A Girl's Guide to Drinking Alone is a blog, where I drink alone at bars, then review them for how awesome or awful they are for women to go to alone. Based in NYC.


249 4th Ave at Carroll St, Park Slope

The Place: An old tire shop refurbished into a beer bar because Brooklyn.

The Time: Wednesday July 4th, 6:45pm. Happy America day, I guess. Though I’m really not fond of America rn. I’m going to a friend’s rooftop party in a bit, so I stop in for a drink at a bar nearby beforehand. The bar I was planning on going to is closed for the holiday (boo) so I walk two more blocks over to Mission Dolores because there's always another bar in this city.

The Vibe: The entrance is through the open courtyard area, unlike most bars where the outdoor seating is in the back. It’s lovely, but also grungy? Am I in Gowanus right now? That’d make sense. Eh, technically it’s Park Slope but it sure feels like Gowanus. Christmas lights are everywhere, exposed brick walls, exposed wooden beams, a skylight that takes up almost the entire ceiling. There’s a pinball machine that they also use for keg storage somehow. The bar itself is in the very back and it’s packed even though there are empty tables. So I hover, attempting to get the bartender’s attention. At the tables, there are some large groups of friends, a few duos, lots of pitchers of beer. There is an actual child playing the pinball machine and I do not know who he belongs to, but they ARE playing Kung Fu Panda on the TV, so...? At the bar there are a handful of guys by themselves, then some small groups of friends. There’s a dude in a stupid little cap, with a messenger bag slung over his shoulder even though he’s sitting (there are hooks under this bar, has he never carried a bag to a bar before?). He’s wearing cargo shorts that would make Tan France cringe. And from the second I walk in, he will not stop staring at me. The only entry I have is between him and another solo guy and when I lean in to tell the bartender my order, I think I feel him sniff me? So yeah, I choose to hang at the stools at the wall nearby.

The Bartender: Long-haired, wearing a baseball cap, some tats. When I order my drink, he tells me it will be missing the mint, they’re out of mint, do I care. When I hesitate (because I always differ to the bartender on matters such as this), he shrugs at me and says “it’s just a, y’know” and makes a really hyperbolized gesture for garnish. If we were playing charades, we would win in a landslide.


The Drink: If there’s one thing I can still thank America for, it’s bourbon. Truly an American creation - goddess bless ya Kentucky. So in the spirit (heh), I order the one bourbon cocktail on the menu: the Upstate Mule. It’s bourbon, lime, ginger and mint. Except no mint. The drink itself is fine. Truly just a Kentucky Mule and I do not know why they’ve bothered to name it anything else. Then I realize that this drink isn’t even made with traditional ginger beer, it’s ginger ale. So effectively it’s a whiskey ginger with some lime that they charge $12 for. Cool. Probably should've gotten a beer.

Was I Hit On? I purposely sit away from messenger bag guy because I know if I sit next to him, he’ll talk to me. I also don’t want to take out my notebook or magazine for this same reason so I spend my whole time here buried in my phone. Messenger Bag keeps looking at me the whole time but he never says anything. I guess my tactic works? But sad that I have to take a tactic. In other news, there’s a couple at the other end of the bar who take tequila shots and loudly cheers to America. Then they spend the rest of the time agree-yelling at each other. You know what I mean, “YES OH MY GOD” “ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND PERCENT” “EXACTLY EXACTLY.” Tbh I kind wish I was one of them.

Should You Drink Here Alone? Oh comrades. I don’t think so? But I have to say, I came here on Fourth of July, drank a cocktail at a beer bar, and encountered one strange creepy man. So perhaps the move is to come to Mission Dolores on a different night, beer in hand, with pals by your side.

*ADDENDUM* I found out later that Mission Dolores is dog friendly! So at least there's that.