Red Hook Bait and Tackle,
320 Van Brunt Street,
The sign out front may say "Fishing Club," but the initiated know night crawlers won't be found (unless they're the human variety). Formerly a bait-and-tackle shop, this year-old bar kept the previous store's original name and spruced up the space with antique harpoons, glowing bobbers, and an ever growing collection of taxidermy and junkyard oddities mostly donated by locals. Birds hang upside down from the ceiling, a lifelike frog plays a tiny accordion on the bar, and a brown bear threatens to bite passersby with its teeth. An NRA card isn't necessary to go Extreme Hunting, a video game where players blow away big game on-screen. Sunday afternoons find patrons sipping delicious Bloody Marys ($6), made super-spicy and served with a celery stick. There are eight beers on tap, including Guinness ($5 a pint), Blue Point ($4), and Victory ($4); cocktails are $5 to $7. Two-for-one drink specials from 5 to 8 p.m. every day lure in the regulars, with Goldfish crackers and Swedish Fish also serving as bait. Big groups will love the roomy, beat-up booths and sofas, which offer ample space to play the pub quiz every Tuesday at 8:30. While fishermen and tugboat captains should feel right at home, the jukebox favors a hipster crowd, with everything from Nick Drake to Pavement. Additional Red Hook incentive: The B61 bus stops right outside.