Dumps, Dives, & Holes: Summertime at the Bushwick Country Club
The Buswhick Country Club‘s got it down. Having just celebrated their 15th anniversary—a feat for a Grand Street bar—there’s no better place to loll away the summer. Their mixture of fun, cheap drinks, and silly activities can’t be beat. It’s the perfect place to cool off with the "slush du jour," have a hot dog, and lose a game of mini golf.
The motif can best be described as a haggard spoof on a country club with all the fun with none of the snoot. Inside, it’s divey without being filthy. The walls are a mix of red and exposed brick, the ceiling’s antique tin and the floor’s a beautiful dark stone. Sheer retro curtains and mismatched furniture add to the flavor, and the accumulated trinkets are fitting. An old box of cereal, lava lamps, a three-foot plastic snowman, one grape Four Loko: all appropriately kitsch and not at all contrived.
Speaking of what’s behind the bar, their number of drink specials is ridiculous! They take the beer shot deal to the next level: $6 for Tecate and tequila, $7 for Fernet and highlife (classy), and $6 for a 16 oz. PBR and a show of Old Crow whiskey (add a pickle back for $1). They’re all good deals. Then there’s the funny stuff, like $8 for a carafe of sake, $9 for a 17 oz. bottle of gluten-free beer (hipsters rejoice!), and $6 for an alcoholic slushy (the staples are Jim Beam and Coke and sweet tea and vodka, but there’s also a "slush du jour" which seems to be whatever the bartender feels like slushing together that day).
But what really makes BCC the ultimate summertime bar is the backyard. The front area of it is cemented and lined with elementary school desks, plastic chairs, and a wall bench upholstered with AstroTurf, which is surprisingly pleasant to sit on. Two hulking barbecues sit, used for their famous daytime cook-outs. Sections of shade are provided by dangling willow branches that become denser over the decrepit mini golf course. It’s free to play and impossible not to cheat. The balls are hollow plastic and the holes are extremely ambitious. One involves going through a windmill made of flattened PBR cans, and at another you have to make it into a tiny hole up an old kiddie slide then come out an old metal freezer full of leaves. Yeah, right. But it’s totally fun nonetheless, and its impracticality eliminates competition so everyone wins.
Overall, it’s just a great bar. The location is central to all relevant areas of Brooklyn, there are games, and free cheesy poofs. Go in the day or the night, but definitely make it before summer is over. It’s cheap as hell, humorous without being corny, and kitschy without being forced. What more could you want?