The Levee

The LeveeThe Levee
The LeveeThe Levee
Bar, Eatery

212 Berry Street
Brooklyn, New York, 11249
United States

(718) 218-8787 | map

View: Place Reviews
Reviews: 15 | Ratings: 18 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by DoubleSimcoe:
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DoubleSimcoe from Pennsylvania

3.86/5  rDev -6.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

I’ve walked by this place so many times and have never stopped. With all the great beer bars in Williamsburg, why would I? But this last time, I thought, “heck, let’s check it out”. And there I went, along with the wife.

This is a certified hipster hangout. Like, dude! Word. I’ve never seen more hipsters by square foot in my entire life. Roomy place, with two areas and two bars, booths, pool table… a total dive. It almost needs smoke. Tables lined with PBR signs, tattered sofas and by-the-book skinny hipsters drinking Bud, Corona and PBR (I hope, even though I didn’t see it).

Five taps only (why is this joint even on BA?): Sixpoint Sweet Action, Founders Dry-Hopped Pale Ale, Guinness, Harpoon UFO and Yuengling. A chalkboard menu shows some bottled goodies, like Blithering Idiot, Duchesse, Fin de Monde, Abita… plus a lot of good bourbons and whiskeys at great prices (Evan Williams for $5-$6??). My Blithering bottle was five dollars, I don’t think it gets any better… and the drafts are $4 and $5.

Didn’t see a food menu, but they do have some greasy bar grub like ruffles-and-dip, cheese balls, popcorn and shit. Fancy!
Considering d.b.a. is four blocks away, I’m not sure I would come back here, but hey, it ain’t bad…

Feb 10, 2012
More User Reviews:
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egrandfield from Massachusetts

4/5  rDev -2.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

Mar 28, 2018
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Ant4711 from South Carolina

4/5  rDev -2.7%

Jul 08, 2014
Photo of Rachel1978

3.25/5  rDev -20.9%

Jul 03, 2014
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RblWthACoz from Pennsylvania

3.94/5  rDev -4.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Well The Levee certainly is an ineresting place. We've got a good juke box and several board games on top of it to pass your time with. In the back we've got Buck Hunter if you want to hone your hunting skills in a more humane way. This is a neighborhood, hole in the wall, dive kind of place. Not only can you partake of some fairly nice beer, you can also have your PBR in a can cooler if you so desire. And for food, why not have some cheese balls or Ruffles with onion dip? I mean who needs "food, food" when you've got this "food". Right? It was a bit later at night and there was only one bartender, so there wasn't much to speak of as far as service. But I didn't have to wait very long at all for drinks.

Selection is interesting. There were 8 taps if my brain is serving me right. Brooklyn Pennant Ale, Yuengling, and Guinness were a few available. The better stuff was on bottles though as there was a much greater variety. Though I have to wonder how thought out it all was actually. Seems kind of thrown together.

Overall this is a neighborhood bar by far and probably not a place a beer geek should make a trip to. With so many places in the area, this is more a place to get blitzed than go hang out to enjoy some quality brews.

May 26, 2008
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plaid75 from New York

4.16/5  rDev +1.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Located amongst the glory that is Williamsburg, this corner pub is a great little bar.

Upon entering, the long bar is to the right, with a few window seats to the left. Follow the bar to the end and hang a right and you will find yourself at the other side of the place that features a poll table and a few pinball/arcade games.

The draft list included Brooklyn Penant, Sixpoint Diesel, Stone Pale Ale, Yuengling, Guinness, UFO, etc. The bottle list was lengthy and impressive, and featured several inexpensive Belgian selections.

During the daily Happy Hour, all drinks are a dollar off. That means that a pint of Brooklyn Penant is 3 bucks from 5-8 everyday - Yuengling 2 bucks, the rest - 4 bucks. Hell, if you are so inclined, you can get a can of Carling Black Label for a buck. Pitchers available as well. I love a place that offers pitchers - it just seems so unpretentious.

The food was a hodgepodge of cheese balls, chili, hot dogs and bologna sandwiches.

Friendly hipster crowd.

Feb 19, 2008
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Hibernator from Massachusetts

3.7/5  rDev -10%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

I was in NYC for the weekend of 09/21/07 and we decided to check out The Levee in Brooklyn. We went on a Friday night and it was packed. Difficult to move around crowded. There is a good jukebox and the atmosphere is solid overall. Dim lighting with a chalkboard displaying the beer selection which had some good options, but nothing overly exciting. I had a couple of Brooklyn Lagers before we moved on. This place kinda reminded me of d.b.a minus the bad customer service.

I was hoping for more and the scene was just too much on the night we visited - I would like to come back at a different day/time.

Oct 05, 2007
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NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania

4.3/5  rDev +4.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Have I never reviewed the Levee? How can it be? I guess I tend to concentrate more on beers and not on places. Oh well. As far as Brookyln goes there's not too many choices, so The Levee deserves a shot. It's just my kind of place. It's more of a local spot than a beer destination, but they've got a solid line-up and good service. And you can bring your dog :) It's great for hanging out on a weekend afternoon, or early weeknight. The main bar area is right off the street - it's on a corner; and there's a second room in the back. The bathrooms are kept well, which gives you a good idea of how it's run overall. Service is good too. I've found it to be frequented by a younger crowd, 20-somethings, but they were cool and hip and not all crazy-in-your-face or just out to get liquored up and laid. More of a hip, semi-art school crowd. You can always find someone to talk to. And there's a lot of interesting stuff going on as well. Worth a trip!

Dec 21, 2006
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Billolick from New York

3.73/5  rDev -9.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4

This little two room joint is about 2 minutes from Barcade and maybe 3 minutes from Spikehill/Muggs. Greenpoint has so many options and this place seems to attract a young, fun crowd. Lively, crowded place. Short bar on the right upon entering and then a short walk to the rear small room. Beer selection extensive, but nothing amazing. Servers seemed overwhelmed and not real friendly, annoyed actually. Plenty of worthy selections, and cheese balls are a fun/funky addition. Worth a visit afternoon or eve or as part of a neighborhood crawl

Nov 23, 2006
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soulgrowl from England

4.26/5  rDev +3.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Okay, first of all: Connect Four? Hell yes. This place is awesome, and an especially good place to take folks who might not be as interested in the beer as you, as there is plenty to keep them entertained. Board games, pool, a pet cat, cheese puffs, Twizzlers, and a really friendly and energetic barkeep make for a great night out.

As for the beer, the selection is very good but not enormous; I'd guess they had around 40 beers, most of them in bottles except for 5 or 6 on tap. I was very happy to find the Duchesse on their menu (and to have it served in the proper glassware), but if that's not your thing, they have plenty of other options with at least one representative from many different styles. And the prices are great; they could practically compete with liquor stores. Highly recommended.

Jul 16, 2006
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PopeJonPaul from Oregon

4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4


I can't tell you how many times I've heard that at The Levee. This is one of the most socialfun bars in Williamsburg. The atmosphere is old-school bar all the way, with lots of board games, a pool table, a rotating pinball machine, some solid taps that rotate regularly and a good bottle selection (they have the Duchess, for goodness sake.) The bar is an old punch-through where it's on both sides of a brick wall that divides the main bar from the gamelounge area. There's sort of a SouthernTrailer theme going on, with some trademark Southern cocktails - like the Gatorita (Gatorade Margarita [shudder]) and of course Southern brews (Abitas, Blackened Voodoo, etc.) Service here is always good, the owners are cool, and the crowd, though sometimes tragically hip (it's WIlliamsburg after all) is usually quite friendly, especially when people start grouping up to play games in the table area. When was the last time you had a Connect Four tournament while drinking your Sixpoint IPA? Hoo-ha.

They serve a microwave Frito pie, hotdogs and stuff too, but so far I've just stuck to the free cheesy poofs and an occasional PB&J...

Apr 21, 2006
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woodychandler from Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Alex "Imbiber" Hall brought me here following a chance meeting last weekend (Sa, 03 Dec 05) at Mugs and I was glad that he did.

The first thing that jumped out was the Lone Star neon in the window and the second was Lucinda, a pretty B&W cat that keeps the place mostly vermin-free except for when the odd Beer Pest wanders in.

I was really impressed by the bottle beer blackboard, which detailed ~ 30+ beers. They also have blackboards for "Grub", "On Tap", "House Drinks", "Specials", and "Buy a Friend a Drink". The latter is further deliniated by "Who", "From", and "What" and can be done for even those in absentia. Feel free to put "Woody" up there under "Who" - I'll be back eventually.

It is a rather unique bar in that it is slightly open and bisected by a brick wall. Still, it is a standard rectangular shape. I was impressed, as an EngLit major, by the literary quotations that abound. Further, a pressed-tin ceiling and an abundance of exposed brick always turns me on.

The back half of the space is more of a combination of bar plus lounge plus restaurant tables and billiard tables. Against all of my preconceived prejudices, it works. Take my word for it, or don't. It also houses two video games, a pinball machine, numerous borad games, and a blown-out gold upholstered couch that was probably rescued from a local fraternity. I am now a true believer.

I should also mention the unisex lavatories with the plumbing digrams on the doors with chandeliers in the overhead once you go inside. Yow.

Howard Hunt and Susan Surdacki are the owners and they originally hail from Texas, hence the Lone Star neon. It was a good thing that I had my denim patch jacket with me to show off my excellent taste in beer. Ha!

Dec 07, 2005
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wbthink from New York

4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

A great bar that has a traditional waterfront pub atmosphere. This corner brick and wood decor establishment has a friendly environment to enjoy a pleasant pint, or delve into their diverse bottle selection. Transplanted Texans Sue and Howard are knowledgeable beer folks. Drafts by Sixpoint, Brooklyn, and Heavyweight, as well as bottles such as Heavyweight Old Salty, Weyerbacher Blithering Idiot, and Achel Brune can be savored here. The Levee is an unpretentious place, where both beer geeks and local Williamsburg hipsters can drink side by side. They offer various hotdogs and chilli, as well as some bar snacks, such as cheesy poofs. If you are in Williamsburg, the Levee should not be missed. A definite a stop on a well thought out Williamsburg/Greenpoint pub crawl.

Nov 27, 2005
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saltydog from New York

4.43/5  rDev +7.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 3.5

This is a wonderfully comfortable and atmospheric bar, a great addition to the fermenting WIlliamsburg bar scene. I've been coming here for months, and am just getting around to reviewing it here. So far, there are still six taps, which are well chosen, though the bottles hold the most of my interest, and recently including such items as Blithering Idiot, Skullsplitter, and Old Salty (a bit of a plug there). Both myself and my dogs are always treated like members of the family there; they could not be more welcoming. I am still hoping they still get the additional 6 taps talked about earlier, but whether they do or not I will still be coming back here often.

Oct 29, 2005
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slander from New York

4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

They've been going on about this place for a bit now. It was time to go and see the something new in Williamsburg. Sitting at the bar singing to myself,
"If it keeps on rainin', Levee's going to break,
If it keeps on rainin', Levee's going to break,
When the Levee breaks, have no place to stay".
and then Randy says, "Well, we'll have to finish our beers before the Levee breaks then". Honestly, I just don't know...
A 9 seat "L" shaped wood bar runs from this side to that, and actually hooks in through an archway in the wall to the next room to a small nook whereby you can be served there too. Tin ceiling, some pale blue and other brick walls, a bar counter and a single bar table, a wood bar back unit with large mirrors, blackboards listing tap & bottle slections, house drinks, and grub, shelves of booze off to the sides, and a wine rack in wooden holders below the bar.
Drop "wand" bulb lighting over the bar, TV's above bar and over the arch to the rear room, a piece of framed artwork, photos here and there, and a killer juke box. Stones "She's A Rainbow", Nick Drake "Pink Moon", Radiohead "Airbag", and Peter Yorn, Led Zeppelin, Johnny Cash, Wilco, all in a short stretch. A small sign on the door reads "Do not go gentle into that good night" as you exit.
The rear room holds a small pool table, a few couch and cushy chair combos, 5 small tables, some video game that isn't Phil's golf game, a pinball machine, seating for 5 for that piece of the bar that extends through the arch from the front room, and yellow stucco and brick walls. They've got a stack of board games back there, so while Phil and Randy shot pool, I take down (Evil) Davo in Boggle (clacka, clacka, clacka, clacka, clacka, clacka) and Connect Four (hard!!!).
"Here, diagonally".
"Pretty sneaky Slander".
6 taps (Sixpoint IPA, Magic Hat 9, Brooklyn Pennant Pale Ale, Paulaner Hefe, Guinness, Yuengling) and upwards of 30 bottles. Some micros regional (Heavyweight Lunacy, DogFishHead 90 Minute IPA, Victory Hop Devil, Weyerbacher Blithering Idiot) and beyond (Grant's Perfect Porter, Anchor Liberty Ale, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Abita Purple Haze), Belgians (Duvel, Achel Brune, Delirium Tremons, Westmalle Triple, Chimay Blue, Duchesse, St. Louis Framboise), and more (Froach Heather, EKU Pils, Paulaner Hefe, Kostrizer Black Lager, Hens' Tooth, Black Cat), and ciders and retro macros.
Food menu consists of Bologna & Cheese sandwiches, PBJ's, Beef & Veggie Dogs, Dips, Chips, Popcorn, and if that's not enough, Susan keeps filling the bowls of cheesey balls on the bar (I've eaten a lot of them and am glowing Orange).
Comfortable, well situated for the watching of storms, and very conveniently located in middle of the Williamsburg universe.

Sep 04, 2005
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francisweizen from Alaska

4.36/5  rDev +6.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

A really cool space as others have mentioned. Erica and I spent a few hours here with a friend we met randomly at spikehill and later with Alex (Imbiber). Quality of the beer here is very good, and the service was good as well (free cheeze balls, yay!). Selection was really good as well, with quite a few nice draughts (stone ipa anyone?). Prices were good as well, but the main draw here is the cool loungy, lofty atmosphere complete with pool table, videogames, and a damn good jukebox. A real neighberhood bar feel to this place, that's for sure. I'd love to live within this neighberhood of very good beer, than again the $2000/month price tag on a good apartment keeps me far away, but close enough to visit often. So goes it...

Jul 18, 2005
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TheLongBeachBum from California

4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5

I love getting to NYC and sharing a few brews with the local BA’s, but my trips are never complete without a Sunday Brunch in Mugs followed by a wander around Brooklyn before I head back to LAX. A posse of BA’s; Rokotgirl, djgonzalez, Schoolteacher, Imbiber and yours truly, took the walk from Mugs in the hot Sunday afternoon Sunshine all the way to one of the areas newest additions, The Levee, a feat easily accomplished in less time than it takes to slowly sink a beer for those that do not wish to waste good drinking time.

Situated on the corner of Berry Street and N.3rd, The Levee has a rather unassuming exterior look, yet somehow projects an appealing quality. From the get-go I just knew I was going to like this place.

As you enter, the Levee opens out to reveal a cleverly laid out interior. It is sort of one room, but it feels like two. From the corner entrance, windows on your left hand side light up the wooden floor and the immediate bar area which is in front of you to your right. The bar clings to a two-third length dividing wall on your right hand side and sits in parallel to this as you walk in. At the end of the bar, two restrooms form the back left corner, whilst the bar terminates just before the back wall, allowing a full access entranceway to what seems like a back room, which is really a room on the right hand side of the building and behind the bar and dividing wall. A short walk from the spartan front bar area, and you can see that the back room runs around in a 180° U-turn right back around the bar area. A neat touch to this part of the interior is a small archway cum serving hatch area that sits at the end of the bar and allows the bar staff to serve the back room from the bar area without leaving the bar itself. Simple but very clever.

After chatting over a few sips of my Harpoon UFO it was decided to check out the back room. I headed immediately for the far back wall area which is furnished with some cool looking artwork, I particularly love the large orange iconic disposable BiC® Lighter painting, but more importantly a nice eclectic collection of very comfy chairs and sofas arranged around a small glass table. This part of The Levee has an extremely relaxing atmosphere to it and is a great place to chill out, even though it has a pinball machine which usually annoys me. The ceiling appears to be an original tin affair, whilst the bare brick walls reinforce that simple but highly effective back to basics feel. Also in the back room is a Pool Table situated on the N.3rd Street side of the Café. The darkened interior kept the temperature down, yet light was allowed to stream inside in just the perfect amounts needed to provide enough atmosphere. The music…..what to say, well it is very eclectic in choice, there is a Jukebox but at quieter times the owners i-Pod gets hooked up I am told.

The beer range is currently limited to a handful of taps (six I recall) but there will soon be six more it seems. It is clear that some thought has been put into the portfolio of what could just be 6 regular brews, and it is also very clear that the range is going to expand. Anchor Liberty Ale and Harpoon UFO were on tap, as was Stone IPA, damn stuff gets everywhere it seems, not that I’m complaining, in fact I finished with one. I also recall offerings from Brooklyn and Yeungling. In the meantime there are also a few bottles to join the taps, including several Chimay’s and Victory’s.

Attention to detail is excellent, it’s the small things that differentiate at times; the quality décor, furnishings and simple yet quality aura are highly commendable. They even laid out some free snacks, not quite sure if this was a regular event or not, but they offered the food to everyone regardless, a nice touch that.

Get a Greenback off your brews during Happy Hour from 5-8pm. The Levee advertises itself as “Beer, Booze, Pool & Dogs”, though I didn’t think the women looked that bad (joke). The Levee has just opened and I applaud the way it seems to be learning to walk before it can run, and I have a feeling that it will become a sprinter in time.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the brace of brews that I shared in here with my fellow NYC BA’s and good friends. A very cool establishment, incredibly relaxing, understated yet with a very clean, high quality and extremely refreshing décor. I can’t quite put my finger on one thing, but somehow everything in the Levee melds into a very synergistic bar. I’m back in town in November, if not before, and I am most certainly coming back here.

And…..according to Sir Alex the Imbiber, there may soon be a Handpump, (or two) gracing the Bar soon, yet another reason to check this place out!

Hey..…if it keeps on raining……

Last Visit: Sunday 26th June, 2005

Jul 04, 2005
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SCW from New York

4.65/5  rDev +13.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Awesome neighborhood bar. Housed in the previous home of "Kokies," which I hear was an appropriate name for it; you may now make your own assumption.

Nowadays, there is "The Levee." Run by Texans Howard and Susan, this bar most impressed me because of the Love put into it. Everyday, Howard and Susan cook up fresh (Texas) chili, hot dogs, and peanut butter and jelly upon request (vegan friendly!). Also, there is a great selection of bottled brews, with a special focus on regional and domestic micros. Currently, there are only half a dozen taps, but Howard is looking into adding another six. He also alluded to adding two beer engines for cask ale...

What really impressed me about Howard and Susan is their enthusiasm towards good beer. Howard loves to talk about and serve beers that he enjoys, and you can tell his years of service with the Ginger Man has given him an appreciation of a wide range of styles. Him and I had a discussion of how all American pale ales have stemmed from two schools of thought: Liberty Ale from Anchor and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.

In addition to friendly, knowledgeable staff, I have to remark about the stunning atmosphere. Beautiful tin ceilings, awesome hardwood floors, and classic brick walls give this place a great vibe. Furthermore, the place is impeccably clean, and you can tell Howard and Susan have a lot of respect for their new business.

I encourage everyone to stop by this bar if you're in the neighborhood. It's only a short walk from the L stop at Bedford, and there's a good chance you might just see me there...

Jun 30, 2005
The Levee in Brooklyn, NY
Place rating: 4.11 out of 5 with 18 ratings