From the ‘Burg’s funky bars to Greenpoint’s Euro clubs, not to mention a blossoming GLBT and cocktail scene, Brooklyn is quickly upping the ante on New York City’s previously Manhattan-clogged nightlife. Now the tables have turned, with droves of Manhattanites flooding the Bedford L subway stop on weekend after-hours to sample the burgeoning new influx of bars and restaurants or catch a must-see show by their favorite band. Even the most popular joints are rarely as jam-packed as those in Manhattan, and the Brooklyn nightlife scene is refreshingly more understated, yet just as cool (babies and dogs are common sights in most Park Slope bars, and even yesterday’s wrinkly clothes are welcome at the hottest Williamsburg restos).

Brooklyn Nightlife

Brooklyn Bowl

Friends, this is not your average bowling alley. The 23,000-square-feet former iron works warehouse, comprised of sixteen lanes, a 600-person music venue which hosts live acts most nights, and two bars, is outfitted with comfy leather couches, 10-foot HD projection screens, and cloaked in exposed brick (it also is the only LEED-certified bowling alley in the world). Food is provided by Blue Ribbon with a finger-licking menu of fried chicken, ribs, and chocolate chip bread pudding (no frozen pizza’s here!). The service isn’t terribly remarkable and drink and food prices are average (with so much going on, though, it’s easy to rack up a fast tab). Stop by weekdays from 6-8 for happy hour specials or sample a bourbon milkshake and one of the nine local brews on tap. Come during an off-time if you want to bowl – otherwise, fuggedaboutit.

61 Wythe Ave., NY, 718-963-3369,
Tags: nightlife | trendy | local favorite | bowling

Hotel Delmano

Pouring expertly crafted cocktails in a Gatsby-esque setting since January 2008, the Hotel Delmano on North 9th and Berry Street (just four blocks from the L train’s Bedford Avenue stop) has been heralded as Williamsburg’s first bona-fide cocktail bar (similar to Manhattan’s Death & Co. or the exclusive Milk & Honey). Though worthy contesters have also quietly opened their doors in the borough (like Prospect Heights’ Weather Up and, in late 2009, Greenpoint’s Manhattan Inn), in our opinion, this chic watering hole still takes the cake as the best. A sophisticated crowd sips the $9-$14 libations – packed with flavor, made with quality ingredients, and aptly named (see “Corpse Reviver No. 2” and “the Last Word”) – on marble- or copper-topped tables in a timeless, dimly lit Edisonian atmosphere (complete with elegant chandeliers, high ceilings, black leather banquettes, and dark wood accents). Hungry? The rabbit liver pate ($7) is to die for.

82 Berry St., NY, 718-387-1945
Tags: nightlife | trendy | bar | cocktails


The Knitting Factory, Music Hall of Williamsburg, Public Assembly – Williamsburg has gobs of live music venues that offer better sound and more than one beer on tap (Zywiec), but none can match this old-school concert hall’s polka-competition character. Set within Greenpoint’s Polish National Home in (where else?) Little Poland, just three blocks from the G train’s Nassau stop, the ornate ballroom frequently books internationally renowned acts of a more alternative type while serving up steaming, inexpensive plates of pierogies, hunter’s stew, and kielbasa to concertgoers.

261 Driggs Ave., NY, 718-387-0505,
Tags: nightlife | historic | local favorite | rock music

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