjoy any cold beer in the sunshine–these bars are made for aficionados who care about the range of beers on a draft list, and how often it rotates. The fact that they all offer sweet patios and gardens to kick back in will just extend your drinking session. 

An oldie but a goodie, Spuyten Duyvil's beer garden is still the prettiest paradise for beer lovers. Photo:

An oldie but a goodie, Spuyten Duyvil’s beer garden is still the prettiest paradise for beer lovers. Photo:

Uncle Barry’s (Park Slope, 58 5th Ave. between St. Marks and Bergen, 718-622-4980) I’m going to be totally honest here: my relationship with Uncle Barry’s is a little bit love/hate. The man in my life, a beer fanatic/lunatic who attempts to plan our vacations around brewery visits and arranges FedEx bottle swaps with people he meets online, discovered this bar a few years ago and it instantaneously became his Cheers. He knows everyone there and has a regular seat, and I’ve more than once been reduced to calling the main number to look for him–a la Lilith Crane–when his phone is going straight to voicemail. Obviously that gets old, and as a person whose beer palate is pretty unrefined, it’s hard for me to really appreciate the things about UB that make Lawrence so happy: hard-to-find brews like Piraat, vintage Victory at Sea, and Hill Farmstead, one offs and collabs, beer release events, and a bunch of people who will talk to you about beer for hours on end, whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned hophead. What I do love is the bar’s Wednesday night trivia, its friendly vibe and the relaxed, sunken outdoor area in back, which I’ve never sat in without striking up a conversation with the people at the picnic table next to ours.–Kate Hooker (more…)

05/23/14 8:12am

Muddled, blended, shaken, stirred. These are our favorite cocktail bars with sweet spaces for you to sip your drinks outside, where, somehow, hard alcohol just hits you harder.

Broken Land's back garden gives you the option of sun or shade. Photo: Broken Land

Broken Land’s back garden gives you the option of sun or shade. Photo: Broken Land

Broken Land (Greenpoint, 105 Franklin St. between Greenpoint Ave. and Milton, 718-349-2901) Taking its name from the original Dutch christening of our little piece of Long Island, Broken Land (or Breukelen if you’re so inclined) blends Midwestern small town calm with a twist of NYC cool. From the second your eye catches the carefully crafted chalk board outside (which on this day happened to be an HR Giger tribute complete with an alien slurping down a frozen drink) to your walk up to the bar, the many plants, cozy barstools, lamps, couch and paintings make you feel right at home. Order a drink and head outside where you’re met with old vines crawling up and down the walls, tables, benches, some Christmas lights and an ideal outdoor sitch– the back patio outside splits like a black and white cookie, half drenched in the sunlight, the other half hidden in the shade under the floor of the apartments above. And now the reason you came: the cocktails. There’s “Ryan’s Mom’s Margarita” because every good mom knows how to drink, the “Old Bloke,” ‘cause every old man needs a classy cordial, and a new addition, the frozen piña colada – a delicious blend of fresh pineapple juice, top-notch rum and Coco Lopez hiding under a tiny pink umbrella to take you away to a tropical island.–Jay Honstetter (more…)

07/01/13 9:56am

We’ve compiled all our favorite outdoor drinking spots in this full guide to outdoor bars.

What says summer better than a pink drink on a picnic table? Photo: BB

What says summer better than a pink drink on a picnic table? Photo: BB

Last summer we published a list of 16 bars with backyards, patios or rooftops we love. Friends and readers kept on suggesting bars we had to add to the list, some classics, others newly opened. Here are 17 more outdoor drinking emporiums to know and love.


If You’re Looking for an Oasis on Fort Hamilton Parkway: Hamilton’s
Neighborhood: Windsor Terrace, 2826 Fort Hamilton Pkwy. (at E. 4th St.); 718-438-0488
Appeal: Until Hamilton’s opened, getting an outdoor drink in Windsor Terrace meant showing up to Farrell’s on St. Patrick’s Day and enjoying a Budweiser in a Styrofoam cup behind the police barricades on the sidewalk. Thankfully, Hamilton’s is here to class up the joint a bit. The bar/restaurant, which opened back in October, has 18 draft beers and ciders, wine on tap (and in bottles) and a list of inexpensive soju cocktails, as well as an extensive menu of small plates and entrees. The outdoor seating is made up of cafe tables separated from the sidewalk by a low fence decorated by Christmas lights. Enjoying a glass of lambrusco and people-watching in the so-quiet-you-can-barely-believe-it’s-New-York nabe is one of the more perfect ways to spend a summer evening. –Casey Acierno

Greenwood Heights has one of the most massive yards in the borough. And bocce. Photo: Greenwood Heights

Greenwood Park has one of the most massive yards in the borough. And bocce. Photo: Greenwood Park

If Your Idea of Heaven Is a Block-Long Beer Garden: Greenwood Park
Neighborhood: Greenwood Heights, 555 7th Ave. (between 19th & 20th sts.); 718-499-7999
Appeal: Since opening last summer, Greenwood Park’s tenure on the South Slope/Sunset Park border has been nothing if not controversial (see: complaints about ubiquitous strollers and drunk and disorderly types.) That said, from our perspective, the pros way outweigh the cons. First of all, it’s effing huge–13,000 square feet, a full city block long–with picnic tables aplenty and two bars. The beer selection is great; the pint-glass sangria even better; and there are plenty of warm-weather-friendly nibbles. You can be as sporty as you want to be, either by watching anything from basketball to baseball to European soccer on the indoor TVs, or by joining in on one of the two bocce courts. Perhaps most important: family-friendly hours end in the early evening, so you can enjoy getting your nighttime drink on without having to worry about tripping over strollers. –CA


If You Want a New Neighborhood Hangout: Nostrand Avenue Pub
Neighborhood: Crown Heights, 658 Nostrand Ave. (at Bergen St.); 718-483-9699
Appeal: The first bar to push Crown Heights’ hipsterfication this far east, N.A.P. comes on the scene with an impressive craft beer list, reasonably priced at $5 to $8 ($4 during happy hour), and a laid-back atmosphere that attracts a diverse array of locals. The main attractions are the roomy wooden picnic tables on the nicely redone redbrick back patio. Order in food from a nearby institution like David’s Brisket House or just grab a bag of some chili-spiced mango from the streetside vendor set up next to the bar. It’ll be closing time before you know it. (Good to know for night owls: they’re open ‘til 4am every night.) –Brendan Spiegel

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