For the more than five years I have lived off Smith Street in Brooklyn, I was lucky to have my neighborhood bar be Char No. 4. The whiskey collection was extensive and the friendly staff knew their bourbon. They held whiskey classes and smoked their own meats. They paired pies with whiskies. They sold hams at Christmas. They had happy hour bourbon specials and special whiskey tasting menus. The light was an amber coziness that hugged you from the outside and then the whiskey hugged you from the inside and the world felt happy.
This weekend is Char No. 4’s last. It announced it’s closing with little notice to customers or staff, leaving everyone feeling unprepared. Friday night, customers gathered as they have over the past week for what has become a whiskey wake. Despite the dwindling whiskey selection and menu options, people still want one last chance to sit at the bar, run into their neighbors, and get the inside-outside hug.