The Great GoogaMooga summer festival in Prospect Park

Everything you need to know about the Great GoogaMooga three-day summer music and food festival in Brooklyn.

Photograph: wagz2it

Though the general consensus last year was that the Great GoogaMooga was not so great, the sophomore venture will hit Brooklyn’s Prospect Park May 17 through 19, 2013, expanding to a three-day event. If organizers can sort out the logistical snafus that plagued the first GoogaMooga (exorbitantly long lines, insufficient food that nearly resulted in a fistfight over fried chicken, and a derided VIP section that led to across-the-board refunds of the $250 tickets), New Yorkers will be able to bliss out to a top-flight 20-band billing while stuffing their faces from 85 restaurants.

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Bars close to the Great GoogaMooga


  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

This hops emporium frequently offers brand-new brews from local up-and-comers such as Greenport Harbor, as well as obscure seasonal releases and hard-to-find vintages, like a 2007 Bare Tree Weiss Wine from Illinois's Two Brothers. The mind-boggling stock of 1,100 bottles is complemented by two sets of 14 draft lines: one specially designed to fill growlers without letting in any freshness-killing oxygen, and one set aside for pouring pints that patrons can enjoy in the homey 35-seat caf area. On Tuesdays, the place is packed for free 7pm tastings.

  1. 191 Fifth Ave, (between Berkeley Pl and Union St)
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The Vanderbilt

  • Critics choice

Saul Bolton, who helped make Smith Street a brand name with his restaurant, Saul, strikes again with this gorgeous gastropub. A handsome room sets the stage for smartly executed mixed drinks like the warming and nuanced Chase and Shade, made with apple brandy, apple-cider molasses, black tea, bitters and lemon. The best quaff we tried was the brawny, spicy King Edward (rye, cherry Heering, vanilla and a spritz of Scotch). The Vanderbilt also makes a play for the dinner crowd: Excellent—if pricey—small plates include addictively sweet honey-glazed chicken wings.

  1. 570 Vanderbilt Ave, (at Bergen St)
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Beer Table

  • Critics choice

The mood is akin to a wine bar (minus the hauteur) at this brew enthusiast’s dream. The friendly staff can guide you, sommelier-like, through the menu of rare and obscure beers, including Hanssens Kriek—a tart, bright red lambic fermented from sour cherries and served from the cask. The Swiss Brasserie Des Franches-Montagnes’ La Meule, meanwhile, goes down like a spice box of sage and thyme. Many of these beers shock on first gulp, and you may wonder whether your curious quaff was worth the price. But after the last taste-bud-teasing sip, you’ll leave convinced that your pennies were well spent.

  1. 427B Seventh Ave, (between 14th and 15th Sts)
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The Gate

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

How good is this place? Beer just seems to taste better here, especially on the huge street-level deck. There’s a good chance your favorite brew will be on tap; there are always additions to the standby Brooklyn Lager and Guinness. If the weather won’t cooperate or if you can’t score a wrought-iron seat outside, slide into a booth in the bar’s dark-wood interior. This is a shirttail, bring-your-pet kinda joint, where conviviality reigns.

  1. 321 Fifth Ave, (at 3rd St), 11215
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Sea Witch

  • Price band: 1/4

Brooklyn isn't short on nautically themed watering holes tarted up with garish fishnet decor, but this beer-focused newcomer takes subtler cues from the sea. Save a clubby blue-lit fish tank behind the bar, the place is tastefully rigged with starry pinhole light fixtures, an underwater mural and stools crafted from massive soldered chains. The 20 drafts, too, are smart and unpretentious, balancing local craft darlings like Greenport Harbor—try the smooth Black Duck Porter ($5)—with no-frills classics fit for a longshoreman (Guinness, MGD). Just don't expect much seafood: Beyond a buttery whole-belly clam roll ($11), the menu centers on well-executed, cheap comfort food. Tuck into the crispy pork-schnitzel sandwich ($6.50), or an excellent burger made with a freshly ground blend of brisket, chuck and short rib; the thin patty and satisfying squelch may remind you of Shake Shack, as will the $5.50 price tag.

  1. 703 Fifth Ave, (between 21st and 22nd Sts)
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Franklin Park

  • Critics choice

Southpaw co-owner Matthew Roff converted this former Crown Heights garage into a 1,300-square-foot beer “garden”—a liberal definition for this tree-shaded concrete slab. Inside you’ll find a handsome oak bar, but the real scene is outdoors, where picnic tables are packed with grateful locals. Join them to sip one of a dozen pricey-for-the-’hood drafts, like He’Brew’s crisp Coney Island Lager.

  1. 618 St. Johns Pl, (between Classon and Franklin Aves)
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What this by-the-numbers wine bar lacks in personality, it makes up for in its smart, compact list. Roughly a dozen reds and whites by the glass include choices like a 2007 Shooting Star Aligoté, full of almond, grass and white peach notes; and the enjoyably leathery 2005 Château de Caladroy “Les Schistes.” Brook-vin does cocktails, too—patrons can match a house-infused vodka with a homemade flavored syrup and seltzer. It’s a fun idea, but not likely to produce drinks of any great quality. A much savvier gimmick is the wine list’s emphasis on half bottles. Sometimes it’s better to stick to what you know.

  1. 381 Seventh Ave, (between 11th and 12th Sts)
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Bearded Lady

  • Price band: 1/4

Gowanus Yacht Club alums are behind this colorful Prospect Heights saloon. Choose from eight draft beers (Sixpoint Sweet Action, Kelso Nut Brown Lager) and specialty cocktails, such as the Kinky Krown, which combines gin, Cointreau, Lillet Blanc, Bénédictine and lemon juice. To eat, find sandwiches, like house-made beer cheese with pickles on pullman bread.

  1. 686A Washington Ave, (at St. Marks Ave), 11238
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Hot Bird

Named for a long-defunct Prospect Heights chicken shop, this bar has popped up in what was once an auto-repair garage. On sunny days, the 12 tap beers—including craft labels like California’s Nectar Pale Ale—can be enjoyed in the spacious front garden (a corner lot that until recently was home to several rusty old junkers). A stationary food truck serves smashed burgers, tacos and other booze-friendly grub.

  1. 546 Clinton Ave, (at Atlantic Ave)
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The Double Windsor

While the name suggests formal attire, there’s no dress code at this neighborhood pub from the owners of Cake Shop. Classic cocktails from the 20-seat horseshoe bar will include the dark and stormy and the sazerac, though craft beers and cask ales are the real focus, with a rotating selection dispensed from 14 taps. Something that does get dressed up: the pub-grub menu from chef-partner Paul Cacici (Egg, Union Square Cafe), which includes a duck-confit sandwich with fig jam and arugula, and his take on fish-and-chips.

  1. 210 Prospect Park West, (at 16th St)
More info

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