BoozeNew York

2 Spring Bars: Boxcar Lounge and Harefield Road

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As we wait with anticipation for the seemingly never-ending rain to stop, and reminisce about the 80 degree weather, here are a couple of bars to keep in mind for when things get back to normal.  I didn’t mention Union pool because I’m pretty sure everyone knows about that amazing “garden” and the resident $3 taco truck.

Boxcar Lounge, located on Ave. B, near 11th St. in the East Village.
Not only have I seen Zadie Smith sitting at this bar (which, I guess is technically unrelated to it being Springtime), but this place also boasts a really nice back patio area that isn’t overrun with frat boys or hipsters.  It’s a bit small inside and out, but I’ve never seems to get too crowded on the weekends.  They also have a 2-for1- Happy Hour special Mon-Thurs, 4-10pm and Fridays 4-8pm.  I imagine that this amazing special fills it up during the week.  If you don’t get a seat outside, there are plenty of cozy  little spots good enough for a date.

Also, it’s cash only, but next door at Lakeside Lounge, I’m pretty sure they have an ATM.  Honestly, I’ve stuck strictly to beer here so far, but Boxcar features a homemade sangria, sake gimlets, and a “Japan Cocktail”.  Not sure about the latter two, but I’m all geared up to try their sangria-which NY Mag describes as “rocket-fueled.”

What makes this a perfect Spring bar?  My equation= Outside patio – Douchebags + rocket-fuel sangria + 2-for-1 happy hour.

Fun Fact: Prior to 1998 (before 50 cent slutified the Candy Shop), this bar used to be a candy store that was known as a favorite place in the East Village for scoring coke.

Harefield Road, located off the Graham L stop in “East Williamsburg”, Brooklyn.
Not only does this place feature a really nice selection of beers, but they have an excellent back area and they serve a yummy $12 brunch (including coffee or tea AND a mimosa or Bloody Mary) on the weekends.  Otherwise, they have a 4-8pm happy hour special on selected beers every day.

One of my favorite warm weather drinks is a Snakebite– kind of like a Black & Tan, except instead of using pale ale, there’s cider.  I usually get it with Guinness, and though the Irishmen who own this bar are pretty particular about “defiling” a Guinness, they’re willing to accommodate my semi-frequent request.

Few things are better than getting a Hefeweisen with lemon, or a Snakebite, and sitting in the back patio of Harefields on a warm day or night.  It rarely gets too crowded (apart from brunch time), and there always seems to be room for everyone.

Oh, and on Sundays at 4pm, a band called the Cangelosi Cards plays old-timey 20s/30s jazz (Lindy Hop?) starting at 4pm, for free!

Fun Fact: Sometimes, and this is especially fun during weekend brunch time, you can get a pint of Mimosa from a bartender/waitress named Erin.  It might cost you a dollar or two extra beyond the $12 at brunch, but if you’re like me, it makes way more sense to just get a pint of it instead of ordering flute after flute.

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Anna G - Caliburg Contributor

Anna G - Caliburg Contributor

Anna G. is a Southern California native living in the Williamsburg area of Brooklyn since 2005. Anna is constantly trying to unite her love of CA sunshine and the excitement of the New York urban jungle, all the while trying to keep her unwieldy credit card debt under control, and look fabulous at brunch, no matter how un-showered and hungover.


  1. May 6, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    re: harefield and union pool- also of note in that realm in bk: spuyten duyvil vastly expanded their garden, making it probably the best combo of outside and broke ass in wburg. their beer list is great and bartenders know them, attitude down to earth, and they routinely have one or two 20 ouncers for 5 bucks on tap. the garden is sweet, not just a concrete patch, trees and rocks but watch out for the mini-slugs, seriously, if you leave your beer they can climb in and drink themselves to death. i’m not making this up. i’ve only seen ’em once or twice tho and that was a couple years ago.

    in other bk bar news: black betty is rumored to be closing.
    there is a new bar in bushwick called tandem, near the jefferson stop, havent been yet tho.

  2. Anna G - Caliburg Contributor
    May 6, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    I loooove spuyten duyvil, but I feel also like everyone knows about it & it can get too crowded. It’s HEAVENLY when you get a spot though. Best beer EVER.
    I’lll def have to check tandem out.

  3. to be a mini-slug…

  4. Info
    May 17, 2011 at 9:48 am

    Thanks for the kindass words Brokeass Stuart, dig your website!  We try hard at Boxcar to be the best that we can be for the last 13 years.  And yes thanks for the props about trying our best to keep it douchebag free. We really appreciate that. 

    Just a few corrections, if you dont mind, WE ARE NOT CASH ONLY!!!   We take ALL MAJOR CREDIT CARDS!  Also our Spring/Summer Hours are Happy Hour from 6 to 10 Mon-Thursday and from 4 till 8 Fridays  and Saturday & Sundays from 2 till 8. 
    Also on Saturdays & Sundays we feature a New Orleans Style Bloody Mary Bar where you can create your own Bloody Mary concoctions from a vast assortment of ingredients. 
    Thanks a lot again for the good words, my friend,
    The Guys from Boxcar
    Twitter @boxcarlounge