In keeping with the neighborhood, the former filling station at Frost and Lorimer has switched to a trendier ethanol with the arrival of new cocktail yard Battery Harris. A cavernous sky-lit interior, a la fellow sub-BQE spot The Exley, abets a lovely yard that seats plenty more. From the vantage of a colorful beach chair, the hum of the highway is not unlike the ocean – if you use your imagination and order the right drink, of course.
Head bartender Saul Ranella puts a premium on shaken cocktails for the summer (plus a “frozie,” with chicha morada and passionfruit, once the blender’s in). The Lionheart has lime juice and mint shaken with bourbon and joined by a refreshing slice of cucumber. On the thicker side, the Desert Heat blends 7 Leguas tequila with egg white, agave nectar, and passionfruit. There’s also a jalapeño slice to bite into, at your discretion.
Heat seems to be a theme across the board, with the kitchen putting out a handful of snacks and proper dishes with a jerk spice that really kicks. Smoky slaw, jerk chicken legs, and spicy fries get more dangerous with a few drops of “XXX” hot sauce, or less so with a mug of housemade pickled okra and cauliflower (highly recommended). All orders are plenty substantial—no fear of the “small plates” grift here, even with a bowl of plantain chips, which is another wise remedy for the heat.
As the season comes on, Battery Harris should make a comfy alternative to overcrowded spots like Union Pool. Wallet-friendly pitchers and buckets of beer serve those allergic to swanky cocktails. And if the beach chairs aren’t colorful enough for you, check out the glass ashtrays. Smoke ’em if you got ’em, Billiamsburg.
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