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All Things Brooklyn – Brooklyn Sting: Escape to the Beach at Cabana Bar

Posted Monday, December 1st, 2008 at 11:00 am by Julie in Cultural Bees. More in 11215

This winter, I am headed to the beach. Not the actual beach, unfortunately, because my wallet is a few Andrew Jacksons short of a plane ticket. Instead I’ll be heading to Park Slope’s newest watering hole, the beach-themed Cabana Bar.

Cabana Bar quietly opened a few weeks ago, just before its neighboring restaurant, Playa. Even on the chilliest of nights, the beach atmosphere at Cabana can just about make you forget that cold weather has arrived. The ceiling is all glass, giving the feeling of letting in the night sky while keeping out the cold. A faux palm tree shoots through the center table, dominating the room. A crashing wave mural graces the far wall, across from the tiki-thatched bar. All that’s missing is the sand, and the corniness that ruins other themed bars.

Every good beach bar has beachy drinks, and Cabana Bar is no exception. You’ll find the usual favorites like mojitos and margaritas; Cabana also offers versions with a twist. The Macho Mojito is topped with Bacardi 151 instead of club soda, and the Mambo Fresa is a yummy strawberry margarita. Sample the caipirinha, Brazil’s national drink made with cachaca, sugar, and limes, or try Cabana’s mango caipirinha. (Repeat after me: kai-PREEN-yah.) If you really want to get the party started, there’s a bucket of 5 Coronitas for $13 or a Bonfire Bowl. With enough alcohol for three to four people (or two big partiers), the Bonfire Bowl is a strawberry-flavored rum concoction, and flaming 151 in the middle.

Even in this troubled economy, you can still have afford to have a drink at Cabana Bar. Monday is Mojito Madness, with $5 mojitos (the un-macho variety). Tuesday is ladies night, with $3 specialty cocktails for ladies. Happy Hour is 5-7pm, Wednesday through Saturday, with $5 specialty cocktails, $3 well drinks, and $2 shots.

If drinking makes you hungry, you’re in the right place. Cabana Bar is generous with free, addictive, ancho chili popcorn. After refills of the popcorn disappear, you can always order tapas from the same kitchen that services Playa. I recommend the Reina Pepiada arepa, a corn cake stuffed with chicken and avocado salad, or the rum-glazed shrimp skewers.

Come to Cabana Bar on the right night, and you might find me carrying a tray, or better yet, celebrating my birthday with cocktails. (Full disclosure: I work there, and I would still go there on my night off.) This addition to the Park Slope bar scene is my kind of place.

Cabana Bar // 648 President Street, Park Slope, 11215 // 718-399-2161 // R to Union Street

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