My wife and I (on the, um, shady side of middle-aged, thank you) dropped into Union Hall on Saturday for the first time, around 3:00 in the afternoon. We had no idea what to expect, just wanted to check the place out.
It was a chilly day and seeing the large fire roaring away in the fireplace as we walked in was very welcoming. The bar had plenty of seats available even though there seemed to be a bocci ball tournament going on just a few steps away, and there were available seats in the overstuffed furniture area near the fireplace and the bookshelves. It's a large space overall.
So we planted ourselves on one of the sofas, and I went to the bar and ordered a couple of beers from their large and varied beer menu. There were bar food menus on the bar and I took one, and Maureen and I perused it as we sipped our beers. We were able to sit and talk quietly for as long as we wanted, as there were no waiters or waitresses. It was up to us to go to the bar and get another beer if we wanted. No rush, no pressure.
All in all, a very enjoyable experience, somewhat unexpected but very welcome. Of course, I have no idea what the ambiance might be at, say, 10 PM on a Saturday night, but at mid-afternoon on a chilly Saturday, it was a great stop for us.
Thomas Beisl (or Beisel?), Austrian (or German?), across from BAM, has both a restaurant and a bar. I was surprised at the top notch espresso when I was there.
Pit Stop - I would recommend except I have only eaten in the garden area.
Vox Pop, The Farm on alderly(?), Picket fence, Cortelyou near CIA
If I suggested Denny's on Chuch and McDonald would I get flamed?
"sit at a table, drink decent beer or wine, eat if we want (but don't have to)" - Booze is usually a big money maker, I don't think any place will object to drinkers. But whereever you go you will have to pay the piper.
Pete's Waterfront Ale House: Atlantic Ave between Clinton and Henry on the very south side of Brooklyn Heights. Better than average bar food (sometines very good), excellent beer and spirit selections, short and modest -- but well-chosen -- wine list, and definitely not a kids place or a scene.
Flatbush Farm has a pleasant bar right next door. They're owned by the same people who own the restaurant. Most of the crowd is in their 30s but very well behaved.
The bar at Tempo is pricier but a bit more elegant. The crowd there is a bit older than FF but certainly not geriatric.
76 Saint Marks Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217