a dark scene at dyncao bar in brooklyn

Where 95% of Brooklynites Between the Ages of 25 and 35 Have Met for One to Three Dates

The food menu at Dynaco makes short work for the indecisive. The list is monosyllabic in its entirety: Cake. Flavors rotate by the day—sometimes double chocolate, occasionally carrot, possibly devil’s food—but in number, there’s always just the one. Cake.

You haven’t come for the food, though. Nor for the venue’s proximity to the Bedford-Nostrand G train. Instead, you’re here for the music, which peals out from an old iPod Classic. Or perhaps you’re here for the strobe of the fireplace, come winter. Or maybe the quality of dim, filmy lighting that acts as a barrier between you and noticing the time. More likely, though, your motivation to visit Dynaco skews sentimental.

It is a fact (or a fact-adjacent statement) that 95% of Brooklyn dwellers between the ages of 25 and 35 have attended anywhere from one to three dates at this very bar. It is also a non-fact that 40% of the aforementioned constituency have seen success in their romantic pursuits—a statistic that, while fictional, should inspire you to consider the venue for your next tryst. I, personally, have kissed no fewer than three boys at Dynaco (one of them was the bartender), all of whom I continued to kiss for several months afterwards. This is neither a testament to me, nor the boys—but rather, the bar.

See, Dynaco is not so much a dive bar as a dive-themed bar. Stationed within the Clinton Hill–leaning portion of Bed-Stuy, the space is narrow and dark. Your seating options are ample: classic, misshapen wooden booths; a long, mottled bar studded with stools; an alcove tucked in the back like an afterthought where a fireplace hunkers amongst a clatter of low-to-the-ground tables. On the walls, a salad of branded mirrors, vintage posters, mismatched frames—an accumulation of art that lacks thematic alignment, and works brilliantly in summation.

Inside, without fail, you’ll see someone you know. Maybe from work, the neighborhood, a different bar you frequent. Maybe you dated them once. Alternatively, it’s possible that you don’t recognize them at all. They merely look like someone you know—in which case you’ll strike up a conversation in the hopes that the next time you greet one another, you’ll be correct about where you met.

As for drinks: The orange wine tastes like orange wine, if you’re not feeling precious about your palate. The beer list is comprehensive. Negronis come in generous pours. Everything is exactly what it should be: well-made and as advertised. Drinking in bars need not always be a game of novelty. There’s something to be said for an Old Fashioned that tastes like an Old Fashioned.

I have a friend who lives across the street. She can see the front door of the bar from her bedroom window, and she keeps her spare keys inside the register. That’s the kind of place it is. You’re lucky in New York if you can find yourself one of those.