Lovers Rock, a Reggae Bar in Bedford-Stuyvesant


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Lovers Rock is a mellow reggae-themed bar that opened this summer in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

Credit
Stefania Curto for The New York Times

Photo


Credit
Stefania Curto for The New York Times

A great new neighborhood bar slides in seamlessly, filling a hole without unraveling the local fabric. Lovers Rock, a mellow reggae-themed bar that opened in Bedford-Stuyvesant over the summer, is this rare kind of place.

On a Saturday in December, a Japanese D.J. spun tunes to visitors with au courant mom jeans, tattoo sleeves, quilted bombers and stocking caps. At a table near the bar, a 30-something couple praised the diversity. “The music makes everyone tolerate everyone,” a contractor from Flatbush said.

THE PLACE

An unassuming storefront on a Tompkins Avenue intersection that is undergoing rapid changes (bodega, farm-to-table soul food restaurant, building demolition). The room is a warm, low-ceiling box with checkerboard floors, posters for Sly and Robbie, and overhead lights that resemble maraschino cherries. A gravel patio has picnic tables, strung pepper-shaped lights and an occasional jerk-chicken pop-up. “On summer nights, it’s a major melting pot,” said Shane Feirstein, an owner. “It’s lit. When we close the yard at midnight, that’s when the music vibe gets popping.”

THE CROWD

Bartenders in Supreme hats and Ramones T-shirts sling fruity drinks to a lively rundown of locals and transplants. One night, the backyard resembled Fader Fort during SXSW, with unisex Huaraches and Chuck Taylors, guys in clasped baseball caps and women dressed in vintage ensembles befitting Billy Crystal circa “City Slickers.” “Whatever the drinking population, everyone wants a nice bar,” Mr. Feirstein said, pointing out that “Lovers Rock” could refer to reggae, the Clash or Sade.

THE PLAYLIST

D.J.s spin Sleng Teng, dub and dancehall on vinyl several nights a week. There’s an R&B party called “Pure Grind.” New Year’s will feature Deadly Dragon Sound System from the Lower East Side record store of the same name.

GETTING IN

21 and over, usually no cover.

DRINKS

Affordable beverages sway tropical, with copious rum and tequila; the Old Jerk ($10) mixes Appleton with spicy jerk syrup. A bottle of Red Stripe costs $5. Curry fish and other varieties of empanada are $4.



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