We’ve rhapsodized here quite openly about our love of al fresco drinking spaces, and since we know you probably share our enthusiasm for the sport, we wanted to let you know, right away, that there’s a great new outdoor watering hole in Brooklyn. Swan Dive, a seasonal pop-up food & drink spot on Union Street, is located steps from the Gowanus Canal, boasts 10,000 square feet of open-air hang space. Reclaimed lumber and recycled materials make for rustic (but comfortable) ambiance, shady picnic tables and oversize grass planters abound to create a summery, beachy vibe. There’s insanely good BBQ on hand, courtesy of Pig Beach, a BBQ pit helmed by two rival teams: Shane McBride of Balthazar’s Ribdiculous Bar-b-Krewe and Salty Rinse BBQ (run by Ed’s Lobster & Del Posto luminaries). The chefs will rotate their pit duties, serving up smoky pulled pork, brisket, and Wagu beef pastrami.
Oh, you want to hear about the booze? Ok. The beers are all super local (as in, within 50 blocks of Swan Dive), the wine and hard booze lists also feature local producers. These guys are keepin’ it real. Last Friday night found us elbowing for bar stools with locals, city folks, and families chowing down, a nice mix of happy hour devotees and locals just looking to have a nice bite with a view of the sky. Cocktails are crafted here with serious skill, and while it make take a few extra minutes to get your frozen vodka/grapefruit slushy, that’s because your bartending is chipping the ice down to fluffy perfection in an ice shaver. If you like your drinks like your BBQ, try the Bullfight, which mixes Mezcal with smoked sugar and habanero bitters. Pitchers of Aperol Spritzes go down real easy, as does the Day Drinking’s The Best, a supreme riff on a Bloody Mary.
The folks behind the Green Building, a unique venue space just next door, are the proprietors, they’ve been slowly transforming this stretch of Union into a buzzy, stylish destination. They’re hoping to put down roots and make Swan Dive a permanent thing, but you never know: some good things must come to an end. The clock is ticking on summer: we suggest you make a trip over now, preferably on a weeknight when the mood is mellow and crowds are thin. How many weeks left till Labor Day? Swan Dive, 480 Union Street, Brooklyn, NY