They’re laughing and drinking and having a party!
A new bar with a Dolly Parton theme opened in Williamsburg last month. Is Dolly’s Swing and Dive any good? To find out, we turned to the experts — the women behind Brooklyn’s own Dolly Parton cover band Doll Parts: Maggie Robinson Katz and Julia Sirna-Frest.
These two devotees of the sequined Queen of Country joined our arts editor on a Sunday afternoon to examine the bar’s decor, the drinks, and the bathroom, which is covered sink-to-ceiling with Dolly Parton album covers.
Maggie Robinson Katz: I thought it would be more trailer park trashy, but it’s classy.
Julia Sirna-Frest: I do appreciate that they didn’t go full Barbie pink, or put gingham on the tables.
Bill Roundy: Apparently one of the inspirations was Dolly Parton saying “It costs a lot of money to look this cheap.”
Maggie: Considering the price of New York real estate, that’s probably true. But I don’t think it looks cheap. … It’s like a cool grandma’s basement.
Julia: Like a Midwestern basement bar, that you always wished you could go, and now you’re 21.
Maggie: It’s a good first date place — it’s comfortable.
Julia: It shows: “I have great taste. I love Dolly.”
Maggie (pointing): And I love a disco ball!
Maggie: The bathroom! I give it 10 out of 10 Dollys! I just want to live in that bathroom.
Julia: I want to know what happened to all the records.
Maggie: You can see all the different changes she’s gone through over the years, and the different styles she’s had.
Julia: Dolly keeps changing, but she always is who she is.
Maggie: She’s nostalgic and modern — which is like this bar!
A photographer arrives, and our reviewers return to the bathroom to touch up their makeup. Moments later:
Julia: There’s no mirror in the bathroom! Shocking!
Maggie: That’s the only downside.
Dolly’s Swing and Dive offers a menu of six $9 cocktails. It also offers eight draft beers, ranging in price from $4–$8, wines, and beer-and-shot combos. From the cocktail list, Maggie chose a Daiquiri-like drink called Let Me Tango, while Julia selected the Margarita-like Chapo Chapo.
Julia: The presentation is fantastic — and they gave me an extra shot! Very refreshing.
Maggie: This is a beautiful mezcal drink. I like that smoke.
Julia: It’s a very easy-drinking cocktail. Maybe that’s the danger here!
Maggie: Anywhere else, this would be a $13 drink.
Julia: How many Dollys do you give it?
Maggie: I give it… five Dollys.
Julia: Out of five?
Maggie: Yes. Five out of five. How about you?
Julia: Four out of five. A skosh off because of no mirror.
Dolly’s Swing and Dive [101 Kent Ave. at N. Eighth Street in Williamsburg, (904) 414–5095, www.dollysbk.com]. Open Mon–Fri, 3 pm–4 am; Sat–Sun, noon–4 am.