While on line at the Barclay’s Center to catch my first Brooklyn Nets game…in the cold…in the snow…my bud reaches into his jacket for our tickets and comes out empty handed…”I lost the tickets…they’re not in my pocket…! Seriously ?!? I thought he was joking since this happened at a US Open a few years back…you’re messing with me right? “No, they must have fallen out at….
First off, let me say that I am a little disappointed in what I could find out there on the Internets blogosphere as to where to go pre and post game. Thus, consider this a first piece on the restaurants/nightlife around the new Barclay’s Center. We met up at Pacific Standard since it sounded like one of the better places to meet from what I could find. They have a nice selection of beers on tap and a bar food menu. My bud had to re-parallel park his ride so we left after one to do that and then head for the next. We were going to pop into either nearby Cherry Tavern or 4th Avenue Pub(did not make it into either on this trip) but I noticed lights up on a building on St Marks, but wasn’t sure what it was, and my bud mentioned he saw a place with no sign while parking, so we investigated…
I open the doors up to a ginormous …like airplane hanger sized space with two rows of community German beer garden tables. A bar up front and a giant screen TV. Turns out the place is named Die Koelner Bierhaus and it has a huge selection of draft German beers and beers by the bottle. They also have a great menu of German Beer Garden style pub grub(I really love it when I stumble upon somewhere new). I started with the Julius Echter Dunkel…tasted like bananas..it was amazing! I ordered up the Spicy chicken wurst since it’s house made and really enjoyed it. My bud went Kielbasa…enjoyed his Polish styled delight as well. They both came with sauerkraut and good fries. I tasted a number of the other beers (kudos to our bartender Phil who really knows his stuff) and ordered up the Arcobrau Schloss Dunkel. Another winner, this with one with a hint of licorice.I would have loved to stay and keep working my way through the menu…but game time was coming up…
“You have to be kidding me!”…I should have known to ask for my ticket…luckily Stub Hub as a location right down the street from the Barclays Center and we were able to get our tickets reprinted and got in no problem. Barclays Center absolutely blows MSG off the map…It’s an amazing space, seats are comfy and well spaced and our view even up in 222 was great. Music, primarily lite Hip-Hop is played throughout the game…even while they are playing…but the sound system is so good(this place will be a great place to see a concert) it worked. We were going to grab a bite towards the end of the game, but then the 10 point spread turned to 3 and we were glued to our seats. During the half they had kids play B-ball for a bit,do dance routines and some contests. Plus of course the smoking hot Brookynetts doing their thang. Though I didn’t eat in any of Barclays Center’s venues (they have I believe 37 to choose from, many are local) of the places I’ve had food from at other locations I can recommend Calexico(Mexican), Fresco by Scotto(Italian), and Habana Outpost(Cuban).
We got out around 10pm and needed a bite and a drink. We were told that 5th Avenue has more restaurants then 4th so headed up that way. We passed a number of places and decided on El Pollito Mexicano...another good find via la stumble. We sat at the bar and they brought over homemade Chips and Salsa, I ordered up a Michelada …(beer, lime juice, hot sauce, ice cubes) they serve it with everything mixed together, it was good, though I prefer it wit the beer on the side to slowly pour in and add as I drink it. For a light bite my bud went chicken taco’s,I went with a Super shrimp taco(go from $3.50-$4.50 each) and since it was so damn cold the Pozole soup ($6 for a large pot). It was loaded up with Pozole, chicken, avocado in a tasty broth. From here well sated and with a Victory under my belt I hopped on the 4 train back to NYC.
While the area does have a number of restaurants and bars, it can use some more. At this point in time, I didn’t find anywhere jumping pre-or post game, though I’m guessing that will change in time. While Die Koelner Bierhaus is a few blocks away, it will be my go to place pre-game…and possibly post…
Barclays Center is located at 620 Atlantic Avenue
Die Koelner Bierhaus is located at 84 St Marks Place
El Pollito Mexicano is located at 119 5th Avenue
Pacific Standard is located at 82 4th Avenue