Getting to Lockinn was quite the trek. Sort of. One could easily take the L to the Grand stop and be there in a flash. Or they could forget the address at home, as we did, and rely on their dyslexic inner compass to lead them to 494 Grand Street instead of 949 Grand Street. Regardless, Lockinn was well worth the avoidably lengthy walk from Williamsburg. Will most non-locals make a special trip through the industrial ghost-town neighborhood just to check it out? Probably not. Is that the whole point of living in East Williamsburg? You bet. The name is a nod to owner Lisa Buono’s Newcastle, England, roots and the U.K. pub practice of locking up and sipping on past last call. Decorated with antique keys, a creepy chastity belt, and tables with built-in boards from rainy-day favorites like Scrabble and chess, the space is a good exercise in the subtlety of theme decor that lots of bars miss the boat on. Locals in Mets jerseys shot pool next to the dormant fireplace, while most of the action, thanks to a beautiful night, was happening in the tree-canopied back garden. Unfortunately the only table open was next to a group of obnoxious boys who, despite being well over 21, were acting like it was their first time ever drinking, one of them booming at one point “I love Chinese people!” and then singing the opening riff to the Vapors’ “Turning Japanese.” Our refreshing pint of white sangria, made of white wine, ginger ale, and peach slices ($5), was too good, though, to keep us from throwing it on him.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on August 15, 2006