“Sometimes you wanna go where everybody knows your name and they’re always glad you came. You wanna be where you can see that troubles are all the same. You wanna be where everybody knows your name…” – Cheers Theme Song, Gary Portnoy
I didn’t particularly care for this show growing up because I couldn’t relate to the characters (white adults going to a bar in the middle of Boston after a long day’s work). During the show’s peak I attended junior high school and high school in a predominately black neighborhood – clearly drinking wasn’t really on my agenda (not yet anyway).
As I grew older I stared to relate to the characters, especially “Norm” (who didn’t love Norm) and eventually fell in love with the show (courtesy of re-runs on TV Land). I wanted to experience the same camaraderie as the characters on Cheers did. I wanted a spot that was chill – a place where the bartenders and patrons were cool, the vibe was relaxed, inviting and homey.
I didn’t have to search very far. I stumbled upon the Cheers of Brooklyn by happenstance – Mo’s Bar (http://mosfortgreene.urbangains.com/). It’s located at 80 Lafayette Street in the Fort Greene Section of Brooklyn.
I was introduced to Mo’s Bar (or simply Mo’s) several years ago by way of a friend that lived around the corner from the bar (on Hanson Place to be exact). I walked in with her one afternoon for happy hour and immediately sensed the warmth of the spot. The bar was filled with locals that came to share stories, drink, and crack jokes with their fellow neighbors. It was here that I met the founder of BlackPeopleMeet.com (an unpretentious, cool ass, intelligent dude) and engaged in a long intellectual conversation with him (he even tried to get me to go on a free date and discuss said date on the then nationally syndicated Steve Harvey radio show). It was here that I met several cool people (musicians, teachers, writers, and professionals) and it was here that my love for Brooklyn grew even more.
Much to everyone’s surprise (especially mine) Mo’s closed their doors for a few months (a few years back because the rent skyrocketed and the owner was forced to close the neighborhood staple). Thankfully, Mo’s came back after a hiatus with a brand new look – the bar opened again with modern renovations.
While there is still ample seating around the bar, you now have the option to sit opposite the bar at the bar tables and stools, or in the elevated lounge area in the back (where there is an abundance of plush seating – ottomans, comfy pillows, and chairs). On the walls you will find tasteful artwork, mirrors, and my favorite wall – a complete wall of album sleeves. No need to wear heels, the bar’s culture is relaxed (most patrons are clad in jeans, sandals, sneakers, and comfy summer dresses and shorts).
With the modernization of the bar came something new – food, and GOOD ASS food at that (they didn’t serve food before)!
First things first, if you want to secure seating and enjoy music at a comfortable level, visit Mo’s during happy hour. I visited Mo’s last Friday with Thai (date #3, things are going really well – updated post on our current status coming soon) for drinks and grub. We pretty much sampled every drink on the menu (lush much – hell yeah!), but one in particular stood out for both of us – “Parole Punch”. This cocktail was sweet and potent, yet subtle. The fusion of Captain Morgan rum and fruit juices made it refreshingly light tropical.
Onto my favorite thing – food (I’m morbidly obese on the inside and love a good meal)! Thai and I were served by an incredibly attentive, bubbly, and accommodating waitress. We sampled crab cakes (ehh – lackluster, nothing to write home about – the cakes were small, but satisfying. The avocado aioli that comes with it somewhat helped, but overall I’ve had better. The best part of this dish was the black bean corn salad that comes with it), chicken quesadillas (more queso than chicken – it was served with sour cream and a scant amount of pico de gallo. The dish would’ve been more enjoyable if they served salsa and/or additional pico de gallo, as the quesadillas were a bit dry), fish tacos (by far my favorite – very flavorful, filling, yet light) and a lamb burger (Thai raved about it’s juiciness and flavor – I liked the curly seasoned fries that it came with).
If you opt to to visit Mo’s after 7pm (on a Friday evening), expect to find it pretty packed. You will not have your pick of ideal seating as they seats will pretty much be occupied at this time. Might I add that at around 9:30/10:00pm ish a DJ comes in to play music (at club level decibels) so having a conversation without screaming is pretty much impossible.
Thai & I stayed for the music and danced as the music was really good (top 40, hip hop, and reggae). Keep in mind that it gets extremely HOT in the back area, so dress accordingly (and try to grab a laminated menu to fan yourself off with as you dance).
All and all, you’ll love the vibe, food and drinks. Be sure to bring cash as this establishment does not accept credit/debit cards. Mo’s is convenient (easy to get to via train – C train to Lafayette or via bus – I took the B38 (downtown) to Dekalb & S Portland, then walked up a block to Lafayette), inviting, and extremely laid back.
Until next time friends!
~ Pennie Penz