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Long Island Bar

Critic's Pick Critics' Pick

110 Atlantic Ave., Brooklyn , NY 40.690753 -73.996295
at Henry St.  See Map
718-625-8908 Send to Phone

Photo by Liz Clayman

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Official Website

thelongislandbar.com

Hours

Sun-Thu, 5:30pm-midnight; Fri-Sun, 5:30pm-2am

Nearby Subway Stops

2, 3, 4, 5 at Borough Hall

Payment Methods

MasterCard, Visa

Profile

The longshoremen who jammed the Brooklyn bars once lining the foot of Atlantic Avenue are gone, and the bars themselves have dwindled to just a handful, but the large neon marquee at the corner of Henry Street has sputtered back to life in wraparound red and green letters. “Every time we light it, people go bonkers,” says Toby Cecchini, who, along with partner Joel Tompkins, somehow stumbled into one of the city’s most elusive commercial leases: that of Long Island Bar & Restaurant, now called simply Long Island Bar, a mid-century diner and neighborhood landmark.

Cecchini is a bit of a legend in bartending circles — not only for running the defunct meatpacking tavern Passerby but for inventing the modern Cosmopolitan at the Odeon in the late eighties. On matters potable, he is quite particular. For one thing, he pointedly decided not to invest in a fashionable Kold-Draft ice machine, known for making super-dense cubes that take longer to melt. “I believe in a ferocious amount of dilution in cocktails,” says Cecchini. “To make them palatable and to chill them.” He adds that the drinks are “straightforwardish,” with subtle twists on classics like the Jack Rose, the Boulevardier, and the Corpse Reviver. This immunity to trends and the pair’s respect for the hangout’s past clearly melds with their vision for its future. In Tompkins’s words: “It’s a fifties bar, it’s near the water, and it’s the most gorgeous, warm place you’d want to have a drink in.”

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