Savalas edit info

/ bar / outdoors
285 Bedford Ave. Brooklyn 11211 (S. 1st St.)
t: 718.599.5565
hours: Daily, 5pm-4am
Cash and Credit Cards
Infused spirits, beer on tap and all-night dance parties to the tune of new wave and indie rock.


  • Savalas has racist bouncers and admitted racist policies. I have lived in Williamsburg for about 15 years. My friends and I were here when the South side was Puerto Rican and the North side was artists, long before the rapid influx of over priced glass towers that lured all the account executives and law students from Manhattan.

    My friends and I WERE having a good evening at a few local spots until we decided to head over and meet our friends at Savalas. By 1am we were an eclectic group of 11, including 3 people that have never hung out in Williamsburg before.

    When we got to Savalas the first person to attempt to walk in was my boyfriend, he's black, 27, owns his own business and wasn't drunk at all. As he tried to walk toward the door, a tall, white, bald, drunk guy off to the side who didn't appear at the time to be a bouncer put his arm in front of him and said "Didn't I just speak to you..." and "Don't make me do something..." As my boyfriend was explaining he just got there and no he didn't "just speak to him" I think he realized he was harassing the wrong person, and decided to tell my boyfriend it was a "private party... you can't come in" and dismissed him. We were confused at this time and weren't sure if it really was a private party, even if it was the bouncer was still acting like a disrespectful dick for no reason. They didn't know our entire group was together, so out of curiosity some of us walked right in past all three bouncers. No one asked for our ID or anything and sure didn't mention a private party. After dick-head bouncer number one, Mateo came inside, went behind the bar to get another drink, I went up to him and asked politely why he didn't let my boyfriend in, asked if he thought he was someone else. He said "Nope, its a private party" as I explained to him he was lying, he continued to repeat it was a private party and pointed randomly to his right and said some guy over there was having a private party... and my boyfriend "didn't answer his questions right..." Whatever! Lying racist bastard.

    Outside another bouncer took Mateao's place, James, a "head bouncer". My boyfriend attempted to walk past him and he stopped him and only asked for his ID. He got the OK to go in, behind him were our two Puerto Rican friends. James, now dick-head bouncer number 2, stopped them and said "You can't come in here like that." They were wearing clean, new, white T-shirts and jeans, the horrer! I didn't realize we were entering such a fancy place. After my boyfriend told them they were with him, dick-head number 2 explained they looked to "Hip-hop" and they had problems in the past with this look, and it's their policy... funny that inside THEY WERE PLAYING HIP HOP MUSIC but you can't look hip hop if you want to get in, you can't be from the neighborhood, you CAN BE white, be an account executive, or a drunk hipster...

    Savalas is disgusting and racist, you pissed off over 15 people that night. Most were regulars, a few were new to the neighborhood, None of us will come back, all of us will tell our friends. We WERE having a good night and went home furious because of you. I have lived in this neighborhood for along time and have watched 85% of the businesses on the south side of Bedford close and change, I hope to God your next. Keep treating your customers and people from YOUR neighborhood like crap. Keep pretending like it's 1950 where you can play music by black people but don't let them in as paying customers. Good idea, cater to the new bland rich people invading your neighborhood. I can't wait until your rent doubles and they replace you with a fancy wine bar.

    The last place who's racist bouncers treated my friends and I like crap was Spiral Lounge on the LES, remember them?
    Didn't think so, it's a fancy asian bar now.
    Brooklyn Alien / Jun 14, 2008, 06:45 PM
  • Savalas has always been either dead or way too packed, and the drinks are hit-or-miss, but I have a friend who DJs there, so I've gone a handful of times. I've heard rumblings of "racism" at Savalas, but I figured it was people reading into things. I WAS WRONG. I invited some friends to meet me there, and they invited their friends. When I got there, we all showed our IDs & walked right in - mostly whites & Asians. It was jam-packed, and people were drunk and rude, bumping into us and our drinks. Then, the friends-of-friends showed up. They were young Black and Latino men, three of them, dressed "hip-hop." One of them was 12 O'Clock of the Wu-Tang crew. As soon as they walked up, they were told it was a private party, & that they couldn't enter. They were far more polite than the drunk hipsters inside the bar and totally sober. They asked, they pleaded, and 12 O'Clock said he just wanted to celebrate releasing his first album (which had come out earlier in the week). Our mutual friend tried to intervene, and as she argued w/the bouncer, he let more white & Asian hipsters into the bar without a word. The bouncer kept insisting on the "private party" story, and wouldn't let in the people dressed "hip-hop," while inside, the desirable clientele danced away to that exact kind of music. Finally, after 20 minutes of arguing, these three men cursed out the bouncer & left, as did the dozen of us who were already there. I talked to the DJ, who said that this had happened before. Then, I spoke with the party promoter, who thanked me for telling her and said she would talk to them right away. Unfortunately, she's still throwing parties there, but we all vowed never to go back. I had a hard time believing what I had seen happen, and then I looked up reviews of Savalas the next day. THEY'VE DONE IT BEFORE. SAVALAS IS STRAIGHT UP RACIST SCUM, TRAPPED IN THE PAST. Don't give them your hard-earned money when there's a thousand other bars in Billyburg.
    GK / Sep 06, 2008, 06:54 PM
  • Uhm there are racist bars all over williamsburg. And the ones that aren't tend to become segregated with clientele. Especially on certain nights.
    God forbid as a brown person you actually let loose and start to have some fun either, because that will most likely get you kicked out.

    Check this out:

    Williamsburg is a place that accepts blackness as an art form and musical style. And is full of white hipsters ripping things off from black/brown culture but it is not inclusive of black people even when experiencing that black culture.

    I'm a very laid back guy and I could tell you stories that would blow your mind of people getting aggressive/catty/racist with me. Not only people, but establishments. And I'm college educated and make good money.

    That is why I only go there sometimes to hang out and would never want to live there.

    observe this / Feb 17, 2010, 07:33 AM
  • Oh also the gay female population is less enlightened than their NY or nationwide counter parts about race. So not only are you a evil man, you are an evil brown man. Even the gay male population here is not gay black male friendly.

    observe this / Feb 17, 2010, 07:43 AM

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