Joey Buttafuoco. I can't get my car serviced without thinking about Joey Buttafuoco, so you can imagine that going to a bar with "Garage" in its name was not high on my to-do list. Happily, a less mechanically inclined drinking companion convinced me to try the new Bannock Street Garage, and my Joey B. phobia disappeared the minute I set foot inside this comfortable, uber-friendly neighborhood bar. Yes, it's in an actual garage, complete with the original engine pulley (I could think of at least a hundred extended uses for that, although the insurance would be prohibitive) and an unmistakable garage feeling, but there wasn't a Long Island Lolita in sight. There were plenty of hip, working-class touches, however: a black-velvet painting of a pirate at the end of the bar, cheeseballs served in paper sandwich boats and a vending machine that keeps a blue-collar collection of Hamm's, Schlitz, Natural Light and Pabst Blue Ribbon icy cold (temperature is key when you're drinking proletarian beers). The Garage also has Roaring Lion energy drink at the ready on the bar gun, which comes in handy when a mechanic (or any driven young drinker) orders the Jägerbomb ($5.50): a depth charge made with a shot of Jägermeister dropped into Roaring Lion. Your best bet for a fast tuneup at this two-month-old tavern is during the happy hour that runs Monday through Friday from 4 to 6 p.m., when well drinks are $3, Bud/Coors drafts are $2, and any canned beer is just $1.50. And if you're worried about running out of gas, the nearby Luciano's Pizza and Wings delivers until after midnight. Don't wait for your engine to overheat before making a trip to this Garage.
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