Amongst townhouses and doorman-guarded high-rises, blocks from the 86th Street Q station, hangs the neon Ethyl’s sign, distinctly and charmingly out of place. In spite of its incongruous location, Ethyl’s is a haven for the young, broke, and hungry. Helmed by chef Paul Gerard, a member of the select group of native New Yorkers who can truly claim to have lived in Brooklyn before it was cool, the place has an unassuming 1970s vibe. A disco ball spins overhead, a corner stage is typically occupied by a DJ, and the red-and-black walls are lined with framed photos of rock legends and porn stars from days gone by.
Depending on the day (or the time of night), you might find go-go dancers strutting along the bar, a stand-up comedian performing, or a trivia game in full swing. There might be bubbles floating through the air, possibly live music, and there will definitely be an intriguing cast of characters seated on the bar stools.