Over beers and sake at Snacky, the artist—whose new single “Jealousy” is out today—shares his list of Brooklyn faves, featuring diner vibes, one James Brown-loaded jukebox and the most “soulfully gratifying” experience in Brooklyn
I’m glad we’re here. Let me start by saying Snacky is a place that—how frequently have I been sober that I’ve been here?
We—when I say we, I mean myself—have probably never been here before the sun has set. I’m used to walkin’ in here at like midnight, 12:30 or 1:00 or so, a little less than sober. And I love it, man. You walk in and it’s like you’re in some sort-of sci-fi, dystopian bar atmosphere. You walk in, there’s little toys—look at that guy!—just these little things everywhere. They’ve got anime on the TV with no volume, they’re playing vintage Jay-Z to accompany it. That guy behind the bar is laughing at me because I always order much. I’m like, listen, I know, that’s what I am. What do you want me to tell you? It all looks so good. There’s something very creatively satisfying about this place for me.
187 Grand St
George & Jack’s Tap Room
Love George & Jack’s. It’s owned by the same people who own Skinny Dennis, Horses and Divorces, Do or Dive, Rocka Rolla—every place that I’ve spent way too much time, way too late at night.
The reason I love George & Jack’s is, first of all, it’s probably the most unpretentious drinking experience you can find, which in my opinion, is a dying art these days in Brooklyn. You know, I’m cool with everything being a scene, but George & Jack’s is literally a bar with a popcorn machine in the back, they’ve got James Brown on the jukebox. By the way, I go in there and I just ruin everybody’s night by playing 10 straight James Brown songs. Those people wanna hear Blondie, and only Blondie, which is cool. All I’m sayin is they’ve got two James Brown albums on the jukebox. I’m going to play as much James Brown in that bar as I can. So, I love that about it.
Darts Alley—me and Hayes [Peebles] call it Darts Alley. Hayes and I, in the last three months, have an almost unbelievable new love for playing darts. I want to say that I, and Hayes as well, am one of the worst darts players in the world, but George & Jack’s has been the perfect place to hone my craft. You just go there, you throw darts around for a little while, drink a Miller High Life, eat some popcorn.
When I’m not in the mood to be in a bustling, youthful environment, I go listen to James Brown and throw darts at George & Jack’s.
103 Berry St, (212) 555-1212, facebook.com/georgeandjacks
I want to add a little asterisk here. While I do love Tom’s Diner, the reason I mentioned [it] is because it’s reminiscent of every diner I’ve ever spent a 3 a.m. in—which, by the way, is a lot. Diners are very important to me. I would say pretty much every song I’ve ever written is somewhat derived from some way I’ve felt in a diner, or something that happened in a diner, exactly like Tom’s.
I will do anything for a milkshake and fries, and there have been weeks where I’ve drank a milkshake every single day. Tom’s is a beautiful, beautiful place where the milkshakes are a-flowin’, the fries are great, but the reason I mentioned it is really because of just the importance of diners in general in my life. Someone once referred to my music as a diner, saying it’s not that presentable, it’s not that pretty, but it tastes so fuckin’ good—and that’s the greatest review I’ve ever gotten.
+ Bonus milkshake wisdom:
I go chocolate, but if I’m going to go anything other than that, it’s coffee. The thing about black and white milkshakes, for the listeners at home: Everybody talks about black and white milkshakes, but what you’re doing is you’re minimizing the chocolate aspect and you’re minimizing the vanilla aspect and creating some lukewarm version of both of those things. I love a vanilla milkshake, I more importantly love a chocolate milkshake, so just go for one of those, because the combination—it’s just a waste of our time.
782 Washington Ave, (718) 636-9738, tomsbrooklyn.com
Paulie Gee’s Slice Shop
In our two-square mile-town [Pelham], we have like 13 pizzerias and 20 nail salons—that’s about it. That’s pretty much the whole town. It’s a good place, but those are really the two things we have going for us and, ya know, I was only using one of those things. But growing up there was fun. It really is assumed that you’re going to have at least one slice of pizza a day. That is an absurd thing…
Paulie Gee’s reminds me of those [places] in such a beautifully authentic way. You walk in, you’ve got the New York Yankees on the TV, they’re yelling your name out on a way too muffle-y microphone…
You’re gonna order the Hellboy slice and the regular slice, because you wanna do both, but in hindsight—while both are amazing—you’re just gonna think, why didn’t I just get two Hellboy slices? Because they’re so good. Pro tip: Just get two Hellboys.
Yeah, I think it just brings me back to 11 years old, after a rec baseball game, going to Pelham Pizza, watching Mariano Rivera win the game for the Yankees. While New York is full of pizzerias, I miss that small-town you’re-in-our-pizzeria kinda feeling a lot of the time, and Paulie Gee’s Slice Shop fully provides that for me.
110 Franklin St, pauliegee.com/slice-shop
Sweetwater, at this point, I’ve been going to for the last four years, five years—ever since I moved into Williamsburg. Sweetwater is probably the most soulfully gratifying place for me in all of Brooklyn and in New York.
It’s the place I go when it’s raining. I sit at the bar at 5 pm, I have a French onion soup and fries and a beer. I have never left Sweetwater feeling worse than when I walked in. I feel like it fulfills this really… whatever’s lacking in me on that rainy day—and I love the rain—but whatever’s bringing me down, Sweetwater solves that with literally a French onion soup. And I happen to know at this point, having gone there every single week for the last four years, I happen to know the folks that work there in a way that really… I look forward to walking in those doors.
Sweetwater, I cannot say enough about how emotionally and soulfully restorative that place is for me. I strongly urge you to go there someday and sit at that bar, say hello to Patrick, and get yourself a French onion soup.
105 N 6th St, (718) 963-0608, www.sweetwaterny.com
Sean’s latest song, “Jealousy,” is out now! Listen on Spotify, keep up on Facebook and follow Sean at @seancarrollmusic.
Feature image: Ben Curry
[This interview has been edited and condensed.]