Bar Spotlights Grub/Spirits — 17 October 2014
The Gowanus Yacht Club- Carroll Gardens : 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.”

Gowanus Yacht Club
323 Smith Street at President Street, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn
Getting There: F,G to Carroll Street


No seriously, you need to “Drink Here Now.” The outdoor only space at Carroll Gardens’ Gowanus Yacht Club shuts down for the year from November to April- and with good reason. It’s outdoors only. But in October’s waning days, the bar is one worth seeking out for a multitude of reasons- namely, there aren’t many places like it in New York City.

The setting which sits directly across the street from the F and G trains makes getting to the burgeoning Carroll Gardens infinitely easy for patrons coming from Queens or Manhattan and the explosion of new bars and restaurants nearby offers up even more reasons for making the trek out. That said, throw on a sweater or a shawl and grab a seat at any of the spaces communal picnic tables where the patio layout is candidly more ideal for August weather. But as the temperature dips, we’re always longing for reasons to be outside and to retain some level of comfort in doing so and where there may be a dearth of heat lamps, the space has plenty of character.

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A huge white awning sits over the top of the Yacht Club’s furthest side, covering up the small bar and grill space where the basic frankfurters, burgers and grilled cheese sandwiches are served out affordably. The space, notably isn’t much to look at- some beer signs and buoys and strangely, a Chicago city flag are the only decor- but the fact that it feels both thrown together and intimately ‘Brooklyn’ only add to the Yacht Club’s charm. The name itself is probably a bit misleading in that you’d likely anticipate the bar sitting atop a massive white boat instead of an adjacent bagel store’s patio, but hey- how can you argue with a cozy beer garden that yearns for warmer weather as we dip into the depths of winter? Head on over and enjoy what’s left of the beer!  The $4 Hofbrau that I slugged down was well worth it.

The Rundown

Bar Type - A very simplistic, bare bones outdoor beer garden.

When to Visit – Didn’t you read what I said above? Anytime before the place’s November 1st close. Your best bet is to stop in after work one night. There’s plenty of surrounding spots for you to check out and the twenty-thirty minute ride from Manhattan is easy-peasy.

Value - The Gowanus Yacht Club is serving whatever beer they have left and as such, you can get a slew of craft pours and cans between $4-$6 a pop. But the visit is more about the end of season experience rather than the cheap beers being offered.

The Lowdown – Looking for a family friendly spot where you can bring a baby and not worry about things getting out of hand? No problem. Looking to enjoy the crisp autumn weather with a few beers and some friends in coats? No problem. Looking for a place to simply kick back and relax casually? No problem. You won’t get cocktails or a three course prix-fixed meal here- and that’s just fine by us. Looking forward to throwing on my San Jose Sharks Starter jacket and heading out to Carroll Gardens this weekend. And I hope you’ll join me there, while the weather still permits.

- Alex Corrine

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