If you want to survive as a business in the competitive landscape of New York City you need a shtick and if there’s ever been a more interesting way of doing chores than at the Sunshine Laundromat and Pinball speakeasy in Greenpoint, we’re yet to hear it.
What’s a speakeasy?
The speakeasy culture here has been prevalent for the last ten or so years, a flashback to the prohibition era, where alcohol was banned and people would meet in secret for drinks – sometimes behind hidden doorways, or needing a password to get inside. New York City has a range of great speakeasy bars – Employees Only (hidden behind a fortune teller storefront), PDT (Please Don’t Tell), which is in a hotdog shop in the East Village, and Chumley’s, the only truly original speakeasy location in the West Village.
Greenpoint is a bit of a trek for some, as it’s over in Brooklyn, just beyond Williamsburg. But who drives in New York anyway? Take the L and then G and you’ll find a neighborhood that is part hipster haven, part extension of Poland. Here, nearly every other shop bears signs in Polish, with a range of traditional grocers, law firms and electrical appliance stores. The other half are casual eateries and cafes that capture the nowness that Williamsburg once boasted. Oh, and there’s a laundromat with a bar in the back of it – a pinball arcade bar!
How do I find it?
Sunshine Laundromat and Pinball speakeasy in Greenpoint looks like any other NYC coin laundromat. Most apartments don’t have the space for washing machines, so it’s a tradition to either pay someone else to do it or you spend a couple of hours waiting around the laundromat. The owners of Sunshine Laundromat and Pinball realized that the devil finds work for idle hands to do, so they created a den of ill-repute in the back of their store front.
You pass the floor-to-ceiling heavy industrial washers and tumble dryers and if you weren’t in the know, you might just miss the tell-tale signs like the vending machine with a questionable array of ephemera for sale, or the spare parts of old arcade machines stacked between machines.
At the back, the door opens into a full-scale pinball arcade and bar. It’s the perfect place to while away the hours or turn up the energy levels into the evening. The choice of machines is first rate with a balance of the classic and the latest. When we visited, some of the machines included Tron, The Big Lebowski, Stranger Things, Super Mario, Funhouse, Jurassic Park and Elvira. The drinks list is great too. The bar supports local breweries, like Bushwick’s Kings County Brewers Collective, Five Boroughs, Brewdog, along with Allagash and the imaginative icy cocktail, the Frozen Covfefe.
If you’re a Greenpoint local, Sunshine Laundromat and Pinball speakeasy is the go-to for laundry day for obvious reasons. If you’re not, it’s still well worth the detour to get a taste for a real New York experience, explore a new neighborhood away from Manhattan and to try and get your name immortalized on the high score charts.
As New York residents, Bernie and Jess have a range of incredible local places to try or to add to your New York travel itinerary ideas here.
Sunshine Laundromat and Pinball speakeasy in Greenpoint, Brooklyn is a bar and arcade hidden in a local laundromat.
Sunshine Laundromat and Pinball speakeasy is located at 860 Manhattan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222.
Catch the G train to Greenpoint Avenue and walk one block.
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