Blocks from the Verrazano near the top of a slanted street angled towards New York Harbor sits the Lock Yard, a three-year-old bar and grill serving up artisanal pub food and featuring the kind of committed regulars it usually takes years to procure.
“This isn’t the kind of place you come to get sloppy drunk off Miller Lite,” employee of many hats Joshua Platt told us proudly of the ever-rotating craft beer menu as a local belted out Rodney Carrington’s comedic country ballad “Show Them to Me” (Mondays are karaoke night).
Around 8 p.m. the kitchen, located adjacent to the bar, its grills visible to all, gave last call and the rowdy crowd continued singing and dancing.
The Lock Yard’s space is quaint: long and narrow with outdoor space extending into the back alley, Edison-bulb style fairy lights strung throughout. Opened in 2013, the Lock Yard has two sister restaurants in the neighborhood: Kettle Black and Ho’Brah, both on 3rd Avenue and all with the same owners.
In the words of Platt, the food is, “stereotypical of hipster places,” in that the Lock Yard does a thorough job applying the concept of taking something basic and making it gourmet. The menu consists of artisanal sausage, build-your-own hot dogs, sandwich baskets, salads and appetizers.
We started out with drinks, a #5 and a #13 — the New Belgian Pumpkick and a Nitro Milk Stout — and later won a #7 — Farmhouse Ale from upstate brewery Gun Hill — in a trivia game. All were refreshing and hardy.
For food, we ordered a hot dog with thick cut slab bacon bits, chipotle Ketchup, and RC cola caramelized onions, a side of fried pickles, and a double cheeseburger. The fried pickles and hot dog toppings were by far the most unique, mouth watering delights of the evening: the pickles were drenched in everything bagel seeds and panko while the RC onions had been simmered down for two hours and were exquisite. That everything is made in house was obvious in the food’s freshness.
The meal, consumed with plastic silverware, came to under $50 with tip, making it pricey for bar food but entirely reasonable for its superior quality and uniqueness.
Where: 9221 5th Avenue
Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m., seven days a week
Phone: (718) 333-5282
Kid Friendly? No