Exploring Brooklyn's MoFo (Middle-Of-Fourth-Avenue), Leave Your Fancy Pants At Home

by NED HEPBURN · January 9, 2012

The Middle-Of-Fourth-Avenue … or more affectionately, MoFo… is a rapidly gentrifying strip just west of Park Slope and east of Gowanus. It is truly a strange and marvelous neighborhood with bars snotty and leering enough to anger the baby-stroller set yet just bourgeois enough to anger any true alcoholics from saddling up every night.

What MoFo lacks in whimsy it makes up for in urban charm; just a block away is Park Slope's venerable Fifth Avenue – full of artisanal sandwiches, oyster joints, and one bar with a name so unabashedly twee-tentious ("Wolf & Deer") that it simply begs derision. Over on Fourth, there are nameless and inexpensive bodegas next to Papa Jons. The contrast is both stark and informative; one gets the feeling of an unspoken barrier between the rapid onslaught of the creative class and the working class. Indeed – over on Third – we approach Gowanus with it's startling upswing back to oyster joints (the charming and recommended Littleneck) and Chicago-style dive bars (Canal Bar) that litter Third avenue like mustard on the tie of a traveling salesman.

Pacific Standard (Fourth and St Marks) is a Northern California themed bar right down to the surly bartenders and revolving microbrew menu. Sure, you could have an $8 beer with more hops than an amputee trampolinist, but why not just get a $3 pint of Sierra Nevada's 'Celebration Ale'? The bar food leaves something to be desired yet the overall experience works; it's a lot any Oakland or Berkley bar, and for that, I commend them.

[Pacific Standard, Photo via]

Just down the block is Fourth Avenue Pub which takes what Pacific Standard does and turns it on its head. It's considerably darker inside yet the service is almost too clean and polish – the beer sommelier will recommend a drink to you, and you'll drink it, too, and like it. Waiting in line for the bathroom and taking a moment to survey the scene it feels as if you have walked into a particularly pleasant cult – everybody is smiling, happy, and attractive. You, however, are probably more apt for going to Cherry Tree. Cherry Tree is a perfectly nice bar for perfectly nice people who probably tear up at the more sentimental of Simpsons episodes. There's a pizza place next door – the creatively named South Brooklyn Pizza – that serves incredible slices for $5 a pop. Did I mention they're open until 4am? I didn't? That's because I was stuffing my face with DELICIOUS PIZZA.

It may not be Park Slope, but we're glad that it isn't. It's MoFo. And we wouldn't want it any other way.