Swell Dive - BedStuy

1013 Bedford Avenue (Google Map)

I’m a friendly fella, so anything “swell” is right up my alley.

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Walking into Swell Dive I was hoping this descriptor was a tongue-and-cheek juxtaposition, as I also love a good dive. To my mild disappointment, “swell” here is actually an on-the-nose reference to the bar’s surf theme—and wait a tick—“dive” probably is, too? As in “dive into this swell, dude!” (surfer lingo 🤙)

I had a pretty swell sour beer and their hallmark Hurricane Fries, which were also pretty swell. And while I enjoyed both the beer and the skewered potatoes with crema sauce, I was really here for the bathroom, baby!

And honestly, what a bathroom it was. There’s no shortage of bars around Brooklyn with mildly thematic flare who phone it in, but this washroom makes some serious waves.

Our sense of smell—or the ole olfactory factory as I like to call it—has been proven by science to be our strongest connection to memory. This creates a moment of potential potty PTSD when walking into a public restroom of any kind. However, upon opening door the bathroom at Swell Dive I wasn’t stressed at all, I was actually de-stressed by the awesome all-natural air freshener a la these spiky little guys:

Fragrantly fresh.

Fragrantly fresh.

The triangle pattern on the wall here is also quite rad 🤙 (more surfer lingo).


The bathroom itself, like many-a-bathroom in Brooklyn, doesn’t allow much space—but this actually leads to some impressive design work with the sink situation.


Instead of a 12 o’clock spicket overhang, we get this fixture at 9 o’clock. And does the foam soap match the color scheme on purpose? Is the choice of foam soap an allusion to sea foam? Probably “no” and “no” but I like to think “yes” and “yes”!

This bathroom is straight up lively - literally! What are those plants in the window that look like hot dogs? I think I saw them in The Little Mermaid?

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Don’t worry, I Googled it!

They’re called ‘cat tails’ of course!

They’re called ‘cat tails’ of course!

The bamboo-ish sprouts coming out of the re-purposed beer bottles on the shelf above the toilet are also pretty righteous, but nothing kicks this commode up a notch quite like the fish tank right above the porcelain perch.


That’s right, a freakity freaking fish tank! And the duderino (more surfer lingo 🤙) inside is exotic to the max. He looks like a fortune cookie with a tail. I also Googled that, but no luck 😕.

This is a straight up mystery creature!

This is a straight up mystery creature!

Rubber Duckie Rating:

Ya know what? This place is swell! With a pleasant aroma, live vegetation, and the world’s weirdest fish taking a psychedelic swim, this loo goes the extra mile for a great bathroom experience. Well done, Swell Dive, you didn’t have to try but you did—and that goes a long way in my bathtub.

4.25 / 5 Rubber Duckies!

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