Best Of

Best Bar to Feel Loved In


The lines that snake down Wythe Avenue in Williamsburg on any given weekend lead to Kinfolk, a true El Toro roller coaster of NYC nightlife, down to the ceiling’s wooden arches. But get to know the bookers, bartenders, and bouncers at Kinfolk 90 and 94, the barfront/nightclub combo open since 2011, and you’ll appreciate the work they put in to foster the environment a friend of mine recently described as “too safe.” (She meant it as a compliment.) Kinfolk has earned a loyal following from across the city (and country — L.A. visitors have bragged it’s their first stop) for its cavernous architecture and open-to-close dance marathons, but it’s really the personnel that make this spot special: The relatively chill daytime operations as a café and retail space may help keep the staff levelheaded, determined to get folks through the doors even when the cover charge is non-negotiable. This doesn’t mean you don’t have to get there early, as the big room packs up fast even on the odd weeknight. But the doormen make sure the right crowd gets in, vetting not by bottle service budgets or heel height, but by a common ethos that keeps nights carefree and fun well past the let-out. Matthew Trammell

90 Wythe Avenue, Brooklyn