Some bars make a splash onto the scene, and some wait to be discovered. The Armory, one of the latest watering holes to color the otherwise blank canvas that is Brooklyn’s 4th Avenue, near Barclays Center, is the latter. Situated at the intersection of Park Slope, Gowanus and Boerum Hill, The Armory is completely inconspicuous from the outside, marked by nothing more than its name in barely there black decals on the storefront window and a sidewalk chalkboard. But once inside, you’ll be greeted with all the warmth and understated charm you’ve come to expect from a neighborhood bar.
A potted palm plant sits by the door to welcome guests, basking in the sunlight pouring through the large facade window, contrasted by the subtle and delicate steampunk-esque pipe-cum-light fixtures hanging on the wall. As you walk through the bar’s expansive hull, your eyes will naturally ogle the impressively stocked bar before they’re drawn to the sprawling, verdant backyard.
The Armory’s menu offers a thoughtful selection of wine, beer and cocktails, the latter of which are just six dollars during the bar’s generous happy hour, ending at 8 p.m. (The Armory Toddy and the Texan Mule are must-trys.) Just weeks ago, the Armory launched a modest bar bites menu as well, featuring a cheese platter, charcuterie platter and boquerones.
“We are three partners with different passions,” co-owner Oscar Diaz del Castillo says. “One is an expert in cocktails, another in craft beers, and the other food and wine.” His partners include Kevin Mulvaney and James Sykes of Prospect Heights favorite Washington Commons, which Mulvaney says is their flagship and his “personal baby.” “We all come from very different places and wanted to create a bar that welcomes everyone and shows a little about us,” de Castillo explains.
Unquestionably, The Armory offers all the trappings and necessities of any successful neighborhood bar, but it’s still relatively unknown to the residents of its three surrounding neighborhoods (I live two blocks away and it took me months to stumble upon the spot). But judging by the owners’ easygoing nature, they’re in no hurry to fill to capacity. Judging by everything else, they needn’t be worried.