Archive for the tag 'bars'

This is a paid announcement from Brokelyn, a webmag devoted to living the best possible life in Brooklyn regardless of one’s means:


What’s a better gift than a pocket full of free beers at the best bars in Brooklyn?

The South Brooklyn & The Rockaways Beer Book offers 28 beers of your choice for $28 at 28 of the best bars in Bay Ridge, Coney Island, Gerritsen Beach, Gravesend, Marine Park, Sheepshead Bay, Sunset Park and the Rockaways.

This smartly-designed, limited edition, pocket-sized bar passport is a great gift for friends, lovers, dog walkers, babysitters, teachers, coaches, bosses and local news bloggers, among others. Sheepshead Bites and Bensonhurst Bean readers get a 20% discount on orders of four or more books. Enter the code Sheep5 at checkout. 


The book includes Sheepshead Bay’s own Brass Rail Bar (formerly Log Cabin) and Anyway Cafe, along with Bay Ridge mainstays Lock YardBean Post Pub and Windy City Ale House.

Explore the beer Valhalla that is Gravesend’s Draft Barn, or get down with some meatloaf and some football at Marine Park’s Third & Seven. Don’t make the same mistake as Leo: order more than cranberry juice at Sunset Park’s Irish Haven, where THAT bar scene in The Departed was filmed. Or explore 3rd generation family-owned marina-side watering hole Tamaqua Bar & Grill in Gerritsen Beach.

Order the South Brooklyn & The Rockaways Beer Book here, and check out the full list of neighborhoods and participating bars. Remember to enter Sheep5 at checkout to get 20% off orders of four books or more, making it an even better deal. Happy Cyber-Monday, people.

The above is a paid announcement by Brokelyn, a webmag devoted to living the best possible life in Brooklyn regardless of one’s means. Sheepshead Bites has not verified the claims made in this advertisement. If you own a business and would like to announce a special offer to tens of thousands of locals, e-mail us at advertising [at] sheepsheadbites [dot] com.

Tsob Tsobe! at Coney Island Avenue

Tsob Tsobe! at 2817 Coney Island Avenue

It was with great dismay that we noticed Back to USSR pulling down its signs over the summer, after two years in business. The kitschy, Soviet-themed restaurant at 2817 Coney Island Avenue was a great place to bring people from outside of Sheepshead Bay, pulling back the curtain a bit on the area’s Russian-speaking cultures with a tongue planted firmly in-cheek.

But the storefront didn’t stay empty long. Some time in the past few weeks Tsob-Tsobe! took its place, declaring itself a”cafe lounge bar.” They redid the entire storefront, interior and exterior. Unlike its predecessor, which elevated the atmosphere with a large statue of Vladimir Lenin with kielbasa in hand, Tsob-Tsobe! is tastefully decorated and is earning kudos from Yelpers.

The online directory says it’s serving Mediterranean, Turkish and Middle Eastern cuisine, but we’ve learned that with local restaurants, that could mean Turkish, or it could mean the menu is a smorgasbord of Turkish, Uzbeki and Russian foodstuffs. With their website not yet built and no menu available online, we’ll just have to wait to visit to find out.

As for the name? We’re having trouble tracking down its provenance. Some Googling suggests it’s something Cossack cowboys yelled at their cattle, or farmers upon receiving a good harvest – but we can’t say for sure. Anybody able to fill us in?


The Log Cabin, one of Sheepshead Bay’s oldest bars, has slashed its storefront in half and is now going by the name The Brass Rail.

Established in 1987, the local staple at 2123 Avenue Z took up two storefronts on the corner of East 22nd Street for decades. But the owners reduced its footprint some time after Superstorm Sandy. That part, 2121 Avenue Z, is now leased by dentist Paul Markel.

The bar launched several new beer options on tap as well after years of being known to locals as the place with “several taps, all Bud.” They’ve also been doing a lot of themed events, including a pajama party, 80s party and, as seen in the photo above, a Thanksgiving Eve Party coming up in two weeks. Unfortunately, it was also one of the last bars in Sheepshead Bay with a pool table – and that is now, sadly, gone. The karaoke will go on, however, as indicated by the new line on their awning: “The Karaoke Spot”.

Best of luck to the new Brass Rail, as well as to Dr. Merkel!

Beer Island in 2008. Apparently, no one on Flickr took photos of the real sites, so you get this lonely guy with a murse. (Source: laserlars/Flickr)

On the list of things that I’m way too excited about and probably flag me as less than a gentleman, Coney Island’s Beer Island is being resurrected as Margarita Island, Amusing the Zillion reports.

For those who don’t know, Beer Island was one of those places that could only emerge in the post-Thor, pre-development purgatory phase of Coney Island, when various establishments were shuttered to make way for new amusements and construction that took a few years to appear. To save face, Thor leased out a few properties to various operators, of which only Beer Island was redeemable.

Let me set the scene here: a big fenced lot. Within, someone dumped a few tons of sand, set up some chintzy tables and umbrellas, and hired some buxom dames to wear bikinis and dole out suds from a shack.

It was glorious, and it was given the boot when the city evicted the boardwalk businesses after purchasing the property from Thor.

Now, it’ll be returning, this time to Bowery Street and West 12th Street. Here’s the nut from AtZ:

The outdoor bar’s liquor license was issued a few days ago and a food truck specializing in Japanese teriyaki is already parked on site. New picnic tables are set up on the corner lot, which had been vacant since Coney Island Arcade burned down four years ago. The property is owned by Jeff Persily, who is also leasing the space next-door to [Margarita Island owner Carl] Muraco for his arcade, formerly located in one of Thor’s buildings.

Five-dollar beers? Yes, please. Check out AtZ’s scoop for more details, including the food they plan on bringing in.


New signage went up over at 1307 Avenue Z, the former home of Puff Caffe, revealing a rebrand as Love 69 Bar & Lounge.

The change happened within the last few weeks, though we’re told it’s the same owners as Puff, which came under new management about a year ago.

We haven’t been inside, but a Yelp reviewer notes that there’s been a redesign on the interior:

Before Love 69 (a little bizarre for a name of a hookah lounge), the previous Puff cafe underwent multiple. Its fairly similar, but now they have a stage (I’m assuming they will upgrade with live music) and more importantly, a full bar!

Decor now is a rustic, western theme. Same layout and cool decorations. Theme also includes sex; you’ll notice the bathroom door with a woman taped with “69″ on her boobs and a poster in the front with about 15 different explicit sex positions. Guess they took “sex sells” a little seriously?

Welcome to the area, Love 69.


Call it a homecoming.

Writer, producer and actor William DeMeo, who got his big acting break in A Bronx Tale (portions of which were filmed in Sheepshead Bay) and named his production West Street after the Gravesend street he grew up on, is back in the neighborhood today, filming scenes for his upcoming feature-length indie flick Back in the Day at Night Light Cafe (1657 Sheepshead Bay Road).

The bar will serve as the scene of an “argument in the neighborhood bar,” and crew on set this morning told us that DeMeo and Shannon Doherty will both be in the area for today’s filming.

We’re told Danny Glover will be in the movie, and even Mike Tyson has a cameo. Consider this a scoop – none of these stars are listed on the IMDB page, which does note that Michael Madsen, Joe D’Onofrio and Paul Borghese will co-star, and Borghese is serving is director.

The film, written by DeMeo, takes place in the 1980s and the current day, following Anthony Rodriguez (DeMeo), a half-Italian, half-Puerto Rican youth growing up in Bensonhurst. After losing his mother and suffering his abusive, alcoholic father, he’s taken under the wing of a local mob boss (Madsen), who supports him as he rises as a boxing talent to eventually become a world champion.

The movie will definitely feature Southern Brooklyn prominently, and future shoots around Sheepshead Bay – as well as Gravesend and Bensonhurst – are likely. For now, mind the traffic: Sheepshead Bay Road is a nightmare to get down.


CLARIFICATION (10/22/2012): We just received a call about this post from a reader who said our post was confusing. Our apologies – it is confusing, and part of that is because we put our latest updates above the piece, with the original post below it. So, to be clear, Vodka Gallery is not closing. They said they were, and had a closing party, but then announced that new management will take over the business and keep it alive.

Below is the update we posted Friday, after finding out our original post, which is below that on this page, no longer reflected the facts.

UPDATE (10/19/2012 @ 4:31 p.m.): We take it all back. Thirty minutes before this post published, the established announced via the very same Facebook page that a deal was struck, and the establishment would stay open under new management. However, it sounds like there’ll be a change in direction.

Here’s what they posted: “Everyone! Vodka Gallery is under new management (**more info to come, including what’s changing**)”

Fans, however, do not seem amused, with one saying they feel lied to, and another accusing them of playing with their heartstrings. We’re just happy to hear there won’t be another vacant storefront.

Original post:

The Vodka Gallery (2376 Coney Island Avenue) has closed its doors for good, but not before holding one last vodka swilling bash this past Saturday, October 13. After four years of sharing shots, good times, and more shots, the Vodka Gallery “moved on to new adventures,” according to its Facebook page.

Rest In Peace.

A process server representing the owners of a proposed bar and restaurant in Gravesend that was denied a liquor license interrupted Community Board 15′s September meeting last night, serving papers for a $180 million lawsuit that claims the Board conspired to defame the owners, and discriminated against them based on their Russian roots.

Pleasure Island, also known as Galaxy, located at 816 Avenue U, was denied a liquor license by the State Liquor Authority in 2011 – and again by the Community Board earlier this year – after locals learned of plans to reactivate a bar that some said was a hotbed for underage drinking and rowdiness. The lawsuit claims, though, that those neighbors were misled by numerous community leaders in a smear campaign orchestrated by Community Board 15 Chairperson Theresa Scavo, possibly for discriminatory reasons.

“She’s saying these people aren’t Jewish enough,” Susan Bernstein, the plaintiffs’ attorney, told Sheepshead Bites. “She wants what she wants in that neighborhood. A Community Board isn’t a despotic agency that can decide what business can open and close. They spread intentional lies about the two individuals involved.”

Keep reading, and view the lawsuit documents.

With a headline like that, I’m sure plenty of Sheepshead Bay old-timers are groaning, “Duu-uh! Old news.”

But we’re not talking about the influx of immigrants from the former Soviet Union. We’re talking about a new bar and restaurant at 2817 Coney Island Avenue called USSR. Or, perhaps, Back to USSR, depending on how you read the sign:

I’ve got to admit, on first seeing this I said to myself, “Man, that’s foolish. Way to tell non-Russians they’re not welcome.”

But after getting a closer look at the sign, and seeing they replaced the hammer and sickle with chicken Kiev and kielbasa, designed the communist red star using caviar, and wrapped the whole thing in bread and sturgeon, and underscored it with a blini – well, these guys have a sense of humor, and I look forward to checking it out.

Welcome to the neighborhood, USSR!

Brooklyn might be losing it’s hockey team, but it’s gaining a new hockey bar.

Construction workers have spent the last week or so at 2524 Coney Island Ave, overhauling it from an understated lounge to the brightly-colored, potentially Spider-Man-themed hockey bar, Arena.

It’s not clear when the new location will be open. The site was previously Status Quo Ante, which after a year or two in operation with barely a sign to indicate its existence, closed up shop recently.

Good luck to our new neighbors!

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