Bait and Tackle: A Dandy Place To Wet Your Whistle

August 23, 2011 by morgan


I was given a tip from a friend that when in New York, I have to go to Red Hook and visit a bar out of my dreams: Bait and Tackle. After an appointment at the Morbid Anatomy Library in Brooklyn, we walked over to Red Hook and on our way found a discarded child’s prosthetic arm on a side street, a perfect accessory to bring into the cabinet of curiosities that is Bait and Tackle. The low-lit establishment dazzles with the glint of glass eyes from the taxidermy animal menagerie. Groupings of deer heads with nature-themed needlepoints hang on the wall. A mountain goat wearing a vintage life preserver is ready if an impending deluge turns the bar into a modern day ark. A dapper fox stands guard of the spirits, not to be confused with bartender and owner Barry O’Meara. I am not sure who charmed me more, the taxidermy animals or Barry with a delightful brogue. Barry’s parents owned an establishment in Ireland stuffed to the rafters with mounted Victorian animals of all kinds. Barry’s kitschy eye for décor won my heart. And the drinks were just as heartfelt – a tequila and soda with hand pressed lime juice and organic gin with tonic and a tad of rosewater. In a city with so many people, Bait and Tackle was a respite, full of genuine inhabitants, refreshing libations and enough antlers to hang your hat. Who, hoo, can say no to sipping a cocktail in a nook with a gaggle of ever-staring ceramic owls and a prowling black bear. Bait and Tackle made me feel right at home.

320 Van Brunt Street, Brooklyn, NY

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