139 N 6th St btw Bedford Ave and Berry St, Williamsburg
The Place: Surf Bar is, um, a surf bar right in the heart of Williamsburg mayhem.
The Time: Thursday April 12, 8pm. I’m moving next month. That’s right, I’m leaving Williamsburg (though I’m not leaving Brooklyn, so don’t get sad). But while I’m still here, I want to hit up all the WB spots that I will miss (looking at you, Huckleberry) and also the ones I’ve never been to! My roommate suggested Surf Bar as a fun tiki bar a short walk away from our apartment in Northside Williamsburg. It feels only appropriate to celebrate the short stint of nice weather by hitting the “beach.”
The Vibe: Surf’s up, brah. After taking a minute to figure out where the door is, since every surface of the vestibule is covered in fucking Billabong stickers, I walk into the tiny interior and look down. Why, do you ask? Because there’s actual sand on the floor, literally the entire floor is sand. There’s a back garden, open because it’s a beautiful night, but I settle in at the bar. The ceiling is made of surfboards, dollar bills hang from the front of the bar, and the music is, you guessed it, beachy. Everything is so kitschy and gimmicky, but I totally understand how this could be a lot of fun. I’m illuminated by the neon glow of the nearby fish tank on the side of the bar - it’s literally the only reason I’m able to read in here, so thanks fishes. The only other person sitting at the bar is a woman eating fries, wearing headphones and watching something on her phone, so I’m ok. There are LOTS of tourists here - I’m hearing many different accents and languages. But I guess if you’re visiting New York and you have a Brooklyn day, this place is on your list because it’s “unique.” My main gripe is a regular one - there are no hooks under the bar. But I’m like, you guys, your floor is made of sand! Put some fucking hooks under the bar so my stuff doesn't get coated in sand and my mom doesn’t yell at me for getting the backseat all sandy! (Whoa. Memories. Sorry.)
The Bartender: A lovely woman who is eager to help me but not overbearing. She’s efficient and organized and friendly. A+.
The Drank: I get a tiki drink, because, you know, when in Rome. Out of the list of relatively similar-sounding frozen cocktails, I choose the Pipeline: light rum, blue curacao, amaretto, coconut cream. This drink is bananas! It’s stupidly sweet, bright blue and will absolutely fuck me up.
Was I Hit On? About a third of the way through my tropical alcohol smoothie, a guy with a beer pulls up the bar stool next to me, veeeerrrryyyyy sloooowwwwllyyy. I panic. He sits down, and then a flash goes off, and then another, and it suddenly becomes very clear that he just wanted a picture in front of the fish tank. I’m simultaneously relieved and offended, because I’ve never been upstaged by a fish tank before. He leaves, then immediately comes back to take more pics because I guess the first 14 his friend took weren’t good enough. Is this place even more of a tourist destination than I realized?
Should You Drink Here Alone? Friends, I’m conflicted. I had a perfectly pleasant time at Surf Bar, and I could see having a great time here with a lotta people and a lotta tiki drinks. But I won’t be going out of my way to drink here alone again. I’ll let the tourists have this one.