Passing The Bar: The Anchored Inn

Written by Amre Klimchak on . Posted in Eat & Drink, Posts.

Amidst the industrial warehouses and shadowy streets near the Montrose L stop in Williamsburg, The Anchored Inn is a beacon in the night. The new watering hole signals comfort after a long day or night for the world-weary rockers and other tattooed, skinny-jeanswearing locals who people the bar, which mashes up a maritime theme with a dive bar vibe.

Co-owners Adrienne Dowd and Carmen Mello dreamed up the nauticaldive fusion while working together as bartenders at The Half King, and opened the doors to their Brooklyn joint in February. A golden mermaid and a wood sign emblazoned with an ornate anchor and the bar’s old-timey logo (which Dowd, who’s an artist, created) mark the entrance. Inside, Mello’s collection of kitschy velvet paintings lines the walls, and true to the bar’s seafaring focus, one depicting a whale and a giant squid in a oceanic death match hangs over the bar, while a vintage deep-sea diving suit suspended from the ceiling hovers nearby. Cushioned red vinyl booths, salvaged from a pizza parlor Dowd frequented in her youth, offer spots to kick back and enjoy the suds and tipples on hand.

On a recent night, the beer selection was ample and reasonably priced enough to meet the needs of those with only a little cash to spare as well as those with money to burn, and happy hour brought a $1 discount for all drafts. Six taps rotate seasonally, and recent drafts included a standard low-priced lager, Yuengling ($4) and craft brews from local breweries, such as Sixpoint’s Brownstone ($6) and Bluepoint’s Toasted Lager ($6), as well as some further afield, including Left Hand Milk Stout ($6) from Colorado. The cans and bottles covered a wide range, from the ever-popular, low-budget drink of the effortlessly cool, Pabst Blue Ribbon in a can ($3), to the bottled microbrew Dreamweaver Wheat ($7) from Tregs Brewery in Pennsylvania.

The Anchored Inn’s cocktail list steered away from the oceangoing theme and into the realm of divey rock ‘n’ roll with a menu of drinks inspired by the local bands that tend to make up the majority of The Anchored Inn’s crowd. The Mutante Supremo ($9), named after the death metal band Mutant Supremacy, was a Tecate Michelada with a shot of chipotleinfused mezcal, and The Bad Dream ($7), created in honor of the grime metal band Bad Dream, mixed stout with Stoli Vanil. Simpler well cocktails go for $6, and several fine liquors, including Woodford Reserve bourbon ($9), Whistlepig Rye whiskey ($10) and Ron Zacapa rum ($9) were available. And cheap shot possibilities abounded. Any canned beer paired with any well shot costs $5, and the ubiquitous pickle back shot, with well whiskey and pickle juice, was also a mere $5.

But despite all its welcoming qualities, The Anchored Inn’s intense noise level sometimes made it hard to relax. On a recent night, the sound of the hardcore band playing at The Acheron next door was so loud that The Anchored Inn’s bartender had to blast the Black Sabbath blaring from the bar’s speakers just to make it audible above the din. But the volume probably doesn’t register as loud to most of the patrons, since many of them seemed to be musicians swinging by before or after practice at Danbro Studios, a complex of rehearsal spaces nearby. And since The Anchored Inn’s emphasis appears to be on giving the metal-loving neighbors an inviting place to gather, why not turn it up? 

>>The Anchored Inn 

57 Waterbury St., (betw. Scholes and Meserole Sts.), Brooklyn,