Surviving Brooklyn’s longest happy hour is all in a day’s work for our reporter

Surviving Brooklyn’s longest happy hour is all in a day’s work for our reporter
Photo by Elizabeth Graham

Brooklyn’s longest happy hour has met its match — and the guy that beat it is me, reporter Dan Bush.

That’s right. I made Bobby Daquara — the owner of Bay Ridge’s Greenhouse Cafe who boasted last week that no one has ever drank his way through his half-day-long happy hour and live to tell about it — eat his words. Because I went, I saw, and I drank (a lot!), and here I am telling the tale.

But it wasn’t easy, even though the rules to this most dangerous game were simple: I would drink steadily and responsibly for 12 hours straight without falling asleep, drunk-dialing any girlfriends (former, current, or imagined) or leaving the bar. And, I’d have to write two stories (my editor’s demand), and make sure they were totally coherent. In short, I’d knock back about one beer an hour and still get my work done— child’s play for a pro like me, who once polished off 20 beers at BayFest and still wrote a killer BoroBeat.

So I stepped right up to a comfy stool at high noon and went straight to work, first ordering a Guinness (happy hour price: $4) and taking a sip, and then popping open my laptop and tapping away at the keys.

It’s not easy to be a reporter, but the job does come with some fringe benefits. And as I worked away on both my keyboard as well as Irish stout after Irish stout, I knew that I went down the right path when choosing my profession — even if the pay stinks.

To make sure I’d make it out alive I routinely lined my stomach with heaping platters of $4 chicken tenders and nachos — doled out at appropriate intervals — which I dutifully wolfed down.

But 12 hours is a long time — and coming up with great ideas while doing 12-ounce curls with my good buddy Weiser began to get a little boring a few hours into my journey.

So I did what any red-blooded American drinker would do when faced with the question “How can I make this happy hour a little more happy?” I switched to the hard stuff — with bottom-shelf booze economically priced at $4 a glass, on the rocks, of course. Bad idea.

Things got a little bit fuzzy about that time, but my blood alcohol level didn’t stop me from completing my soon-to-be Pulitzer Prize-winning story about how Borough President Markowitz wants to spend millions of taxpayer dollars on a new light show for the Parachute Jump in Coney Island. Yeah, my editors said they had to do some work on that, but, heck, that’s their job!

The day turned into night. I mingled with other patrons, who offered to buy me drinks. I think I remember losing an arm-wrestling match. I even played guitar (or at least tried to) with musician Paul Lee, who showed up to have a few low-priced pops.

By 10 pm, it was getting harder to type — my motor skills weren’t what they usually are, and the empty glasses where starting to get in the way. So I soldiered on, propping my laptop on my knees and banging out the first draft of the masterpiece that you are reading.

I can’t say why, but as the clock neared midnight, I found myself sipping Pinot Noir (yes, still $4!) and loosening my tie, once again.

As the clock struck midnight, I realized I’d crossed the finish line: I had turned this happy hour into the happiest workday I’d ever had.

My hootin’-n-hollerin’ was heard from blocks away as I crowed about my hard-earned bragging rights, and the fact that I had outlasted three bartenders — and the toughest happy hour in town.

Brooklyn’s longest happy hour at the Greenhouse Cafe [7717 Third Ave. between 77th and 78th Streets in Bay Ridge, (718) 833-8200]. From noon to midnight, Mondays–Thursdays.

Reach reporter Daniel Bush at [email protected] or by calling (718) 260-8310. Follow him at twitter.com/dan_bush.