Gothamist on Henry St. Ale House

Gothamist almost gets it right about the Henry Street Ale House saying that it's not a very exciting place to hang out, which is true. They also say it doesn't have a TV, which is not true as they have two. One thing they probably weren't exposed to was the awesome doowop music that's usually on there: 

Gothamist: What does the Henry Street Ale House, a little pub in Brooklyn Heights stuck between a cleaners and an ice cream shop, exactly have? Well, it does have 16 excellent beers on tap, which is not exactly a big deal anymore with places like 4th Avenue Pub pushing over 20. 4th Avenue Pub also has 35 bottled beers. How many does Henry Street Ale House have? This must be a joke, but they have one.

Not exactly vintage and certainly not trendy, the Henry Street Ale House coasts the cool line between irrelevance and neighborhood standby. During happy hour — where you’ll also get $1.50 off all drafts — the place seems more like a living room than a social gathering place, with people basically keeping to themselves. It’s the kind of no-nonsense pub of old that makes you surprised they even take credit cards.

Better hope you brought some of your own entertainment unless that pint in front of you is all you need. There are no bar games, no cocktail lists, and not a TV to be found. Luckily that beer is great, the atmosphere is perfect, and even the food is good. Other neighborhoods should be so lucky to have a bar that seems to care so little.

Thanks to BHB reader "Christine" for the tip. 

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  • kathy

    Great review. Their mac n’cheese is the best in Brooklyn – maybe even the planet. Check out the delicious black bean burger too.

  • Claude Scales

    I’ve yet to try the Ale House’s mac and cheese, but if it’s better than Jack the Horse’s, it must be ambrosial.

  • lifer

    I havent been there since Miguel left (bartender), but Jack works Brunch, and is a swell guy…the food is definately good stufff

  • MadeInBrooklyn

    Go for the pulled-pork sandwich, or yes, the amazing mac’n’cheese!

  • Chris

    The Ale House a great place to relax and talk, and get a good meal or a beer with friends. a laid back neighborhood pub.

  • Ready To Order? Guide

    It seems like ale House has actually good reviews not just in our site but in most of them. It’s seems like it is still a good place where to go for a beer and a burger.

  • Homer Fink

    I like the Ale House, but the delivery situation there is absurd. No credit cards on delivery for one. And how about random days when there is “no delivery” available. Ouch.

  • Bedstuyfoodie

    Last May, after several uneventful trips to Henry St.,, I accidentally left my debit card there, called to confirm it was there and came back for it the next day. The bartender at the time (Sat. early evening) couldn’t find it on first go, refused to look further, and berated me for wasting his time. It was so astonishing that a server would give me a tongue lashing for trying to retrieve my credit card that I walked out stunned and embarrassed for clearly having made a mistake. The other folks at the bar looked shocked too! The next day they called to tell me they found it.

    Yesterday, I tried to give Henry St. another shot and went there with two friend. We sat at the bar and I told the story of the debit card, ending with “We have gone on nights when that bartender isn’t working and its fine. And the food’s good.” Apparently, the bartender working LAST night, took offense at the story. I know this because she was incredibly unresponsive to our wanting to order, got my order totally wrong and, when I asked for a soda on the house while I waited and waited (over 15 minutes for a fish sandwich–while my companions finished their meal), said to me “Really? You’re asking for a free soda?” in a disgusted tone. No apology ever offered for the original mistake, btw.

    At that, we realized the evening was ruined, canceled the order and had the remainder of my companions’ meals boxed to go. Her comments on our parting were “you don’t talk bad about someone’s colleagues right in front of them.” I asked to speak with a manager and she said she was the manager. I asked to speak with her as the manager, and she refused.

    So, my only option is to post my experience of this restaurant in the hopes that others will go elsewhere. The food is okay–competent enough pub grub–but the service is unremorsefully nasty. There are many, many other places to get a beer and a burger that don’t leave you feeling abused and humiliated.

  • Jazz

    @BSF – it is one thing to be thought a fool. It is quite another to open your mouth and prove it.

  • HSA fan

    Sounds like the bartender last night was in the right. 1. You put down her co-worker at the bar in front of other customers. 2. Is fifteen minutes really that long to wait for food in a busy restaurant? Why would you deserve a free drink for that? Perhaps she should’ve offered OR you could’ve waited and maybe she would’ve comp’ed it on your check but to ask for something free? Come on now. Have some manners.