Red Hook Bait & Tackle – a Hurricane Sandy Survivor

I love a good dive bar with all kinds of kitschy stuff on the walls!

This is one of those spots that you find now and then in the NYC area which makes you wish was closer to your apartment, but also glad that it’s far enough away from you. The temptation to lure me into here on a daily basis would be tough to resist. My liver would hate me, but man, would I be a happy camper here.

Red Hook Bait & Tackle is one of those places. It’s one of those bars that every New Yorker who appreciates a good dive should trek out to at least once. Plus, this bar was devastated by Hurricane Sandy along with many other businesses in the Red Hook area, so that makes it even more of a terrific pilgrimage to visit and support them. It’s a testament to the owners resolve, and the community who helped them get back on their feet.

Red Hook Brooklyn has always been a rough and tumble neighborhood, and this bar by the waterfront which opened in 2004 is mixed in alongside the shipping industry, artists, small-businesses, and other locals that have set up shop here. Red Hook is not overly gentrified yet and still captures that spirit of the wild frontier. It requires a certain type of fortitude to take a chance on opening a business here, but a rewarding one for those who snatch the opportunity and work hard at it.

From the old school yesteryear gas pump to the weather beaten signage out front when entering it’s like visual eye candy. A hodge podge of furniture, pictures, toys, lights, taxidermy on the walls, and assorted locals old and young sitting at the bar with stories to tell this place is a must visit if in the area. It’s definitely quirky as are some of it’s patrons. The way a divey kind of bar should be.

We need more of these watering holes in NYC, and not the over-polished expensive faux Irish pubs, trendy clubs, and bridge & tunnel targeted booze halls that dot the city landscape nowadays.

$3 beers during happy hour made me joyous. Cans of Modelo and Tecate were fine by me. Friendly bartender to chat with. So much fun stuff on the wall behind the bar to observe. Sitting next to an older local regaling me with stories of his past and the Red Hook history. I was so happy I stopped in here for a brew before meeting up with a friend for an event we were heading to close by.

As their website proclaims – it’s like an Adirondack Lodge collided with a classic New York Dive Bar. So true. It captures the spirit of Red Hook and it’s inhabitants. It deserves your patronage not just for being a survivor of Hurricane Sandy, but also because it’s the real deal.  Big props to the owners for persevering, and to the local community who helped keep them alive while rebuilding.

This place has character. This place has charm. This place has what so many bars in NYC are missing nowadays.

Red Hook Bait & Tackle –

4 thoughts on “Red Hook Bait & Tackle – a Hurricane Sandy Survivor”

  1. Your posts are always interesting, and this one goes beyond in the photo alone! I had such as bar around the corner once, The Galley in Santa Monica, CA. The ancient owner had so many octopuses (not the ocean kind, the extension cord kind) running Christmas lights and little white twinkling lights year round through the fishermen’s netting across the ceiling and walls, that our dinner was interrupted one night when the fire chief came in and cited him for fire hazard. The place is still there, but I think there are several circuit breakers in place now.

    1. Hey Chaz!

      Thanks so much for reading. Glad you think my posts are interesting. You might like my next one I am writing.

      Yeah, that place in CA you mentioned sounds like a few places I know of here in NYC. A fire or explosion waiting to happen. Yet, we still go to them for a cold brew!

  2. What a cool place!! I love discovering dives like that. Only a few left around Dallas. Old Dallas is slowly being torn down and built as new Dallas which makes me sad.

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