2007_05_gowanusdrinks1.JPGWhile we can't honestly imagine what kind of pleasure you'd get from sipping on that highly polluted stream, we did do a little bit of research about drinking establishments around Brooklyn’s favorite body of water. Gowanus Yacht Club is really in Carroll Gardens, and 4th Avenue (along with its new bars) are now being taken over by Park Slope. So, you'll have to get closer to the canal then you ever thought possible.

The most obvious choice is the Canal Bar. But don't expect to admire the scenery. The narrow place is dark and cozy, the perfect late night place if your intention is avoid seeing someone you might know. The solitary, drink-and-shut-up vibe is as addicting as it is off-putting. So if you’re in the mood, it can offer the perfect retreat but don't call it a relaxing vibe. The lady bartenders are full of sass, which they deal out to the local collection of macho men, hipsters, and hispanic couples. As far as specials go, they have buckets of beers, six for eight dollars which sounds like a phenomenal deal. But the beers are called "nips", and are around 7-ounces a piece. "It's still a really great deal if you break it down," the bartender assured us.

2007_05_gowanusdrinks2.JPGThe only other option we could find, aside from all the member’s only clubs, which were too afraid to sneak into, was Monte's Venetian Room, the self-acclaimed oldest Italian restaurant in Brooklyn. It rests on quiet side street, and has, of all things, free parking. The menu is spiked with many of your favorite Italian-American classics, but we were there to drink, and they have a beautiful little bar with a few comfortable stools. The liquor cabinet is meager at best, and definitely don't go there for the crowds, but they do have Campari, and so we were able to have an excellent Negroni all in the surprisingly comfortable room. No happy hour specials, but $10 for two mixed drinks sounds about right, especially when sipping in such relative luxury a block away from the Gowanus Canal.

Are there any places we missed?

Canal Bar
270 3rd Ave

Monte's
51 Carroll St