Though drinking in the theater has always been acceptable at Nitehawk Cinema, owner Matthew Viragh had trouble luring patrons to the downstairs bar. When his team began trying to figure out how best to entice drinkers, they found an answer that had been staring them in the face for years: the vast collection of VHS tapes decorating Nitehawk’s walls. And so they opened Lo-ResBar (136 Metropolitan Avenue, Brooklyn; 718-384-3980), offering large-format drinks and two vintage televisions playing a continuous digital loop of VHS classics.
What was once casually referred to as “the café at Nitehawk” is no longer just a bar by association. The drinks menu received a full revamp by beverage director Matt Walker; the list now focuses on whiskey and specialty cocktails named after timeless B-movies. Beer-lovers can drink large bottles of craft suds from breweries like Victory. Happy hour runs from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and you’ll find specials like the Beta, a can of PBR and shot of Benchmark bourbon for six bucks.
Walker emphasizes that Lo-Res is meant to be its own experience. “The most difficult part is Lo-Res being within an already well-known business like Nitehawk Cinema,” he says. “We knew that any identity would need to fit the already established aesthetics and feel of Nitehawk, while still offering an experience you couldn’t get by simply going to a movie here.”
That said, guests can access Nitehawk’s food menu at the bar, which offers items like queso, popcorn, and tater tots.
As for the best drinks at Lo-Res and its sister space above, Walker recommends going by the mood set by your chosen flick. “I think it all depends on what genre of movie you’re seeing,” he says. “Comedies call for gin cocktails, period-piece dramas require red wine, action films are for whiskey and beer, and horror films…well, whatever gets you through the night.”
Click on the next page for a first look at the newly opened Lo-Res:
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 9, 2015