Along the Route is our ongoing series documenting the shops, bars, restaurants, venues, parks, and places we think you should know along the route of upcoming races. The second installment is for our upcoming event, The HQ Race.
The HQ Race is right around the corner.
On Thursday 6/9, a group of absolute rippers will be taking to the streets of Greenpoint for glory and prizes, while the spectators also get a shot at some good ole' competition (more on that at the event).
Ahead of releasing the full course preview next week, we ran Bandit's broader stomping grounds to share a taste of what this 'hood has to offer.
Stop 1: Franklin Pizza
109 Franklin St, Brooklyn, NY 11222
Taking full advantage of the fact that carbo-loading pre-run hasn't yet been classified as a performance enhancing drug, we started our jaunt at Franklin Pizza which is, spoiler alert, basically near the finish of the HQ Race.
There isn't a single frill to be found here, and that's more than okay with us. Franklin Pizza is basic slices perfect for pre and/or post run or late night post-bar indulging. It's fast and the line is usually small, which are the two things that are exactly what you want to experience when your vicious pizza addiction rears it's beautiful head.
Cash only but there's an ATM inside.
Stop 2: GP81
81 Quay St, Brooklyn, NY 11222
As the pizza settled into its rightful home (our bellies), we kicked off some strength work at the best rated gym in NYC, GP81.
A mainstay in Greenpoint since 2018, GP81 specializes in bouldering, where you climb walls without rope. The walls are typically shorter than what you'd see with lead climbing or top-rope at roughly 12-15 feet. You will find out though, that height is not the determinant of difficulty.
What makes GP81 special? It's probably the best climbing environment in the borough - the routes, according to the co-founder + owner Clifford Simanski, will best prep you for outdoor bouldering, with movement and body position being a primary focus.
Also, they have a run club, which we love.
Stop 3: Sunshine Laundromat & Pinball
860 Manhattan Ave Brooklyn, NY 11222
We're big on multi-functional. So when we heard there's a laundromat, pinball arcade, and bar in GP, all hidden behind a false door that looks like a washer and dryer, we had to check it out. With classic machines like the The Big Lebowski, Jurassic Park and Ghostbusters, you'll be overcome with nostalgia while sipping on their amazing beer selection.
The pinball machines, like the laundry machines, are all coin operated. And much like Franklin Pizza, they have a machine on premise for money. Conveniently, this one spits out coins.
The HQ race will pop over into LIC for a hot minute. And spoiler alert, you'll have to go over the Pulaski Bridge, a working drawbridge that hopefully our racers do not get caught behind, lest they be forced to hit the NOS button and jump it, 2 Fast 2 Furious style. Not not recommended.
Stop 4: Extra butter LIC
22-03 Jackson Ave, Queens, NY 11101
Once you've jumped the bridge, you'll find our favorite clothing spot in the area, Extra Butter - this satellite store to the one on Orchard Street is impressive. Super friendly staff and great threads. But wait, there's more.
There's a 12 seat movie theater in the store showing flicks on rotation, a hidden speakeasy and the ability to buy candy by the pound - this all speaks to Extra butter's original mission to represent Film, Fashion and The Culture. We are into it.
Stop 5: Twins Lounge
732 Manhattan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222
The HQ race will end back in Greenpoint, that much we can tell you. Like any good post-run cool down, we felt like we should grab a drink and play some pool at our favorite spot on Manhattan Ave.: Twins Lounge.
This multi-level lounge has killer cocktails, a photo booth, billiards, and a soundtrack that even had our own in-house playlist aficionados glued to their Shazam apps. Not in the mood for a dark and moody lounge vibe? No problem! The upstairs bar is light and airy, it has those big round lanterns that are always you'll always find on our bingo card of vibey accoutrements, and an outdoor area for a quick breath of that sweet sweet Brooklyn air.
We have no shame in gushing over Twins Lounge. It's a Bandit team favorite on the right night.
See you out there.