A Fort Greene bike shop has gone and broken the liquor license barrier, making it arguably New York's first bike shop/cafe/bar. Yes, really. But before you grab your pitchforks and light fires screaming about how cyclists are already enough of a danger to society, be aware that the folks at Red Lantern Bicycles are really not looking to cause any more dead cyclists. They just want to have a fun store.
The shop—which was already running a coffee shop in the front that sells tea, coffee made with beans roasted on site and some alternative milks "like almond milk and sunflower milk"—got its liquor license at the start of the month and so far things have been copacetic. "We're still trying to figure out the marketing of it," owner Brian Gluck tells us. "Figuring out what kind of spot we are—if it is an after work crowd or what."
One thing it isn't is a late night bar. In order to get insured (which took some time) the shop needed to follow a few guidelines, including putting up a partition between the bar area and the bikes, not offering bike rentals, not hiring a bouncer (yes, you read that right: not hiring a bouncer) and, most importantly, closing at 11 p.m.
The bar is also firmly against drunk biking. "We're really sensitive to people drinking and driving, that's something we're paying extra close attention to," Gluck says. And since they offer indoor bicycle parking already, they are in the process of setting up a key check-in system to keep drunk cyclists off the streets. Which is to say, if you aren't sober they'll ask you to come back and pick up your bike in the morning (they open at 7 a.m., so it shouldn't be a problem).
As for what kinds of drinks are on tap, right now they've got $3 PBR, $5 regular beers, a $6 Belgian double ale and wines by the glass for $5-$6. Plans are in motion to install a single tap that will feature rotating local beers and in the summer they hope to serve sangria. They do not have a full liquor license (and have no plans to apply for one). Still, kinda gives a new meaning to the term "biker bar"...