The Charleston


174 Bedford Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211
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Rating: ★ ★ ★ Good
Cards: All Major
Hours: Daily Noon-3am
Subway: L to Bedford Ave
Food/Menu: Pizza (FREE PERSONAL PIZZA with every drink 12pm-8pm )
Booze: Full bar
Citysearch says:

The Charleston is a tackily appealing, dimly lit room. The ancient bar stretches down the side, and is usually manned by Benny, the proprietor for uncounted decades. A room in the back is cozy, with semicircular booths and soft red lighting. Music from Sinatra’s day through the ’70s is covered on a jukebox whose seriously old speakers make everything sound a little bit better for being a little bit worse. Benny owns the pizza kitchen next door as well, in case you need something with your beer. Even as Bedford Avenue has become the new Champs-Elysees, the Charleston still holds onto an interesting mix of hip kids and some of the neighborhood’s old guard, by which we mean, like, 70-year-old Polish guys. A stage in the back room also plays home to local bands, who have made the Charleston something of a hip venue for up-and-coming art rockers.

NY Mag says:

The Charleston used to be your stereotypical rock-and-roll rathole: bathroom conditions that would make GG Allin hold it in and a light system consisting of one guy running frantically around the stage flipping switches on and off. But things have been changing since the owners of the Alligator and Crocodile lounges took over—well, except for the bathrooms—and the place has assumed an almost-quaint retro feel, complete with comfy booths and comfort food in the form of free personal pizzas (one per $4 order until 3:30 a.m.). The dirt-cheap rock shows have moved downstairs into what looks like a WWII German bunker, while the upstairs bar area plays host to Wii nights. The crowd is vintage Williamsburg, with hoodies and leather jackets predominating and the occasional youngster rocking an ironic bowl cut.