Fifty-five years ago, a New York businessman named Walter O'Malley moved his baseball team across the country. The Brooklyn Dodgers left Flatbush's Ebbets Field for a shiny new stadium in a valley originally meant for public housing. Yes, the Dodgers broke the hearts of a generation of fans when they left (including Borough President Marty Markowitz). But on Friday, September 28, the favorite son of the Marcy Projects will take a stage to celebrate, amongst other things, the return of major professional sports to Brooklyn. Here are five of the best bars in the area to say cheers to a new beginning. –<em><strong>Darren Sands</strong></em>
<strong>Madiba</strong> Location: <strong>195 Dekalb Avenue</strong> Vibe: <strong>Ethnic.</strong> Said to be the first South African restaurant in the United States, Madiba isn't just a local treasure, it's an institution. A few novelties about this gem: the fantastic collection of South African wines; the artists, writers, mommies and musicians huddling over plates of traditional dishes with Brooklyn flair; and the art. You also won't be able to stop gawking at the old-fashioned Coke bottle chandelier.
<strong>Mo's</strong> Location: <strong>80 Lafayette Ave.</strong> (between Elliott Pl. & Portland Ave.) <strong>Vibe</strong>: Relaxed. This hip local favorite never disappoints. Depending on the time of day, you might have to bring your dancing shoes, but its friendly staff and neighborhood feel is gonna keep you coming back for more. "Mo's has decent prices and generally chill atmosphere," says Brooklyn resident Laurent Chevalier. Oh, and try the fish tacos. We'll say it again <em>slowly</em>: Please … try … the fish tacos.
<strong>Die Koelner Bierhalle</strong> Location:<strong> 84 St. Marks Place</strong> (near 4th ave)<strong> Vibe</strong>: Euroslopian. We know what you're thinking: You've been looking everywhere for an authentic German Beer Hall. Okay, so maybe not. But this joint, just four blocks from Barclays, is a cavernous room by almost any standard; its festive atmosphere comes with frothy, hoppy goodness. It's almost a bit too much to handle. Get ready to talk to <del datetime="2012-09-27T02:53:27+00:00">strangers</del> your neighbors on their wonderful park-style benches. This editor's pick? A liter of the Schlenkerla Helles. Cheers.
<strong>Mullane's</strong> Location: <strong>71 Lafayette Ave.</strong> (at South Elliot Pl.) <strong>Vibe</strong>: Frenzied during the big game. The Skinny: Just two blocks from the Barclays Center, this Irish bar boasts one of the area's most popular happy hours — and in the warm months there's delightful outdoor seating. But don't let Mullane's homey feel fool you, though: If you love a crowd at playoff time, there's no louder place you'd rather be.
<strong>Pacific Standard</strong> Location: <strong>82 Fourth Avenue</strong> (at St. Marks) <strong>Vibe</strong>: Non-traditionally traditional. Hey, what’s not to love about a bar that has a frequent drinker program, literary readings, live musical performances and an improv comedy night? Just four blocks from Barclays, this joint claims to have more than a dozen beers on tap at any given time. If your game or event is on a Tuesday, go for the $3 pints, leave for your event, then come back. Or something.