511 Grand Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Rating: ★ ★ ★ Good
Cards: Cash Only
Hours: Daily 3pm-4am
Subway: L to Lorimer St.
Food/Menu: Bar Snacks (popcorn)
Booze: Full bar
Happy Hour: Daily 3pm-7pm: $2 domestic beers, $3 tap beers, and half-priced well drinks
NY Mag says:
In any other location, the industrial-sized, pine-planked Redd’s would be hopping on a Friday night, its plush couches and lantern-lit patio filled with groups of drinkers. Apparently it takes a little more of a gimmick—like Barcade’s trove of vintage video games or Royal Oak’s college-age sleaze—to earn the attention of Williamsburg bar-goers. But what Redd’s lacks in novelty it makes up for in comfort: A stack of wax-paper bags waits to be filled with gratis popcorn, and the classic-rock jukebox, spiked with Sonic Youth and Elvis Costello, treads on pleasantly familiar ground. In the winter, bartenders heat up toddies and apple cider on hot plates. Next to a red, illuminated Esso gas pump, a makeshift stage hosts the occasional jazz band or singer-songwriter, and the bar has an accommodating booking policy toward eager acts. Of course, the lack of a crowd affords an opportunity, too: Curl up with a few friends and a pint of Summer Blue Point, and lounge like you own the place.
If you’re curious about the buzz about Grand Street being the new Lower East Side, and want to find out for yourself, start at the unlikely intersection of Grand and Union, home of Redd’s Tavern. Pretty new to the neighborhood, Redd’s is working the crowds the way any good host should, with a guest’s desires in mind. An open BBQ in the beer garden provides gas and grill while patrons bring in whatever they want to cook up. Any local band that asks can pretty much pick a night and play; even what plays on the tubes above the bar is up for grabs. Put your feet up on the couches, plunk your quarters in the jukebox, and enjoy yourself. Good luck getting up to check out the rest of the strip once you’re comfortable at Redd’s.