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For those who don’t know, it is that kind of bar.
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A place you might drop by to grab a quick one before going about your evening plans or the one you might resort to because the newest Brooklyn hot spot has a line out the door - only to decide that this bar, the Bean Post in Bay Ridge, is the type of Brooklyn jewel those unfamiliar should feel lucky to find in passing.

On any given weekend, at the corner of 75th Street and Fifth Avenue, the Bean Post Pub fills its wooden walls with the kind of characters only a television show called "Cheers" could cast better.

It’s not something the bartenders strive for, though. They will tell you the pub does not loudly advertise beer specials or even the fact that they have more televisions than most bars in Brooklyn. People just know, bartender Lisa Harris said, adding that the fact that the Bean Post does not try to be anyone’s favorite bar might just be the reason that it is.

"It just is," she said.

In one corner on a recent Friday evening, near the front glass doors that open in the warmer months, the regulars took their spots along the bar and at the bar tables. They are long-time Bay Ridgites and a few former bartenders - in essence, Bean Post historians.

The bar used to be called The Keg, offered Mike Jackson, a customer for over 20 years. The place was different then, Jackson said, with only two windows along its storefront and a different look to its U-shaped bar.

"It has always had characters though," he said. "And friendly bartenders."

Behind him, on another stool, Pat Rooney nodded his head. The former Bean Post bartender said he has been coming to the bar for so long, "I can’t imagine going anywhere else."

"During the Yankees games, the Mets games, the hockey games Well, we come in here to watch all of the games," Rooney said. "This is where you come to watch a game."

For the Bean Post softball team, it is also the place to come following a game. As one of 11 teams sponsored by a total of six Brooklyn bars, the Bean Post softball team claims to be the most proud and the most loyal to the name on the front of their jerseys.

"There is nobody else we would rather play for," said Kathleen O’Malley, at the bar after a tie game, with her jersey on and a beer in hand. Beside her more than 10 of her uniformed teammates agreed in unison - cheering their sponsor.

In the loudness of their cheer, added to the rooting of those watching the Yankees game and the vibrations of everybody’s favorite song, the bartenders threw their usual party favor - cardboard coasters and bar napkins - onto the customers.

Harris looked around and laughed. Everything, she said, business as usual.

The Bean Post Pub bartenders include Anthony Loporto, John Hanglow and Harris. They are past customers themselves, and described by customers as the backbone of the pub - maybe the main reason they come there.

According to Chris Hayes, a Bean Post fixture for four years as the bar’s bouncer, his stool - just inside the front door - is the best seat in the whole place.

"I can see everything from here," he said. "It’s funny. The later it gets, the funnier it gets."

Hayes said that while the Bean Post is known for keeping its regulars, a crowd of about 30 young 20-somethings have also come to call the bar their own. He said they tend to shuffle to the back, and pointed to where a mass of blue jeans and baseball caps were loudly reacting to a corner television airing a baseball game.

Jennifer Sarmi, 27, said she has been coming to the Bean Post for the last five years. And Louie Leggs, 29, said he had been coming to the bar, "Forever."

"We are always in here. It is the best place in Brooklyn," he said. "If you are a real sports fan, you are here from day one."

 

Post firsts

Steve Postler, the owner of the Bean Post, said his bar opened in 1982 and was named after himself and his former partner John Pensabene - Pensabene, Postler Beanpost. They bought the bar a couple years after The Keg had closed. He had had his eye on it for some time, he said. As a longtime bartender in Manhattan, the idea of opening a bar in his own neighborhood quickly became a calling.

"I was always interested in it, and I had bartended in the city for five years. But my roots were in Bay Ridge," Postler said.

His father, from the Bronx, and his mother, from Sunset Park, had some of their first dates in The Keg, but, Postler said, he did not learn about that until after he had bought the bar.

The Keg’s big claim to fame, said Postler, came just after World War II for being the first bar in Brooklyn to have a TV.

Now, the Bean Post Pub offers six televisions, including a large flat-screen television across the back of the bar. One year after its opening, the Bean Post was the first bar in Brooklyn to have satellite cable, said Postler, allowing them to air most televised sports games throughout the nation. Postler said he was also the first in the borough to offer 16 draft lines.

The norm, Postler said, is for tap beer to be pushed through the lines with compressed air. But that air, he said, has a negative effect on the taste of the beer, so he uses a Guinness, nitrogen-based system.

"You can’t get a bad Guinness. The nitrogen preserves the beer," Postler said, adding that it was expensive to re-outfit a 16-tap setup.

"But the [net] savings was tremendous to me because I could give a great-tasting beer from the top to the bottom of the barrel," said Postler. "With the nitrogen, put that in a nice chilled glass, you’ve got yourself a great beer."

The kitchen, he said, is just weeks from opening for the first time. He said the pub would offer "pub grub" in an extended seating area that has never been opened in the back.

"All I have to do now is find the right cook," Postler said.

A good pub, he said, is quite simple to maintain, if as the owner you can also be a beer lover, sports fan and a regular.

"Everybody loves Manhattan but this is local," he said. "It is the pub you can walk to. You probably went to school with somebody that comes here or works here. That nucleus is here.

"We are not known as the pick-up joint or a dance club and we are not known as a hole-in-the-wall, either," Postler said.

"And if you leave for a couple of years, we will still know your name."

 

 

The Bean Post Pub, 7525 Fifth Ave., accepts all major credit cards. For more information, call (718) 745-9413.

Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010
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