the brooklynite

One in a Thousand
By Dan Freeman

The Drinker

LAST YEAR I DRANK in 1,000 different bars in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Spain. When I lifted a glass of champagne at Pioneer Bar on the Bowery on December 30, it was with a sense of both pride and relief. Pride, of course, in accomplishing what I had set out to do, and relief because this year, if I want a drink, I can just go to one of the many local watering holes in my neighborhood, places that I seldom had a chance to visit last year.

There are many fine bars near where I live, in Downtown Brooklyn and the surrounding area—neighborhoods that already have mighty fine names and don’t need new ones like BoCoCa (which to me sounds like it should be a beach somewhere in Florida). One of my favorite bars is Pete’s Waterfront Ale House on Atlantic Avenue.

What makes Pete’s my favorite? Well, despite its boasts of warm beer and an ugly owner, the beer is actually quite cold. The owner you will have to judge for yourself. Not only is the beer cold, but the selection, both bottled and draft, is exceptional: everything from exotic imports such as Ebulum Elderberry Black Ale from Scotland to local favorites from the Brooklyn Brewery. And the selection changes frequently so you can always find something new.

Add to this truly fantastic food that goes well beyond your local pub grub (although you can get that too), and you have all the ingredients necessary for a great hang-out spot. And with the free popcorn—always fresh—I have to ask myself: What was I looking for all of last year?

Pete’s Waterfront Ale House, 155 Atlantic Ave., Cobble Hill (F or G to Bergen; 2, 3, 4, or 5 to Borough Hall; M, N, or R to Court), 718-522-3794.

Dan Freeman writes about his drinking exploits at Borough President Marty Markowitz has called him “a real Brooklyn meshuggeneh.”