Take a look around as you walk into Bushwick Country Club. Your eyes struggle to adjust to the black and red checks on flannel shirts, the neon green stretchy pants, the glows of Iphones as people check in on Foursquare. You hear the sounds of glasses clinking, Pac Man bloop-bleep-blooping, the voices of 25-year-olds whining about their job at the digital media-mobile application-interactive marketing-fair trade coffee startup a few blocks away. Inevitably, you sip on a 16 oz can of Pabst Blue Ribbon.
You might be laughing because it seems like a hipster Alice in Wonderland of sorts. You may be confused because a few hundred brain cells collectively committed suicide at the sight of yet another deer tattoo . Or, if you hang out with certain kinds of people, you may be ecstatic.
Ahhhhh, don’t worry! I’m only kidding (kind of). Bushwick Country Club is an awesome bar in East Williamsburg. And in Williamsburg, which is chock full of interesting and fun places to wet your whistle, this is no small feat.
Bushwick Country Club is often credited with inventing the pickelback. Like you, the first thing I wondered when I heard this mysterious term is, “Perhaps Pickleback is a Nickleback cover band with an affinity for pickling.” Actually, it turns out the pickleback is a shot of whiskey complemented with a shot of spicy pickle juice. The sour and spicy flavors of pickle juice is a great chaser to the harsh burn of alcohol, especially when it’s rotgut whiskey (like Old Crow, which BCC serves). A pickleback and a 16 oz can of Pabst Blue Ribbon is $7, which is cheap considering the quantity of alcohol you’re getting ($6 if you skip the pickle juice, but there’s no fun in that). Bushwick Country Club also offers other combination deals such as a shot of tequila and a can of Tecate.
In addition to the fantastic pickelback, Bushwick Country Club offers “adult” slushies. On a hot evening, its pretty damn nice sipping on a Jim Beam n’ Coke slushie or a sweet tea and vodka slushie. Plus, it really solves a dilemma us adults think about every summer day : “I want something sweet and cold like a popsicle, yet, I also want alcohol. Oh wait, I can have both at Bushwick Country Club. Hooray!”
The interior of Bushwick Country Club is dive-licious, but the free cheesy poofs, Pac Man and Big Buck Hunter arcade machines, photo booth, mini Connect-Four games on tables, brick walls and retro décor make it go above and beyond just a regular neighborhood bar. However, the joint wouldn’t be that out of place plunked in a small town upstate as opposed to in the middle of Brooklyn, which lends it that special brand of irony that Williamsburg residents hold so dear to their hearts.
If the weather is nice, it is better to skip the indoor section altogether and head for the outdoor patio. It offers more room, as the bar can get crowded, and features a miniature golf course. That’s right, after a few picklebacks or slushies, you can go hit the greens and impress the ladies with your mini golfing skills. However, the miniature golf course is tiny and looks like it was put together in an hour by a team of crack addicts and hipsters. It’s dingy, features a windmill made of (surprise) Pabst Blue Ribbon cans, and only one club made of plastic and held together with duct tape was available at the time of writing. All of these flaws make it that much more endearing. In addition to mini golf, you can bring meat and use the barbecue outside.
Bushwick Country Club is indeed a pseudo-country club for a select clientele. But, the cheap and fun drinks, good vibes and friendly people make it a worthwhile haunt to hang out in and wile the hours away. If I lived in the neighborhood, I’d definitely be a regular.
Bushwick Country Club is located at 618 Grand Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. They are open every day from the late afternoon until the wee hours of the morning.