8/21/2012 10:15:00 AM
First Look at Greenwood Park: A Brooklyn Beer Hall Built for (Adult) Kids
Over the course of two months, since Greenwood Park opened, they have received a lot of backlash for their “family friendly” policy, which means children are welcome to come hang out with their parents until 7 PM . While it might appear odd to have kids around a bar, Greenwood Park feels more like a playground than a serious beer hall. The space fills up half a block and features an open-air saloon and a huge outdoor area complete with heat lamps, large umbrellas to shield patrons from the sun or rain, three bocce ball lanes, and plenty of room for stroller wars. They also have a full menu with bites including an onion-tinged corn salad, onion rings in a pale ale batter, and a hoagie with pepper and sausage sourced from Los Paisanos meat market in Cobble Hill. When you combine all that, it doesn’t seem so bad to let kids in.
At least they have the 7 PM curfew, which they take seriously. When we arrived at the gate, two unfriendly security guards checked our bags and informed us water bottles were not permitted. Um, that seems a bit too much for a beer bar in Park Slope, and we have to wonder, do they check the baby bottles when they come in? Finally, after the water was thrown away, we wandered inside. First thing to note—it’s cash only. So, bring in a wad because with a full bar, sangria, and 60 beers on tap, there is a lot to try. They also offer a a seasonal food menu, though you have to order that at a separate counter. When you do, they give out a giant number for your table.
The grub we got came out within 10 minutes and tasted perfectly respectable for a beer centric joint. Just skip the ketchup-tasting bourbon BBQ wings and instead get the crisp honey- Sriracha drenched ones. After a mini feast we headed to the bocce ball lanes where cute hipster girls threw balls while smoking American Spirits, “just like a little old Italian man,” said one. Apparently, you can light up everywhere, but in the large, open space, it’s not suffocating.
The night stayed relatively quiet, which meant we could play on the free lanes to our hearts content. When we stopped, we took a moment to check out the heated backgammon game being played by a gaggle of bearded guys. As Gotye blasted over the speakers, we packed up to go, using a little liquid courage to sneak past the silent graveyard next door. True, we were happy there weren’t kids there, but we're glad our inner child got to play.
The Details: 555 Seventh Ave., Brooklyn, New York; no number; www.greenwoodparkbk.com