Nick, Quinn and Yuta—3/4ths of the Brooklyn-based indie-rock band, with bassist Julius making a brief FaceTime cameo—share their Brooklyn go-to’s for free food, home table advantage and bartenders so good they inspire song lyrics
YUTA SHIMMI: Free hot dogs with every drink. And free popcorn, right?
NICK CORTEZI: Yeah. He’s in it for the food.
Quinn, Yuta and I all used to live together on Myrtle and Broadway, then I moved more out into Bushwick, so this is a really good meeting ground between where Quinn lives and where Yuta and I live now. So this is like a pretty convenient spot if we do want to meet out outside of band practice, on those rare times when we actually do meet up outside of band practice.
[Oh yeah, like this is strictly a professional relationship.]
QUINN MCGOVERN: Yes…
NICK: This is where people get FIRED.
QUINN: It’s either a good thing or a bad thing, not in between.
[You’re fired! But here’s some popcorn…]
QUINN: There ya go. Here’s a little band-aid in the form of hot dogs…
[What do you usually get here? Nick, you’ve got bourbon…]
NICK: I’m drinking bourbon. That’s just ‘cause I had delivery Taco Bell for dinner, so the idea of a sudsy beer on an already delicate situation was one where I was like, okay, let’s instead just go with the firewall here, and it’s treating me well.
[Delivery Taco Bell?!]
NICK: I know. It was… it was a dark afternoon.
QUINN: I’m probably going to get that after I leave here. I’m probably going to do the exact same thing that you did.
NICK: I’ll send you my order.
84 Central Ave, (718) 483-9884
QUINN: So these guys moved out of the Opera House. Opera House Lofts is like Myrtle-Broadway. Right across the street is this delightful dive bar that I’ve probably… I don’t want to think about the amount of money that I’ve spent there. I almost exclusively go to this bar. I think it’s been like almost three years now. Kind of frightening to think about. Yeah, that’s pretty much my go-to place, our go-to place.
NICK: I moved to New York in 2017 and moved in with these two. Yuta moved in at the same time and Divine just sort of became the watering hole where Yuta and I got to meet all of Quinn’s friends and all the different musicians that he’d gotten to know over the years at Fordham and the years after Fordham.
NICK: Networking events—an alcoholic’s LinkedIn.
QUINN: Every bartender there too has now become such a good friend of ours. We know everybody that works there. Everybody is in some way an artist or in the art community and they’re all so supportive. They go to our shows, they hang out.
NICK: They get a shout-out on the album, too. It’s in “Dedicated Wiring.” I think the line is “I’ll say that I’m fine and get drunk at Divine” or something.
QUINN: Which also [could be] Fine Time. Our new watering hole.
NICK: Our new watering hole.
YUTA: And you [Quinn] play on the pool team. Yeah, we’re there a lot.
QUINN: Dude, I didn’t want to bring it up. But, yeah.
YUTA: Didn’t you guys win last night? Didn’t you get first?
QUINN: Yeah, we won. I changed my profile picture today to me and my massive pool trophy. It’s pretty hilarious. There’s a little pool table at the top…
YUTA: Does everyone get one?
QUINN: Oh, no. You have to excel. We actually won first place. We’re part of the American Pool Players Association, if I’m gonna be real.
YUTA: He’s getting too serious now.
QUINN: I take it very seriously, yes. It’s competitive pool. Every Wednesday, we either play at Divine or another bar in Brooklyn.
[Is there home table advantage?]
QUINN: Oh, yes… It’s definitely one of the dorkier things about me, but I take it very seriously.
896 Broadway, (718) 455-5455, divinebarbk.com
YUTA: I just really like that bar because the owner is really sweet. A husband and wife own the place and are the only people who work there, and they open whenever they want to be open and close whenever they want to close. They’re just very hospitable people. You know, they’ll buy you drinks, buy you a game of pool. It’s a nice bar, and it’s always low-key.
NICK: You should check it out. It’s really nice.
YUTA: Shout-out to Charlie.
QUINN: Charlie’s great.
YUTA: Charlie, one of the owners—he’s just one of the kindest dudes I’ve ever met. There was one time one of my buddies was too drunk and he was like, “You know what, you can just sleep at the bar tonight.” He passed out in a booth and [Charlie] covered him and came back in the morning to let him out. Just a nice dude.
[Love that. The people make such a difference.]
NICK: These spots just have good atmosphere, and just something resembling community to it. Especially, yeah, Maracuja and Divine. Both are exemplary spots—to see and be seen.
279 Grand St, (718) 302-9023
QUINN: Looking Glass is a great place with really great food. The food there is insane. Their kitchen is open ‘til like 2 or 3 ,and every day there’s a different deal that’s just absurdly affordable. I think they do like a cheeseburger and a draft beer for $7 or something insane.
YUTA: And it’s a good cheeseburger.
QUINN: And they have pool as well.
NICK: We also started a tradition there. Can you call it a tradition if it’s only happened once and then we plan on doing it again?
YUTA: As long as we plan on doing it again.
NICK: That’s where Marinara spends Christmas together after we’re done with our families. The four of us meet at Looking Glass, have a couple drinks together, say what we’re thankful for for one another. We don’t really give gifts because our presence is presence enough…
[It’s a very Marinara Christmas.]
[Ashamed to not have thought of that!]
NICK: I’m ashamed that just came out of my mouth.
1087 Broadway, (917) 966-9674
Left Hand Path
NICK: That’s the late edition… the new spot. Since I moved to deeper Bushwick and Yuta moved in with me, that’s just become one of my go-to, regular bars. That’s where, after shows now, and after people have art exhibitions, they have a gorgeous, gigantic backyard, so that’s become a great place to congregate. Not as much fond memories yet, but it’s a place where we hope to make memories.
89 Wyckoff Ave, bushwick.bar
Catch Marinara this Sunday (2/16) at The Footlight with Drug Bug and Human Fly (info and tix)!
Photo: Keira Zhou
[This interview has been edited and condensed.]