Hasidic Bars in Brooklyn?
January 3, 2010 7:37 AM   Subscribe

Which bars in Brooklyn are frequented by Hasidic Jews secretly blowing off steam?

I'm especially interested in covert hangouts for Satmars in the Williamsburg area, but am also curious about bars secretly visited by members of other Hasidic sects (in Boro Park or Crown Heights or Midwood or wherever).
posted by buriedpaul to Society & Culture (11 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I used to see some Hasids at the Turkey's Nest on Bedford @ 2002-3
posted by gnutron at 9:54 AM on January 3, 2010

I've seen some watching baseball at Mug's Ale House on Bedford, at the Abbey on Driggs, and one guy came into Pete's Candy Store one time, downed half a Bud, and left. I'm guessing the rabbis may have cracked down on bar going though.
posted by swooz at 11:10 AM on January 3, 2010

I've heard this through non-Hasidic sources, so take it with a grain of salt, but I understand that many of the Hasids (not sure which sects) frequent strip clubs in Jersey where people are less likely to recognize them. I've also heard that they go to massage parlors in Chinatown with private basements so other customers won't see them. Again, this is all hearsay, as I've never once seen a Hasid in a Brooklyn bar, and I've been to plenty over the past 3 years.
posted by zoomorphic at 11:21 AM on January 3, 2010

I just spent more time than I care to admit to looking for a similar question regarding where the Chinese bars are in Chinatown, which I didn't find. But basically, the answer was even if you do find them, they won't let you in.

The reason I tell you this is that my best guess is that it is the same with the more closed Jewish communities; this is probably in someone's apt, or if it is a formal bar, they most likely won't welcome outsiders.
posted by cestmoi15 at 12:03 PM on January 3, 2010

I used to see them every once in a while at bars when I lived in Bed-Stuy.
posted by bradbane at 1:24 PM on January 3, 2010

I think the OP is referring to this, but not considering that this group of people, by their very nature, are not interested in being tracked by internet sleuths.
posted by mkultra at 1:25 PM on January 3, 2010

I was recently at an orthodox Bar Mitzvah in Brooklyn on a Thursday and I can tell you with certainty that the Hasidics at the party knew how to drink. While the women were in the other room kibitzing, these gentlemen were pounding the wine and dancing with each other. They were some of the drunkest happiest people I have seen in a long time. As a non-practicing reform Jew, I have felt more comfortable at midnight Mass on Christmas Eve than I did in the small Schul where the Torah was read. As i know nothing about Brooklyn and my wife was the link to the Bar Mitzvah boy, I cannot even tell you where in Brooklyn I was.

My point is that I think they are partying with each other and that for the most part cestmoi15 is correct in that they are covert and will not be letting you in.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 1:26 PM on January 3, 2010

Hasids have been spotted hanging out at South 4th playing wii, watching baseball, and drinking cokes. (Sorry if this is not what you mean by blowing off steam... pretty sure all the drinks were virgin)
posted by shownomercy at 1:39 PM on January 3, 2010

From my experience: Turkey's Nest, Muggs, Iona in Williamsburg.
A few of the bars around Coney Island Avenue/Macdonald Avenue for the Borough Park Hasids.

Not on the bar tip, but still interesting: I've spotted quite a few Hasidic teenagers on what seemed to be secret dates in the coffee sections at the Barnes & Nobles in Park Slope and Brooklyn Heights.

Also, make friends with the Chabadniks in Crown Heights and go to one of their Shabbat celebrations. As JohnnyGunn noted, the Hasids (the dudes at least) sure know how to party.
posted by huskerdont at 4:45 PM on January 3, 2010

Best answer: Depends on whether you're looking to observe or interact… if you're looking to observe, I imagine the Satmar would be more exciting (read: exotic) than us Chabad/Lubavitchers. If you're looking to interact, though, you might find us more inviting.

As an aside, despite what I've seen written in many places about how the Satmar et al communities are insular and uninviting, I've found that that doesn't apply on a personal level, where I've rarely met anything but friendliness in striking up conversation. Now, I am a Hasid, but noticeably not Satmar. YMMV, I guess, because I'm still 'one of them' in the big picture.

If you want to actually interact with some Chabadniks in an informal setting, memail me and I'll get you some info for a place/time that's ideal.

• My friends to go to Franklin Park now and again. We go to various bowling alleys, ice skating rinks, etc, all the time, anywhere throughout Brooklyn or the city, but it's just guys hanging out, not anything 'covert.'

• Your best bet in general would be Saturday night; the weekend doesn't really include Friday night for us. Any Hasid whom you might meet in a bar on Shabbos is a bit beyond just blowing off some steam.

posted by mhz at 5:32 PM on January 3, 2010

I was just talking to a friend who works at Public Assembly, the bar that used to be Galapagos. He said that on Monday nights when they have a burlesque show, suvs packed with Hasids park outside so they can look through the windows and not come in.
Once two brave ones in disguise (baseball caps and hoodies) came in and ordered non-alcoholic drinks.
posted by rmless at 9:24 AM on January 4, 2010

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