The Charleston

174 Bedford Ave

The Charleston is a mixed bag of a bar. After changing owners, it has transformed from a complete dive into an ironic dive. It's hard to find a night where the place isn't pervaded by the smell of the bathroom cleaning supplies—or the bathroom itself... more

The Charleston is a mixed bag of a bar. After changing owners, it has transformed from a complete dive into an ironic dive. It's hard to find a night where the place isn't pervaded by the smell of the bathroom cleaning supplies—or the bathroom itself, sadly—and the place seems to be kept in purposeful disrepair. Upstairs, you can find free pizzas dotting the long wooden bar that are surprisingly tasty, if thin, and pretty comfortable booths lining the far wall, although they come out a little too far into the limited walking space. The back of the bar, which formerly served as the performance space for bands, now seems like it's sadly waiting for the next Wii Night to resurrect itself. This has to be counterpointed with the downstairs situation, where an unfinished basement is intended to hold live music, with the bands set up directly in front of the crowd with no stage whatsoever (the low ceilings wouldn't allow such a construct). The sound isn't poorly mixed but, because of the space, is necessarily and oppressively loud. One of the big features, however, of the Charleston is that a small, enclosed space in front of the bar lets smokers sit in the open air with their drinks whil... more

The Charleston is a mixed bag of a bar. After changing owners, it has transformed from a complete dive into an ironic dive. It's hard to find a night where the place isn't pervaded by the smell of the bathroom cleaning supplies—or the bathroom itself, sadly—and the place seems to be kept in purposeful disrepair. Upstairs, you can find free pizzas dotting the long wooden bar that are surprisingly tasty, if thin, and pretty comfortable booths lining the far wall, although they come out a little too far into the limited walking space. The back of the bar, which formerly served as the performance space for bands, now seems like it's sadly waiting for the next Wii Night to resurrect itself. This has to be counterpointed with the downstairs situation, where an unfinished basement is intended to hold live music, with the bands set up directly in front of the crowd with no stage whatsoever (the low ceilings wouldn't allow such a construct). The sound isn't poorly mixed but, because of the space, is necessarily and oppressively loud. One of the big features, however, of the Charleston is that a small, enclosed space in front of the bar lets smokers sit in the open air with their drinks while having a much needed smoke. The Charleston is a great bar for a drink and a pizza, but proves itself to be severely inadequate for live music.


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Williamsburg Description

The Charleston is located in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Manhattan. As Manhattan has become increasingly upscale and overwhelmingly expensive, the New York intelligentsia and creative underclassmen have increasing looked to make Brooklyn their home. The neighborhood that has—arguably—taken the brunt of the exodus from Manhattan is the northern area of Williamsburg. Now a haven for starving artists and hipsters, the neighborhood has redefined and rebranded itself into one of the hotspots of Brooklyn, with bars, live music, and restaurants spawning in direct proportion to the increase in the now well-established sense of Williamsburg community.

If the weather's agreeable, you can head to McCarren Park to throw the ol' baseball around or watch the many hipsters in Williamsburg's Kickball League lounge and pose their way to victory. The park's pool is splendid, and there's a brand-new, year-round recreation center. After running around on the grass or watching other people run around, it might be time for a trip to the borough's preferred brewery, the Brooklyn Brewery, where Williamsburg's beer of choice has been make for two decades. The brewery offers staffed tastings on Friday nights, as well as tours of the brewery itself.

If the weather's disagreeable, you might be in need of some new threads. No sweat in trendy Williamsburg! Seek out Beacon's Closet on 11th Street for some great thrift-store shopping or native chain Brooklyn Industries for new fashions. Fashion-forward Francophiles will burst their pocketbooks over the selections at Jumelle and Noisette. For those chasing a more urban chic, Williamsburg's own Triple Five Soul should do the trick.

Maybe your wallet's heart isn't in apparel and craves music instead. Williamsburg favorites Earwax Records and Academy Annex will satiate the most eclectic of musical tastes with new and used CDs, LPs, and DVDs. Ah, but nothing has a higher fidelity than live music, so check out the Music Hall Of Williamsburg, where national indie acts like Dr. Dog and Les Savy Fav have performed. For a bit of local music and a more neighborhood-appropriate atmosphere, the swank Union Pool offers live music and a bar but no swimming whatsoever.

Now, replenish your dwindling energy with breakfast or lunch at the esteemed egg restaurant, or try more filling fare at the renowned Peter Luger Steakhouse. There's also the one-two punch of sister restaurants Marlow & Sons, a Mediterranean café/restaurant/bar/store, and Diner, both created by the same folks and well-known parts of Williamsburg's hipster pedigree. Then there's Bamonte's for Italian, Falafel Chula for Middle Eastern, and Planet Thailand for Southeast Asian.

Finally, enjoy a local nightcap—which generally means a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon—at one of the classic neighborhood bars. At The Levee, you can supplement your drinks with great bar food and a game of pool, but at Barcade, the gaming is digital and as well-stocked as the beer selection. The Alligator Lounge is another neighborhood favorite and serves free personal pizzas from its wood-burning oven every night until 3:30am. Or if you'd prefer a subdued atmosphere and well-mixed cocktails—included seasonal potables like hot cider (spiked, of course)—then you should give Pete's Candy Store a go.

Info

174 Bedford Ave
Williamsburg, NY 11211
(718) 782-8717

Editorial Rating

Admission And Hours

Daily: 12:00pm-4:00am

@charlestonbar

TRIVIA NIGHT TONIGHT with Trivial Dispute at 9pm! April 16

Happy weekending! FREE PERSONAL PIZZA with every drink! 8pm-3:30am only $1! 🍻🍕 April 12

TRIVIA NIGHT TONIGHT with Trivial Dispute at 9pm! April 09

TGIFriday vibes FREE PERSONAL PIZZA with every drink! 8pm-3:30am only $1! 🍻🍻🍻🍻 April 05

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