In this city, restaurants come and go faster than you can say "sustainable locavore burger." And even though there are great new additions to the culinary landscape popping up every week, you've gotta give kudos to anyone who can stick it out for over a year. With that in mind, we bring you Still Got It, our tribute to establishments that continue to serve mouthwatering meals and drinks long after the buzz has faded—or if the lingering hype is still justified.
There are easily over 100 bars crowded into the overgrown college campus that is Williamsburg, and they're all lackadaisically competing for your spare change on any weekend night. Some of them have pool tables and some of them have Big Buck Hunter; some have drink specials and some have outdoor patios. But there's one particularly great dive that has all those things, and best of all, plenty of room to spare—East River Bar.
Located just under the Williamsburg Bridge, East River Bar was originally a paint factory before being converted into an underground biker bar, a Latino speakeasy, and finally in 2004, the dive bar that stands there today. The main room retains the industrial feel of the original paint factory, with the original exposed bricks and beams—only with Big Buck Hunter, a pool table, and a disco ball to boot. There is also a jukebox, which unfortunately seems to be out of order more often than not. But you're not going to find a more spacious room to hang out with a big group of friends at 11 p.m. on a Saturday night—you don't have to worry about being elbow-to-elbow on most nights.
The best part of the dive is their outdoor patio, which is filled with long tables and several grills. The bar is a big advocate of BYOBBQ: bring your own BBQ. We've had many great nights making friends with strangers and sharing food. There are $3 drafts and well drinks at Happy Hour Monday-Friday, from 5pm-8pm—but keep in mind they don't accept credit cards. And we've found that even though it's not on the menu, if you sweet talk the bartender, they'll make you a cheap and delicious pickleback, which is always a plus.
97 S 6th Street (between Bedford Avenue & Berry Street)