Band of brothers Frank and Steve Graniero discuss their favorite NYC pizza, Brooklyn’s best-smelling bar and where they go for their Guinness (or White Russians… or both)
FRANK (left): Spitting devil, I think it means — fact check!
[ED NOTE: per Wikipedia, it’s “spouting devil”—but who really knows]
We’ve always worked by, and it was kind of a go-to after-work spot for both me and Stephen. He would work at the coffeeshop and I worked at the wine store. We knew some of the bartenders, all of the beers are all good, the wine’s good…
STEPHEN : I don’t know what year it was, but it got rated one of the best beer bars in New York City at one point.
FRANK: We’ve also had plenty of birthday parties out here [in the backyard].
STEPHEN: This garden is beautiful in the daytime.
FRANK: It’s warm inside. I’ve definitely hung out in the window and drank a glass of mulled wine with people before on a snowy day. That’s pretty nice, ya know?
And there’s like the triangle of bars right her —Commodore being next by and Golden Years being next door. We know all the bartenders at all the places, so it gets a little dangerous.
STEPHEN: Really, really big bottle list, both imported and domestic, and lots of rare beers—one of the reasons why we like it. We also just like it because it’s such a great bar.
FRANK: I think it’s warm. If you want somewhere with a warm vibe… sit in the backyard, get some cheese and a bottle of beer or something. I think it’s a good spot.
[What type of beer do you usually drink]
FRANK: I think the official beer is probably Guinness—which they don’t serve here…
Here, we like Rothaus Pils… Oh, and sometimes they have Suarez Family Brewery here. They’re making the best beers I’ve had in super long—upstate New York. But what type of beer we like is probably Guinness… which is basic as fuck.
359 Metropolitan Ave, (718) 963-4140, spuytenduyvilnyc.com/
FRANK: It’s just a bunch of good people doing things right, right near our house. Great, great wine list, awesome pizzas, small menu… just feels good every night in there. It feels a bit like a party every night, which is nice.
We can walk there, we have friends that work there. It’s just always fun. Always see people we know there. All of our out-of-town friends that come from different countries and stuff, that’s the number-one place we take them.
STEPHEN: The last people who came to visit us, they’re from Norway, they wanted to go again. I think we went twice. They were there two weeks, and on the last night, they’re like, ‘Can we go one more time?’
I think I’d say that’s our favorite pizza in New York right now—currently our favorite pizza.
346 Himrod St, (718) 386-4009, opsbk.com/
FRANK: Snacky is like, post-work, ready to have a couple drinks…
STEPHEN: I rock out at Snacky. We get a bottle of sake…
FRANK: Sake and beers on the table at all times. Double-fisting sake and beers has to happen at Snacky. Snacky leads to a good night.
In a neighborhood that feels [like it’s] getting gentrified every second, Snacky just feels so fun and old-school and neighborhood-y.
STEPHEN: They designed it really well.
FRANK: I’ve definitely had good nights. And they lead to going to Iona, right next door…
[What do you order at Snacky?]
STEPHEN: That menu is huge, so I kinda order something different every time.
FRANK: You gotta get a bunch of stuff and share. Go in there and just hit it hard. That’s what I say to the people. Go in there and order like you’re drunk, even if you’re not.
187 Grand St
STEPHEN: That place feels very much like a very warm, local hangout. That’s where we get Guinness. Or White Russians. Or both.
FRANK: It’s our Guinness bar, for sure. Iona can be everything. It can be a quiet hangout where you just have a Guinness and a place where you end up there until closing time with friends, just getting into it.
STEPHEN: I’d say Iona is the coziest one. I go to Iona when I’m looking to kinda chill. I don’t know how you feel about that….
FRANK: Iona’s like a disaster for me, usually.
STEPHEN: I go there in the afternoon after I’m done with a shift.
FRANK: Iona is the place where a lot of people I know can agree to go. I think people just have a lot of memories at Iona, and it keeps them going back.
It’s an easy place to go to, let me put it that way. It’s very easy to end up at Iona.
180 Grand St, (718) 384-5008, ionabrooklyn.com
FRANK: There’s not much to say about Skinny Dennis, other than… I don’t know. It’s fun…
Steve, you want to say something about Skinny Dennis?
STEPHEN: I like Texas; I know you like Texas, too. We’ve got some friends down south. Skinny Dennis is like a nice change of pace where you can rock out in a different way.
FRANK: I think at Skinny Dennis, if there’s a really good band playing, it makes you happy. I don’t know… it’s hard to deny that place sometimes.
STEPHEN: I’ve walked in there and instantly been in a better mood if the band is good. You’re out, it’s unexpected and the vibe’s awesome…
FRANK: I love it. I feel happy, and I like dancing at Skinny Dennis.
STEPHEN: You gotta own it. I feel like that’s part of the spirit of Skinny Dennis, too. There’s not a dance floor, but you just kinda start dancing.
152 Metropolitan Ave, (212) 555-1212, skinnydennisbar.com/
PEARL’S SOCIAL & BILLY CLUB
STEPHEN: Pearl’s is a social and billy club…
FRANK: No, it’s just a bar.
STEPHEN: That’s what they call it.
FRANK: Pearl’s is, again, just a cozy, old Bushwick haunt.
STEPHEN: What to say about Pearl’s… It’s an awesome bar. It smells really good in there.
FRANK: It smells like New Orleans to me. That’s a weird thing, though. That’s like a personal sort of thing. It smells like cloves or something.
STEPHEN: They make a mulled wine there or something and it smells up the whole bar and smells really homey.
40 St Nicholas Ave, (347) 627-9985, pearlssocial.com
Caravela hits the stage at Baby’s All Right this Sunday with New Myths and Wet Leather! (Details and tickets here.)
Follow the band on Instagram, listen on Spotify and find all things Caravela at http://caravelamusic.com!
Feature image: Ben Curry
[This interview has been edited and condensed.]