Bar Spotlights Grub/Spirits — 25 January 2013
The Dram Shop- Park Slope: Drink Here Now correspondent Link Cromwell vowed to have a drink at every bar in Hoboken before running the 2011 New York City Marathon. With every bar visit in the “Sixth Borough” now completed along with a successful race now finished, it’s time to reel our reporting back toward the City. And as such, every single Friday we’ll be taking over where Link left off, showing you distinctive bars in each borough perhaps for the very first time, perhaps to refresh your memory of a fun place you’ve ducked into, or perhaps to suggest a new spot for you to check out. You can follow our travels as we approach each weekend on Friday mornings with’s “Drink Here Now.”

The Dram Shop
339 9th Avenue, Park Slope, Brooklyn
Getting There: D,N,R to 9th Street

At the time of this review the weather was let’s just say, unforgiving. Finding that perfect pub to warm up in and get out of the cold is paramount during the winter months. Sometimes you have to rely upon what’s worked for you in the past and this week’s “Drink Here Now” fits that mold like a plush glove. Several years back sat what I thought was an abandoned pet store on busy Ninth Street located in Park Slope, Brooklyn. After months of sitting vacant, a bar was erected in the space and from there, Dram Shop was born. Dram is a sports bar like none other as it literally caters to all tastes. The crew and I decided to escape the cold and duck into this old favorite to see if it still captures the same charm that it had in the past.

A hulking wooden door allows entry into the Dram Shop space and features the classic speakeasy slide peephole purely for effect. Once inside you’ll find a long yet oddly narrow space. The goal is to either venture toward the back of the house for the games I’ll get to later or try to snag one of the highly coveted seats at the bar or high topped bench tables nearby. Wherever you choose to get situated, prepare to scour the drink and food menu for awhile. Dram Shop is super loaded with a laundry list of craft beers and popular light domestics to suit everyone’s tastes. As per usual we sat at the long thin bar smack dab in the middle as yours truly wanted to capture the winter months in bottle form. Accordingly I ordered a Sam Adams Winter Lager from the funky yet funny female bartender who joked with us for the hour or so we were there. My drinking partner for the evening got down on a Woodchuck Cider. Both spirits were priced nicely below industry standards. The food at Dram Shop should have a review itself with their juicy burger which comes with hand cut fries and the very meaty hot wings, both ranking as higher than your standard bar food.

The music at Dram Shop is always pumped in from the house iPod. During this particular visit, early 1980s rock from the likes of Tom Petty and David Bowie could be heard at a louder then normal volume. Call me old fashioned but I’m a fan of not having to shout to my friends. While you rock out and imbibe, be sure to head to the back of the joint to what I call “Game Cental.” The bar is the home to a terrific selection of board games, shuffleboard, pool table and of course darts! All of these help to elevate your overall drinking experience and keep you there for hours. After we had sipped the last brew and cider we were thrilled that the bar we had loved years ago still held up today, even if we felt a little bit longer in the tooth.

Bar Type – Dram Shop defies being labeled since they specialize in almost every favorite bar activity. You want food? They have a killer burger! Want to watch a game? Well, they have a ton of flat screens. Want to play some games? No problem they have a pool table, shuffleboard, board games, and darts.

When to Visit – We tend to favor weeknights since you are more likely to grab a seat at the bar. On weekends when games are on it’s nearly impossible to find space. But hey, a packed bar is a lot of fun too.

Value – Since they carry both craft and standard domestic beers, prices will vary. But on average you won’t leave Dram with the bank broken unless you were setting out to blow it out in the first place.

The Lowdown – Since taking over from what I believe was an abandoned pet store, Dram Shop has been giving the neighboring bars a run for their money. This could easily be due to it’s close proximity to the subway or the fact that they jam pack so much into one medium sized place. The simple answer is that Dram Shop is a bar for bar lovers plain and simple.

- Alex Corrine

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