5 Walkable Bars in Sunset Park
Beyond Camp David and the unique culinary finds at Industry City, Sunset Park is home to an endless assortment of places to grab a drink with friends or colleagues. When you’re in the mood for an afterwork adventure, take a short walk past 3rd Avenue to discover a few of our favorite neighborhood gems.
Address: 147 27th St. Brooklyn, 11232
Hours: 5PM–12AM M-TH, 5PM–1AM FRI & SAT, 2–10PM SUN
Distance from Camp David: 11 minutes walking
Aptly named for the Merle Haggard song, Mama Tried puts a chic and modern spin on the old honky tonk vibe. It has the pastel blue exterior, booths and bar stools straight out of old diner cars, and noisy ceiling fans that can only be drowned out by a jukebox playing 45s of all the old hits (“Mama Tried” is A1).
They offer a series of seasonally inspired light bites– but when it comes to beverages, they keep it simple with four cocktails, four wines, and craft local draught beers. Budget beers are continental. You can mingle inside and enjoy the vintage glow, or enjoy the warm summer breeze on their newly opened patio. Just take a stroll up 3rd Ave. and you’ll spot “Mama Tried” on 27th St. in neon roadhouse scribbles.
Maria’s Bistro Mexicana
Address: 886 5th Ave. Brooklyn, 11232
Hours: 11:30AM–10PM / 7 Days A Week
Distance from Camp David: 13 minutes walking
The next time you invite your friends to Camp David’s Happy Hour or an Industry City concert, make sure to swing by to Maria’s afterwards. It’s just a short hike up to 5th Ave. and 39th St., and it’s well worth your while. Always bustling with Spanish love tunes, televised football (both kinds), and margarita specials, there’s no better place to enjoy a saucy enchilada.
Maria’s also has a unique decorative spirit, offering “Coronoritas” (mini Coronas turned upside down in your spice-rimmed margarita), “Micheladas” (cerveza, lime juice, assorted sauces, spices, tomato juice, and chili pepper served in a chilled, salt-rimmed glass), and their signature special “The Bulldog” (you’ll have to see this one for yourself). And when the weather is fine, they’ll open up the back patio so you can fully immerse in the simple pleasures of summer heat and icy beverages.
Address: 885 4th Ave. Brooklyn, 11232
Hours: 1PM–4AM / 7 Days A Week
Distance from Camp David: 8 minutes walking
New to the neighborhood, Minnie’s may very well be a template of what’s to come here in Sunset Park. Tightly designed with kingston bar shelves and tropical-themed wall paper lit warmly by wall lanterns, this place is clearly run by a veteran of Brooklyn night-life.
The craft beer selection explores all paths of the palette, and the cocktails are on point. Plus, they have a backyard patio and offer personal pizzas from Table 87. We have yet to see Minnie’s fully blossom within the neighborhood, but their offerings alone are worth a trip to 4th Ave., between 33rd and 34th St.
Address: 461 37th St. Brooklyn, 11232
Hours: 9AM–12AM SUN-TH, 9AM–3AM FRI & SAT
Distance from Camp David: 10 minutes walking
You haven’t experienced Sunset Park if you haven’t visited its age-old staple: Melody Lanes. Few venues have ever committed to their original curriculum quite like this place. With the birthday themed carpet and glue-stick purple walls, it’s clear to see that this bowling alley doesn’t give a damn about your hipster trends. They boast an arcade with pin-ball and prize-claws, and the snack bar is a mecca of vintage American cuisine: hot dogs, chicken tenders, french fries, mozzarella sticks, and more. But what stands out most about this spot is the bar and its legendary bartender.
In a dimly lit room with four small TV screens hanging over a long countertop, the bar offers only three beers on tap: Budweiser, Stella, and Blue Point, plus a red and a white wine option. That’s because the real magic here is in their assortment of tiki cocktails: Bahama Mama Pina Colada, Malibu Monsoon — you name it, they’ve got it. They also serve a cocktail of their own creation: Pete’s Special– named for the mutton-chopped bartender, perpetually clad in a tuxedo and clear aviator frames. Swing by and Peter Napolitano, a Bay Ridge native and former jazz drummer, will enlighten you with conversation about anything from philosophy to old western films– and if baseball is on, he’ll tell you: “No matter who plays for who, I’m always rooting for the rookies.”
The alley is just a stone’s throw away — over on 5th Ave and 37th St. You owe yourself a visit to Melody Lanes.
Address: 140 58th St. Brooklyn, 11220
Best Transportation: B11 Bus/ N, R Train/ Car Share
Distance from Camp David:
30 minutes walking | 15-25 minutes via public transit
8 minute drive
Alright, buckle up for this adventure. First, if you’re not a veteran of the New York Ferry, be sure to download the NYC Ferry app to order your ticket. As of now, the nearest ferry pick-up point is located on 59th St, right by the Brooklyn Army Terminal. From Camp David, it’s a bit of a walk, but an affordable ride share.
The bar on the ferry offers select beer and wine in addition to a handful of other refreshments, and you’d be a fool not to try a bag of Julian’s fingerling potato chips. However, the true magic of the ferry lies in the view from its top deck, where the sea shimmers quietly and the breeze blows fierce. With panoramic views of Brooklyn and Manhattan, nothing outshines the uniqueness of the ferry experience.