Bar Spotlights Grub/Spirits — 02 May 2014
Skinny Dennis – Williamsburg: Drink Here Now

Our correspondent vowed to have a drink at every single bar in Hoboken and did so successfully with Spirits in the Sixth Borough.” Every Friday morning, we’ll pick up where he left off, showing you distinctive bars in each New York City 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 as you gear up for the weekend. You can follow our sudsy travels every week with’s “Drink Here Now.”

Skinny Dennis
152 Metropolitan Avenue at Berry Street, Williamsburg
Per the website: Skinny Dennis has no phone
Getting There: L to Bedford Avenue

The horseshoe that sits on the front windows, sandwiched by signage that reads ‘cold beer’ and ‘hot peanuts’ is perhaps the only hint of what’s inside of the otherwise brick laden bar’s exterior. Sitting on a busy corner of Metropolitan Avenue is Skinny Dennis, a honky tonk style bar that is Williamsburg’s toe dip into the old south- a dive with a definitive country-western feel that looks like it could have been transplanted from the 70s. Though from the outside, you might not even have any idea that it’s there- which is just fine by us.

Depending upon your time of visit, you will encounter some live music every day of the week at Skinny Dennis- a huge plus, despite an old-fashioned jukebox, equipped with fittingly dated country music. The decor is purposefully tacky from the mural of Willie Nelson to a handful of arcade game relics to the eye catching throwback of a 7-Up sign that sits behind the bar appropriately, and lists the beers being served. There are a variety of rotating beers from $4 Narragansett Lager tall boys and Yuenglings to $6 Guinness and Victory Dirt Wolf IPA pours from the bar’s considerable array of taps.

Though Skinny Dennis serves up limited food like Burritos ($8-$9), locally sourced Sigmund’s Pretzels ($4) and peanuts, it’s the “Willie’s Frozen Coffee” ($7) here that makes the bar well worth coming out of your way for. Among their signature drinks like a “One Pound Margarita” ($8), their “Tito’s Lemonade” ($8) or their “Bourbon Mint Sweet Tea” ($8), the Frozen Coffee, served in those generic blue coffee cups, is the standout with a heavy pour of Evan Williams bourbon meshed with a brandy and coffee liqueur infused slush. It’s not only refreshingly sweet, but damn is it delicious. With vintage signage alongside some great jukebox tunes that showcase real country music before it became pop, a great beer list served in mason jars, and an unapologetic honky tonk meets dive bar vibe, Skinny Dennis might be a bit thin on grandeur, but it’s awesomely bloated with character. And it’s that character that makes the place such an idea fit , right in hipster town.

The Rundown

Bar Type - A bustling honky tonk dive bar for Brooklynites.
When to Visit – With live music literally every day (We’re serious. Check their calendar), there’s really no wrong time to visit Skinny Dennis. If you’re just looking to kick back with a buddy though, afternoon weekends are still surprisingly busy, but admittedly quieter with the smooth sounds of David Allan Coe playing in the background from the place’s throwback jukebox.
Value - Skinny Dennis offers 18 different draft beers and all things considered, being able to grab a beer at $4 any time is a tremendous value inside of a fun place. And candidly, their original $7 -$8 cocktail menu won’t kill you per drink either- though don’t be surprised when your bill is getting up there after slugging down 5 or 6 of them.
The Lowdown – Like you needed another reason to visit Williamsburg, right? Skinny Dennis, named after a 28 year old west coast bass player named Dennis Sanchez who passed away on stage, celebrates the ideals that are only spoken about in country songs. We appreciate the preponderance of cheap beers, live country music and a vintage style setting that New Yorkers have idealized but have never truly been able to appreciate. That is, until now.

- Alex Corrine

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