Sun-Thu, 11am-2am; Fri-Sat, 11am-3am
11am-7pm; $2 PBR
J at Kosciuszko St.; J, M, Z at Myrtle Ave.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Stepping into this cluttered coffee shop is a bit like falling down Alice's rabbit hole. Bookshelves packed with out-of-print bestsellers stretch to the high, pressed-tin ceiling from which a 130-year-old Brooklyn Dodgers bicycle hangs, obsessively collected thrift-store lamps leer weirdly from the walls, and meticulously arranged figurines and political artifacts create an alternate universe. Here, a surprisingly drinkable house wine costs $4 per plastic cup (beers such as Ballantine, one of America’s oldest brands of pale ale, are even cheaper) and the nightly live music is almost always free. Exceptions are when big promoters line up white-hot touring acts that pack the place so tight it overflows to the back garden—essentially an open-air sculpture studio littered with the half-welded remnants of the owner Steve Trimboli's last endeavor, Greenwich Village’s Scrap Bar. On regular nights, inward-looking avant gardists blast waves of feedback to the recent college grads lounging on the decaying furniture while neighborhood kids wander in for free wi-fi or to challenge their elders at chess.
Picnics with a view, roller-skating nostalgia, and a party for gay headbangers.