Passenger Bar

Neighborhood: Williamsburg
Type of Place: Bars


An open loft-style type space with two floors, the Passenger Bar is pretty big for New York City bar standards. I visited the Williamsburg Brooklyn neighborhood bar around happy hour time on a sunny Friday afternoon. There were not many people there besides a group of four at the far end of the bar and a slightly larger group finishing up drinks at what appeared to be the only lounge-style sofa in the room. The actual bar area is massive which is great if you are trying to have a private conversation or simply are not a fan of having to squeeze your way pass a sea of people in order to get a drink. Off toward the far left is a sitting area with a dart board hanging on the wall, seating and boardgames like scrabble stacked on a table waiting to be opened up and played.

After a quick trip to the bathroom (which is nice and clean by the way) I made my way to the bar to pick my poison. I opted for a regional Bloody Mary ($10), which is apparently a specialty at the Passenger Bar. I had the “Southern”, which is made of sweet tea vodka and cayenne pepper, topped with: pickled okra, pickled beets, lemon, lime and celery. The drink did not skyrocket to the top of my best drinks list, but it was definitely something that I would order again as I am a fan of spicy, and it definitely had a nice kick to it. Other regional Bloody Marys on the menu include mixtures like the Midwest, (Absolut Citron, Pickle Juice, A-1, topped with salami, mozzarella, olives and celery) and the Northeast (Absolut pepper vodka, clam juice, Guiness, topped with olives, lemon, lime and celery).  After my Bloody Mary I had to try one of the drafts that were on special due to it being happy hour. After careful consideration, I picked the McKenzies cider which was a refreshing apple cider flavored beer.

There is definitely a grungy, biker type of vibe at the Passenger Bar, but it isn't forced or overdone. And while I don't own a bike (besides my mountain bike) or consider myself  “grunge”, I felt right at home sipping my drink while listening to Marvin Gaye and Al Green on the jukebox. Yes, you read right, according to the bartender he was “in the mood” for some soul music, which was just fine with me. I'm interested to see what type of mood he will be in during my next visit.

  - David Nazario

Passenger Bar
229 Roebling St
Brooklyn, NY 11211
(718) 218-7869