Bed-Stuy lost a solid bar when One Last Shag closed, taking its raucous backyard and queer-friendly dance parties with it. Fortunately, the Franklin Avenue space that once housed it didn't stay empty for too long; it is now home to The Holler, a new spot from the team behind Cajun restaurant/bar Catfish just a few blocks south.
The Holler (348 Franklin Avenue), which hosted its grand opening Thursday night, isn't as fully committed to New Orleans in the same way Catfish is, though there are some touches of the Crescent City, like the neon pink crescent that's above the bar's front door. Also the cocktail menu, which features Hurricanes ($12), Sazeracs ($9), and French 75s ($9). There are also Fat Tuesday Frozen Daiquiris, but more on those later.
If you aren't looking to sip on a Hurricane, you can also grab one of 10 rotating taps for between $6 and $8, or one of The Holler's beer and shot deals ($7 for a Bud and whiskey, $8 for a Tecate tallboy and tequila). Happy hour, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. every day, will get you a $1 off drafts, as well as frozen drinks. So anyway, about those.
There are three flavors of daiquiri you can choose from: High Octane (Everclear and orange citrus mix), Pina Colada (made with Bacardi 151) and Mardi Gras Mash (bourbon, Triple Sec and fruit punch mix), and each one will run you $8. If you really want to get crazy, you can combine the High Octane and Pina Colada into what the bar calls a Creamsicle, or put all three together for a Meńage à Toi.
I had a Creamsicle after a couple of beers (also admittedly on a mostly-empty stomach) and by the time I was done with it, I was typing out and not sending ill-advised tweets and fighting the urge to text a crush some bullshit that was definitely not that charming or interesting. All of which is to say that the daiquiris definitely do their job.
But don't worry. Rather than fight yourself on the question of sending reckless electronic communications, you can just lurch your drunk ass over to either a Creature From The Black Lagoon pinball table, or try to start a dance party by feeding some money into the bar's extremely solid jukebox, which ranges from Elvis to Tupac, Shannon and the Clams to The Roots, and The Misfits to Lauryn Hill.
The Holler has a couple spacious booths for larger groups, and has preserved One Last Shag's cozy makeout nook, which will be a great place to hang out with a date and gross out everyone who walks past you on the way to the bathroom or pinball. Or on the way to the backyard, which owner Maxx Colson said will be opening up in spring of next year "looking more like a plant nursery than a beer garden," when all of the work on it is finished.
As for taking over the spot that housed One Last Shag, Colson said he doesn't feel a huge pressure to live up to the old bar's reputation. "I don't believe atmosphere dictates whether or not a place is or isn't a gay bar—what it really boils down to is attitude. We want to be an inclusive space in the neighborhood that is non-discriminatory and celebrates diversity," he told us.
The Holler, 348 Franklin Avenue, Bed-Stuy, 4pm - 4am Monday through Friday, 3pm - 4am Saturday and Sunday