Best bar to kick a hangover at (2008)


The world intrudes too soon on weekend mornings. There's too much light, noise, people, weather. Questions like: What happened after 4? Why is there blood on my pillow? Among the last true refuges in Downtown Brooklyn, O'Connor's eases these and other ills. It's the darkest bar around, with three narrow paned windows that admit just enough light to know it's brutally daytime—out there. This is as it should be: Until Dominick O'Connor bought the business from the delicatessen owner next door in 1935—two years after Prohibition was repealed—it had been a speakeasy. The interior has old black paneling and black ceiling tiles, a few of which are missing, exposing the carved mahogany squares of O'Connor's original design. His son Pat, a great man, who died this month, remembers when the bar had a brass rail; there was a spittoon (everyone liked snuff) and a cigarette machine. At the end of the night, Pat and his brothers swept up the sawdust and butts and burned it all, pocketing pennies found in the ash. But its present decor, dating from the mid 1940s, is right for the times—and for a wrenched brain. Inside, at noon, it's mostly empty, and cool as a cellar. The only sounds are the intermittent rustle of the air conditioner, the pre-game show on low volume, and good conversation with the bartender (often Pat, his son Joe, or Charlie) who makes a spicy Bloody Mary for cheap.

Location Details

39 5th Ave.
Brooklyn NY 11217


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