Hank’s Saloon, the live-music dive in Boerum Hill that announced in 2017 that it would close this year, is getting a second life as part of a food hall run by Hill Country, the Texas-inspired barbecue joint.
“While remaining true to its roots, the new Hank’s at Hill Country will certainly have have a new vibe/feel, including an expanded craft beer program and an incorporation of Hill Country’s food offerings,” reads an email from a spokesperson.
A Facebook message from Hank’s owner Julie Ipcar assures regulars that the new spot, expected to open in late fall, won’t be drastically different than the old one, which will remain open through December. “We’ll have our own separate entrance, and not only have a slightly larger capacity — and improved sound system! — but we will also be serving delicious pre-show/late-night bar snacks, and have an expanded tap, bottle, and canned beer list. Don’t worry, our classic beer and shot specials are going nowhere… and neither is our staff, who along with our loyal regulars and all the musicians who grace our stage, make Hank’s all that it is!”
Hill Country Food Park, which in mid-October will replace Hill Country Barbecue Market at 345 Adams Street, will feature stalls dedicated to breakfast, Texas barbecue, fried chicken, pizza, and Tex-Mex, according to the Times.
For those who’ve never been inside the flame-kissed structure on the corner of Atlantic and Third Avenues, Hank’s is a perennial favorite on Best Of lists and a trusty, musty standby for cheap drinks as well as often-free live country, rockabilly, and rock. Band stickers are plastered behind the bar and the stage has been graced by everyone from GG Allin’s brother Merle to Roger Clark of NY1; in 2004, New York declared Hank’s the city’s Best Country Music destination, thanks to its Sunday-night parties with Sean Kershaw & the New Jack Ramblers.
In 2008, developer R&E Brooklyn sought to build a seven-story building on the site of the bar. The community board nixed that, and Hank’s renewed its lease. Still, when Eater interviewed longtime bartender Jeannie Talierco in 2013, it reported that the building was expected to be demolished within a couple of years.
Ipcar said on Facebook today that moving into the Hill Country space was a “no brainer”; she had looked for stand-alone spots but the neighborhood “has become incredibly overpriced.”