Jul 29, 2014

Habana Outpost is Back and Better Than Ever

Our drinking columnist thinks this bar has become the ultimate neighborhood destination

Habana Outpost is Back and Better Than Ever Habana Outpost is Back and Better Than Ever Habana Outpost is Back and Better Than Ever Habana Outpost is Back and Better Than Ever

What can possibly be said about Habana Outpost that has not been said before? The place is downright amazing and deserves every drunken giggle of delight that it has created.

The food? Impeccable. The booze? Fantastic. The vibes? Outstanding.

Unarguably the best seasonal drinking locale this side of a beach blanket in the Rockaways, Habana Outpost has been serving up eco-inspired summer offerings since 2005. The space initially served as owner Sean Meenan’s spin-off environmental project for his flagship Habana Cafe in Nolita, but has since developed a cult following all of its own.  Last year, the franchise officially went bi-coastal with a much-anticipated new location in Malibu.

Back in Brooklyn, the Fulton Street jewel re-opened last week with the same bag of tricks that have been bringing in the crowds for years, minus one signature piece of the Habana Outpost decor: The food truck.

“It just wasn’t practical anymore,” said veteran bartender Katie Costanza, “It was too small, too old, and there were just too many guys in there. I loved that thing but, I mean, it was a busted old postal truck, not a kitchen.”

The funky truck has been retired and replaced by a state-of-the-art trailer, although the menu has not changed. Constanza also noted that there is hope of creating another kitchen in the basement, which would allow for an expanded menu and possibly the introduction of winter operating hours.

Habana Outpost still has the cheapest quality draught in town at $2.75 for a pint from local favorites Kelso and Six Point Brewery. Margaritas and Mojitos aren’t cheap at $7.25, but you would be hard-pressed to find one more delicious. And then, of course, there is the famous grilled corn.

“I’ve been coming here for about two years,” said regular Al Adams, “and I don’t leave without the corn. Period.”

Habana Outpost has accomplished a nearly impossible feat by seamlessly and stylishly integrating genuine eco-consciousness into its everyday routine. Furthermore, it has accomplished this task without scaring off the cosmopolitan gentry of Brooklyn with heavy-handed hippie rhetoric. Nearly six years since its inception, the place still feels fresh and has provided inspiration for countless restaurateurs looking to reduce their environmental impact.

Now in its fifth year of operation, the non-profit Habana Works continues to use the Brooklyn restaurant as its base of operation and has provided environmental education services to children throughout New York City. The organization has integrated many of the environmental projects at the site into its curriculum and hosts dozens of events every year celebrating the creative uses of conservation-minded design.

On Saturday, May 14th, Habana Outpost will be kicking off the season with a public block party complete with “bands, games, food and fashion.”  

Expect Latin flavors and don’t forget to pray for sun.

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