NYC’s best dive bar

Sunny's bar

Sunny’s is not just a bar, it’s a legend. This establishment has been owned by the Neapolitan Balzano family for over a century now. Opened in 1890 in the harbor of Red Hook, it passed through time under various names. Once the haunt of longshoremen and sailors, the bar has now become the refuge of artists and, along with the neighborhood’s gentrification, the sanctuary of a few hipsters.

If over the decades the clientele dramatically shifted, the atmosphere however remains exactly the same. It’s a simple dive bar, a timeless honky-tonk, an oddball hangout full of history. In short, a happy place.

Sunny’s has been threatened to be closed down more than once. Blame the storms (the bar was completely destroyed by Sandy), the real estate developers or even the family rivalries. But it has always survived. It was rescued numerous times by the regulars who unswervingly mobilized to keep the place open. To understand why, you’ll have to go!

Make yourself comfortable. Order a beer or the hot cider that boils in the large cauldron on the counter. Immerse yourself in the marine atmosphere. Observe the host of knickknacks out of time decorating the place. Notice the worn out wood floor, true witness of the exceptional longevity of this place. Chat with the bartender who knows all the neighborhood’s gossip. Try to recognize the caricatures of American figures taking center stage above the bar. Will you find the Marx Brothers, Louis Armstrong or Mark Twain? Above all come for the music and enjoy the live bands playing in the back room! A small stage where amateurs and professionals perform every night. The Saturday jam session is an absolute must!

We hope this BK institution will last many many more years. Because this off-the-beaten path bar has an extra touch of soul and simply is the best bar in New York!


Sunny’s Bar
253 Conover Street, Red Hook
Bluegrass Jam every Saturday beginning at 9

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