With its timeworn wood floors and fish-yard–view windows, Andrew Tarlow’s Greenpoint grogshop is loosely based on a dockhand dive. But instead of off-hours longshoremen, an art-house crowd streams in, armed with 35mm analog cameras and hand-painted skateboards. The faux-weathered joint is a cool-kid Cheers descendant, a neighborhood tavern where even the staff sticks around for drinks after throwing in the towel for the day.
DRINK THIS: Off the classic-leaning list (six house cocktails in all), the Latter Dagger ($10) jump-starts a dark and stormy with spiced velvet falernum and Angostura bitters; meanwhile, the bourbon-based Third Arm ($12) tempers anise-heavy pastis with fruity mûre (blackberry liqueur) and orange bitters.
GOOD FOR: The buzz of a Brooklyn bar without the fuss. Chummy regulars slap backs over crisp glasses of muscadet ($12), while Cameroonian singer Francis Bebey chirps over the din. The saloon draws a thrumming crowd, but the remote location—on a dim stretch hugging the waterfront—lends it a sense of in-the-know intimacy.
THE CLINCHER: The bar-food program is simple but stellar. Provisions include dishes like toothsome ropes of peppery beef jerky ($5), gamey house-made liverwurst ($9) and hearty rye accompanied by tangy raw goat cheese ($9). Grub is usually the weak spot, the vulnerable heel of a bar—but here, it’s an Achillean strength.—Christina Izzo