by Andrew Rosenberg, 01/28/2014
Courtesy, Black Mountain Winehouse
Celebrating the old moniker for the waterway, Lavender Lake sits yards away from the canal. The inside is airy, but the expansive back deck's the thing—a perfect spot to sip a craft beer, snack on impeccable house-made potato chips and imagine you've just dropped anchor. Over on Third Avenue, the maritime tribute continues at Halyards (the name refers to rope generally used to raise sails); its expertly made Manhattans and well-chosen drafts add fuel to spirited trivia nights, TV-themed events and friendly games of pool. If you're looking for more of a jukebox-and-sports joint, divey Canal Bar will likely be your speed; the free popcorn and drinks specials don't hurt, and it's the local home for fans of the Chicago Bears. On the outskirts of Gowanus, Rustic Black Mountain Wine House is a place to get cozy on cold nights; sit near the fire, nibble on charcuterie and choose your tipple from a well-edited wine list. Low-key Lowlands offers a long wooden bar, brick interior and picnic-table hangout in the back on an industrial stretch of Third Avenue; Monday nights are given over to roots-music jams, which attract fiddle players, banjoists and others interested in keeping the circle unbroken. We'd be remiss not to mention the Roof at Whole Foods; in keeping with an operation that has a greenhouse farm in progress and thrives on wind and solar energy, the café-bar dishes up plenty of local foods and microbrews with a serving of great views. Of course, perhaps all other nightlife will pale with the opening of the Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club. Note, this is the kind of large-scale shuffleboard they play on the Lido Deck of the Love Boat or the mean streets of Florida retirement communities, not the sliding of pucks on sawdust-strewn tables that you see in some City bars.