"Looking for the bar?" a bouncer in a chandelier-lit doorway cheerfully called out to my friend and me as we looked for this signless downstairs spot. Most door staff at clandestine bars would have let us wander by, so we thought this place might actually live up to its kindly old name. But looks, and friendly bouncers, can be deceiving, and we were soon met with snippy bartenders and boys in size-zero jeans rather than the needlepoint throw pillows we were hoping for. Nonetheless, drinks were relatively cheap (our Jameson and Cokes were $7 each), and the kitschy, garish taxidermy on the walls, thankfully, did not remind us of home, was amusingly garish. Although nearby Freemans restaurant and Park Slope's Union Hall use taxidermy for a Masonic-lodge look, the snarling bobcats and beaver lamps here looked as if they'd come from a backwoods garage-sale. They seemed superbly weird alongside other creepy collectibles, such as dental molds, exhibited in the bar's display cases . Although we were impressed by the DJ's '80s-soul selections, which included gross-out favorite "Strokin' " by Clarence Carter, we made the novice error of hitting up a Lower East Side bar on a Friday and headed out when the small-ish space got packed. With rumors of the Saturday MisShapes party moving here from Don Hill's, Home Sweet Home might best be reserved as a weeknight destination.
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