Brooklyn is no stranger to secret supper clubs and underground speakeasies—all manner of mysterious eating and drinking establishments reside in the borough. But a late-night bar within a play is a whole new beast: The Shipwreck Lounge is only open to the public Thursdays through Sundays, following performances of the immersive 1970s-set resort play, The Grand Paradise, with a varying timetable due to the unpredictable nature of the show. It’s an admittedly capricious downside of the tropical cocktail bar, but once you manage to get in the door and flag down one of the spacey but fun-loving bartenders (servers are keen to toss small plastic mermaids into your drinks), the insider’s club begins to feel like a neighborhood haunt full of your newest down-to-earth friends.
ORDER THIS: Slushie-style frozen cocktails dreamed up by Alicia Rebensdorf (also of Williamsburg’s Tuffet) are the name of the game here. Highlights include the strong and smoky Hustler ($12), served with Scotch, dark rum, Fernet and ginger beer in a smoked-salt–rimmed glass and garnished with lime and candied ginger, and the Cabana Boy ($12), a punch affair sporting aged rum, passion fruit and absinthe; its sweet orgeat syrup is offset by dry fino sherry and tiki bitters. Topping the totem pole is the spicy piña colada dubbed the Beach Party ($12), pepping up pineapple and crème de coconut with adobe pepper rum and Ancho Reyes chili liquor.
GOOD FOR: Late-night revelers looking for a clandestine-cool new hang. Along with the stiffly poured cocktails, the cozy barroom (just bar stools, two small alcoves and one table in the back) sets the scene with a free, old-school jukebox cranking out Fleetwood Mac and Steely Dan all night to a small bunch of the show’s cast members and arty locals, all prone to impromptu dance routines atop the bar. A life-size wrecked ship above the bar gives the watering hole its name, complete with buoys and fishing nets; a pinball machine proves a useful distraction while you wait for your drink to be ready.
THE CLINCHER: The cheery cocktails are the main appeal, but cheap bottled beers and island-inspired snacks abound as well. Pair crunchy plantain chips ($5) or chili-lime peanuts ($5) with lowbrow brews like Brooklyn East IPA ($5) or Miller High Life ($4, or $7 with a shot of rum—with bartenders more than happy to join you for that riff on a boilermaker). Whether you feel like the Big Kahuna when you walk in or not, you’ll leave feeling like you’re one of the gang.
|Venue name:||The Shipwreck Lounge||Contact:|
383 Troutman St
|Cross street:||between Irving and Wyckoff Aves|
|Opening hours:||Thu, Sun 10pm–2am; Fri, Sat midnight–4am|
|Price:||Average cocktail: $12|
|Do you own this business?|