As I said a while ago, bars named after their owners are more often than not the best dive bars. After much deliberation and cheap beers, I’ve decided that Sharlene’s Bar is the best self-named dive bar in all of Brooklyn.
First off, the drinks are pretty cheap. The beers are around $5 for microbrew. But they have High Life on tap for $4 and cheap cans. Then there’s the jukebox. Sharlene and a few of her friends carefully picked all of the songs and albums, and there’s nothing off the top 40. (And it’s one of the old school ones instead of a digital one, so no one can download Katy Perry or Ke$ha or any obnoxious pop songs that get stuck in my head and won’t leave for three days). The music ranges from old punk to metal to music from the 50′s that wouldn’t get played at a vintage car cruise in. Even on the most crowded nights, Sharlene’s never makes you feel claustrophobic because there’s enough sitting and standing room.
The bartenders are all super nice and are quick to get you a drink. Sharlene herself tends bar several times a week, and she’s quick to jump into your conversations about inappropriate emails, spelling errors or 80′s metal singers. The other customers are friendly, even when it was completely full for the world cup. The bar usually gives me a warm fuzzy feeling, but especially right now. There’s Christmas garland and Hanukkah lights strung over the bar. And while waiting to turn on the Wednesday night movie, Sharlene threw on a DVD of a cozy, burning Yule log on the giant projector screen. It’s so magical that even their toaster oven cooked soft pretzels taste better than normal.
photo from brownstoner.com
353 Flatbush Avenue
Between Park Place and Sterling Place [Prospect Heights, Brooklyn]