Mon-Fri, 2pm-2am; Sat, 3pm-2am; Sun, 4pm-midnight
F at York St.
The kind of sophisticated neighborhood hangout one finds in spades all over European cities, the generically named 68 Jay Street Bar turns down its ambient music to encourage conversation. The lighting is muted and flattering, and the terra-cotta archways, paint-splattered colonnades and touches of light wood lend an ambience of age and history. You'd never guess that this space used to house a check-cashing store or that the bar only opened in late 2003. Like most other places in post-industrial DUMBO, the bar caters to an art-world crowd, although it is more often filled with gallery honchos and design execs than avant-garde painters. That's not to say that 68 Jay is snooty or expensive: several cheap-but-charming wines are offered by the glass, and happy hour drinks are priced comfortably low.
Picnics with a view, roller-skating nostalgia, and a party for gay headbangers.