Union Pool opened in the year 2000, in a cavernous former pest control/swimming pool supply store on a street corner in the shadow of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, on the Northside of the area of Brooklyn commonly referred to as Williamsburg. In the ensuing 20 years, the bar has seen and weathered dramatic and sometimes bewildering change as the surrounding neighborhood has gentrified, and Union Pool has grown from a neighborhood corner bar (albeit a physically larger one than usual), where regulars played darts and everyone knew each other, into a multi-bar entertainment hive with a little something for everybody, including a full-service live music venue, a taco truck that lives on the patio and stays open all night, a black & white analog photo booth and a pinball machine, free outdoor daytime live music shows every weekend in the summertime, and an all-star cast of regular and guest DJs playing something or other seven nights a week.

And yet, despite the dizzying growth of both the bar and of the crowds it has attracted over the years, something about the vibe and aesthetic of the place has remained consistent in a way that’s rare in 21st century New York City. This may be because many of the same bar staff, disc jockeys, and regular drinkers present from the first days of Union Pool are still around. It’s a habit-forming place.

We are sorry to report that despite the name, Union Pool does not offer swimming or billiards.