A couple blocks from the Grand Avenue L station, Lock Inn is recognizable for not being an auto body shop or construction company- that and the oversized wrought iron key on the door. Inside, the keys are all over the place, hanging on the exposed brick wall, most notably near the chastity belt above the menu. The bar is comfortable and the tables built into the walls have Scrabble and chess boards encouraging people to linger, and when we visited there was a small child and a dog at the tables in addition to construction workers and students. In the back there is a good jukebox and a pool table, opposite pretty memorable bathrooms lined with crossword puzzles and lit by refurbished Jack Daniels bottles. Under the AC a heavy door leads to a large garden with tables, grape vines and, weather permitting, barbeque, a welcome addition to the bar snacks of barbeque potato chips, orange cheese doodles and microwave popcorn. Weekdays from 4-8, the happy hour gives patrons $2 house "just beer" (read: Bud Lite), $1 off every other beer making the most expensive choice $4. The bar has the usual suspects and other choices like Blackthorne cider in line with owner Lisa Buono's Anglophile aesthetic (in the U.K. the bar's name is a term for an after-hours location). Converted from a scooter shop, it is surprisingly easy to get comfortable at the bar and settle in.
949 Grand Street
Between Catherine Street and Morgan Avenue
Photos by Tien Mao