Pick a sports bar with a good TV set up, a vibe and beer you like, and settle in with like-minded locals to cheer as the camera zooms in on the Times Square crowds cheering in the new year.
One huge advantage of spending New Year's Eve at a sports bar: It's not expensive. Another: You'll be among instant friends. Was it a rough year? If it was for you, it probably was for a lot of people. What better place than a Brooklyn bar to let it all hang out?
Brooklyn's sports bars number in the many dozens, but they're all different. To give an idea of the range of environments, here are just a few suggestions.
1. Turkey’s Nest Tavern (in Williamsburg)
Years ago, Turkey's Nest Tavern was declared by the New York Press “Best Place to Get Drunk and Gamble That’s Not OTB,” and things haven't changed much, despite the incredible gentrification in the neighborhood. So the Nest is far from flashy, and it's only hip because it's not. Pool, pinball, arcade buck-hunting, bowling, and drinking will keep you busy. You’ll see mullets alongside gristly gray hair, as you listen to the jukebox’s country and rock tunes, sipping on a seriously cheap thirty-two-ounce beer.
- Where: 94 Bedford Ave. at North 12th Street
- Contact: (718) 384-9774
This sports bar was opened years back by a couple of New York’s Bravest. Besides the gorgeous, bright red, antique fire truck in the middle of the restaurant, there’s plenty of firefighter memorabilia on the walls, large-screen televisions and monitors—there’s almost always a game to watch while you munch on enormous salads, burgers, barbecued chicken and ribs, and brick-oven pizzas. A recently installed Kilkenny Irish beer chilling system ensures that the eighteen or so domestic and imported beers come out cold. Parental advisory: There’s a kids’ menu, but be aware that serious drinking can go on at night. And on New Year's Eve? Fuggedabout it.
- Where: 7509 3rd Avenue near 75th Street.
- Contact: (718) 238-0030. www.SaltyDogBar.com
Known both for its good food and low key vibe, Woodwork is located very near the new Barclay Center, home of the Brooklyn Nets basketball team. You'll find great pickles, sandwiches, cheese platters — and an excellent selection of draught beer. Get there early; it's not a big place.
Finally, here's a piece of free advice: On New Year's Eve, the best bar is one that's within walking distance of home! The subways are packed that night. Driving's a bad idea if you've been busy. And, cabs are hard to find. So stay local, meet some neighbors, and have a good, low-key, Brooklyn-style New Year's Eve!