Keeping the peace — Brooklyn style!

Keeping the peace — Brooklyn style!
The Brooklyn Paper / Ben Muessig

With one hand, they pour your drinks. With the other, they carry a bat.

Many Brooklyn bars use surveillance cameras for security, others rely on their vigilant staff and trustworthy regulars — but a number of watering holes across the borough keep a last line of defense beneath the bar.

Kevin Buckley — a barkeep at the 4th Avenue Pub in Park Slope — told The Brooklyn Paper that he doesn’t have a wooden baseball behind the counter so he can hit cleanup on the beer bar’s softball team.

“It’s more to intimidate than anything else,” said Buckley as he choked up on the Mizuno late one Wednesday night. “I’ve used it to scare people who are trying to push their way in after we’ve closed.”

The spry sudsman isn’t alone.

From Newtown Creek to the Narrows, some of the borough’s most beloved bartenders carry weapons to stay safe in a dangerous line of work, especially in the wake of a string of gunpoint bar robberies that terrorized Red Hook pubs in 2007.

Two wooden clubs behind the bar at Lucky 13 Saloon in Park Slope haven’t seen much action, but they helped get a bartender out of a jam, said barkeep Ryan Wojgas.

“One of the female bartenders pulled them out and used them to jab a guy that she was kicking out,” said Wojgas, who noted that fights and rowdiness at the 13th Street hangout are rare, mainly because of the steady crowd of regulars.

That said, it’s a bartender’s duty to remain on guard and always ready to jump into the fray.

“When it looks like there’s going to be a fight, first I try to calm everyone down and talk to them reasonably,” he said. “If it really breaks out, I grab the guy who’s causing trouble and throw him out as quick as possible.”

But in a late-night, all-cash business, crime can come quick, as it did in Red Hook two years ago when a gun-toting duo robbed the bars Moonshine and Bait and Tackle. Cops locked up one of the suspects at the time, but police only nabbed a second perp last month when they used linked DNA from a ski mask and a handgun to ID a suspect.

Those robberies sent shockwaves through Brooklyn bars — but it’s not as though the borough’s bartenders weren’t carrying weapons in the past.

Beer lovers in Bay Ridge still tell the story of a 1970s Fifth Avenue tavern that kept a golf bag behind the bar stuffed with a driver — and a shotgun.

Though less deadly than buckshot, the East River Bar at the foot of the Williamsburg Bridge keeps a rather unique anti-theft device.

Since a burglary several years back, things have been quiet in the airy Williamsburg lounge thanks to the venue’s top-notch surveillance system and its hardworking staff — and pepper spray behind the bar.

“You can still get mugged, robbed or beat up,” said owner Mark Greg, who noted that his employees haven’t needed to use the crime deterrent yet. “We are lucky it hasn’t happened since, we’re knocking on wood and hoping.”

Melissa Chapman, a bartender at the Canal Bar on Third Avenue in Gowanus, said her devoted South Brooklyn customers are her best defense — followed of course by the liquor bottles she keeps in arm’s reach.

“The people around here take care of us,” said Chapman, whose bar stays open late, seven days per week. “I have a wooden muddler for making mojitos, but I don’t think it’s going to do much. I have about 60 glass bottles back here that I would probably use first.”

Like Chapman, bartender Laurieanne Williams of the metal hangout Duff’s in Williamsburg said her patrons are her best security.

“Most of our clientele is big scary metal men,” she said. “It’s like I have 50 bouncers here.”

But when the bar clears out, Williams could always pull some protection from the joint’s Medieval-themed decor.

“There are tons of weapons all over the place,” she said, a mace, a sword and other objets de guerre within reach. “They are more for show, but they’re accessible to us. Big swords and stuff like that.”