Alphabet City

20th January
2017
written by Author

Ave. B btw 3rd and 4th St.

Science!  What I can only assume is a bar which operates on the sly as Frankenstein’s lab, this quirky spot has a lot of fruit infused vodka  Actually, it’s mainly what they have.  Lots of vodka slowly mixing with fruit is their specialty, or craft/labor of love…oh, I get it!  Anyway, crowd is mixed with young and old, decent sized space, they do have above average beers at only slightly above average prices, along with their vodka concoctions, taste fine.

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21st September
2016
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9th St. btw Ave. B and C

Another cocktail bar on this cocktail bar corner, but this one doesn’t try as hard as the others to be gastropub-y or ultra fancy, and that’s a good thing.  Small bar area with a few tables in front and in the back, friendly service, and the crowd is late 20′s and up.  Cocktails at cocktail prices, taste pretty good.

www.macenewyork.com

 

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28th October
2015
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St. Mark’s Pl. btw 1st Ave. and Ave. A

Nice spot on St. Mark’s that’s definitely quieter than it’s neighbors.  Long bar that usually has an open spot, crowd is late 20’s to early 30’s and slightly hipster, and the service is friendly.  Above average beers at above average prices, taste fine.

www.proletariatny.com

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10th July
2014
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12th St. btw Ave. A and Ave. B

Quiet bar during the week, draws a crowd on the weeke…wait, that’s every bar.  Anywho, this spot is two rooms of space, lots of places to sit, and draws a younger crowd.  The service depends on what day you come: weekdays when it’s empty, service is non-existent, weekends it picks up, probably to make sure people keep coming back on the weekends.  Above average beers, average prices, taste fine.

www.doublewidebar.com

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9th July
2014
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Ave. A btw 13th and 14th St.

Of the two bars drawing a sports crowd on this block, this is where the youngins hang out, legally of course.  Not much too it, simple square with a bar on one side.  Pretty good amount of TV’s, crowd is young (can get a little douchey at times), and the service is pretty good.  Average and above average taps, average prices, taste fine.

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21st May
2014
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1st Ave. and St. Mark’s Pl.

This could go either way, as a restaurant or a bar/lounge/gimmick, but the booze is flowing more than the food (food’s good though), so bar it is.  Bar bedecked in curtains and amidst a sea of red and gold everything, draws a crowd of young and old, mostly the former, but while it’s a nice, quiet spot early on, gets packed at night.  Drinks are cocktails and booze, average price for them (~$12), taste fine.

www.simonemartinibar.com

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28th April
2014
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St. Mark’s Pl. btw 1st Ave. and Ave. A

This place changed from the Village Joker before I even had a chance to go in there, so lets hope it fares better.  Went in around happy hour and I was the only costumer.  Went by again on a weekend, still empty.  It’s one open space, not as lively as its neighbors, friendly bartender.  Average beers at average prices, taste fine.

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19th March
2014
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Ave. B btw 10th and 11th St.

The term “lounge” is used a little loosely here (I’d avoid the couch in the back) but it definitely is a quiet, decently sized spot that’s good if you want to avoid big crowds.  Nice spot, friendly bartender, above average drinks at average prices, taste fine.

www.boxcarlounge.com

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29th October
2013
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St. Marks Pl. btw 1st Ave. and Ave. A

Decent sized bar with seats on the edges and a good sized place to stand in the middle.  It doesn’t really stand out from its neighbors with the exception of it being more subdued.  Service is good, 20’s and 30’s crowd.  Above average beers at slightly above average prices, taste fine.

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25th July
2013
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Ave. C btw 10th and 11th St.

Head right up the ramp and step right into a dimly lit bar that has a decent sized bar area but feels a little empty…I get it, the lights are there to disguise the emptiness, my mistake…Anywho, if you want a quiet night in a good looking bar, late 20’s crowd, this is up your alley.  More room around the back, beers and cocktails, above average prices for both, beers taste fine, cocktails alright.

www.evelynnyc.com

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11th July
2013
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Ave. C btw 6th and 7th St.

The whole growler/drinking amongst numerous refrigerators showcasing beer thing is an increasing trend in the City, but this place is more conducive to drinking with friends than the others.  Big bar space, long tables to share with friends and strangers, even and outdoor porch for a few people to sit or stand.  Above average beers at above average prices, taste fine.

www.abcbeer.co

 

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9th July
2013
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Ave. C btw 7th and 8th St.

This place is very borderline, kind of an upscale eatery that’s main focus is the big bar upfront.  Granted, I saw no one eating which is how I’m making this judgment call, but it was raining outside, so everyone turned to the bottle.  Staff was very friendly, a decent amount of places at the bar with a small standing room.  Above average beers at slightly above average prices, taste fine.

www.thethirdmannyc.com

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8th July
2013
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Ave. C and 9th St.

Used to be Banjo Jim’s, and this is a basically a 180 from its predecessor.  Gone is the red lighted music venue and has now been replaced with a well-lit craft beer bar.  Decent amount of bar space spanning two rooms, tables up front and some leftover standing room.  Crowd is mid-twenties, hipsters, and a little bit upper crust.  Above average beers at slightly above average prices, taste fine.

www.thewaylandnyc.com

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1st July
2013
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Ave. C and 7th St.

Live music place that looks like what someone performing in a basement would play in.  It’s basically one open square room, tiny stage, a bar…that’s it.  The bartenders need a little help, crowd is young and friends of whatever band happens to be on.  Nights turn into a dance party with good music, but would kill the DJ to keep a song on for more than one verse?  Average beers at average prices, all bottles, taste fine.

www.alphabetnyc.com

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13th June
2013
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Ave. C btw 8th and 9th St.

Adding to the trend of fancier bars on Avenue C, welcome to the business kids hang out.  Very polished bar full of the aforementioned group, it’s a good amount of space though it gets tight at the bar section, there’s some room in the back.  Service is pretty quick with the drinks and pretty friendly, average and above average beers, slightly above average prices, taste fine.

www.thesummitbar.net

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12th June
2013
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7th St. btw Ave. A and Ave. B

Speakeasy crammed down an alley way and into a basement.  Two different rooms, the back usually closed for a private function, the other room crammed full of people.  If you luck out and get a table, hold on for dear life.  You, unfortunately, can’t stand in the fresh air and drink, so if you like drinking a cocktail in a sauna, come here!  All cocktails, average cocktail prices of around ~$12, I’ve had better.

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25th April
2013
written by Author

5th St. btw Ave. A and B

Granted, you come for the burgers, which are pretty darn good.  But you linger around because the beer is good and it’s a decent place to hang out.  The only downside is the lack of space, mainly due to the high tables up front and a lack of a back room.  Service is friendly, above average beers at average prices, taste fine.

www.blackironburger.com

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23rd April
2013
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6th St. btw Ave. A and B

Gay bar that’s off the beaten path, but by no means less crowded than any other, and also by no means less of a hook up place than any other bar.  Definitely more of a dive feel, but a clean dive.  Besides Pac Man in the corner, it’s basically a small open room with some bar stools that let me know I was a “butch bitch” and my friend a “cum pig”…can I write that?  Anywho, average and above average beers at average prices.

www.easternblocnyc.com

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22nd April
2013
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6th St. btw Ave. A and B

Well, it’s a dump, but a friendly dump.  Tucked down the middle of a block, step right in to a bar with all the basics: TV, juke box, darts, photo hunt…  The crowd is 30’s to 40’s and draws a decent sized crowd.  Average beers at cheap to average prices, taste fine.

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17th April
2013
written by Author

6th St. btw 1st Ave. and Ave. A

Alright, when I’m first on line to get in, no need to go and check on availability.  That pretentiousness aside, it’s a pretty quiet spot, dimly lit to try and set the mood for your dating needs.  Amidst hushed voices you can order any of their specialty drinks (which is all they serve).  I’ve had better cocktails and I reluctantly finished mine and tried a friend’s before deciding to hightail it out of there.  Cocktails at minimum $9, didn’t taste too great.

www.deathandcompany.com

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8th April
2013
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Ave. A btw Houston and 2nd St.

This long bar is basically like every other 1980’s bar in this neighborhood that has survived the purge of Alphabet City.  Mixed crowd of young and old, tagged up, projector screen in back, friendly bartenders, good spot for a drink and music.  Average taps at average prices, taste fine.

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26th March
2013
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Ave. A and Houston St.

Used to be Nice Guy Eddie’s, and this couldn’t be further on the other side of the spectrum.  Following in the “gastropub” craze (ugh), this place actually is a little bit easier to take in, and actually eased my tensions on gastropubs…for now.  Plenty of seats all around, good food, and TV’s for the bar patrons, most of whom fall into the late 20’s to 30’s category.  Service can be a little slow, above average beers at slightly above average prices, taste fine.

www.boultonandwattnyc.com

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1st February
2013
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13th St. and Ave. A

Old man bars making a comeback in Alphabet City!  This pub has a lot of space, a lot of sports on TV, and a mixed crowd of youth and an older crowd from Stuy Town.  Average beers at average prices, taste alright.

www.percysnyc.com

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31st January
2013
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Ave. A btw 10th and 11th St.

It looks like a restaurant and opens at 6 PM each night, except for brunch, but I’m assured it’s mainly a cocktail lounge.  A few bottled beers and mixed drinks are the fare, gets crowded later in the evening, really just a dark space where you come with your friends and just keep to yourselves.  Friendly staff, drinks taste alright, slightly above average prices.

www.thebeaglenyc.com

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30th January
2013
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9th St. btw Ave. A and 1st Ave.

Growing up in Queens, I always remembered going with my dad to the beer distributor and him picking out what was needed, seeing the big guy behind the counter, and the 1 or two old guys who hang around reading the paper.  This place is basically the same thing, except everyone is under 40, it’s basically all craft beer to be bought in 6 packs, and there’s a bar serving some of its wares.Friendly staff and smells like a distributor, so I’m thankful for the nostalgia.  A handful of tables in the back that are usually taken, it’s a quiet scene, good for a stop in.  Above average beers at above average prices, taste pretty good.

www.goodbeernyc.com

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28th January
2013
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Ave. B btw 2nd and 3rd St.

Beneath Billy Hurricane’s is a bar that may just be on the other side of the spectrum.  Two ways to get in: through the front, or to accidentally wander through the door in the middle of Billy’s and then find your way downstairs.  Quiet bar with a slightly more hipster crowd than upstairs, and the beer is all specialty/craft beers that taste pretty good.  Good service, slightly above average prices.

www.idlehandsbar.com

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25th January
2013
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Ave. B btw 2nd and 3rd St.

To compare it to a wings/bbq joint like Brother Jimmy’s would be unfair.  First off, the crowd is more adult, meaning well behaved, except when the Saints are on TV.  It’s a big open space that is going for the “eclectic/Cajun/sports” bar vibe and somehow manages to pull it off pretty well.  Except for the swing in the back in the unlit corner of the bar, that’s just silly.  The food is really good, good crowd, service a little slow.  Average beers at average prices, taste fine.

www.billyhurricanes.com

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11th January
2013
written by Author

Ave. C btw 9th and 10th St.

I’m starting to realize that smaller can sometimes be the better…yes, a line I use often.  Small bar that draws a decent sized crowd, with some of the best bartenders to talk to.  Just a solid bar really, worth the walk to the far reaches of Manhattan.  Above average beers at average prices, taste fine.

www.royalenyc.com

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23rd September
2011
written by Author

Avenue B btw 10th and 11th St.

I’m never a fan of bars where I feel judged by the people already sitting there when I walk in.  This normally happens in hipster bars, and this was no different.  Two big rooms, the front bar room is sparse with a big standing area; the back has an area for live bands and sitting.  Not a bad place, just not my idea of a place to hang.  Beers were average prices and tasted average.

www.lakesidelounge.com

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22nd September
2011
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Avenue B btw 12th and 13th St.

I like it.  Nice place to relax, good run of the mill crowd, and foosball…what more does one need?  Really good happy hour specials, decent amount of space to site/stand/move around, and the bartender was nice too.  Average prices after happy hour, taste average.

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21st September
2011
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14th St. btw Avenue A and Avenue B

I was told I would love this place.  That person is no longer allowed outside.  Huge place, hipster haven, with a DJ playing 50’s music up front and a live band drumming over it in the back.  I normally don’t comment on things like smell of a bar…  I overheard there was a fire here (which may not have been true), but I’ve never smelt smoke damage that resembled flatulence or a balloon, though my friend said it smelled like a condom.  Anywho, beers were average prices, tasted average to slightly above average, frozen drinks kind of pricey, really nice bartender.

www.ottosshrunkenhead.com

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20th September
2011
written by Author

Avenue A btw 13th and 14th St.

So, you basically come here for karaoke.  There is a separate bar space, but the animal print couches by the mic, surrounding the “singing”, is the main attraction.  Few karaoke standards (sorry Journey) in the catalog, but pretty much anything else you can think of.  Thankfully there is no long queue on a Friday night, so I was sold on it and hoarse by the morning.  Beers tasted average and were average prices.

www.planetrosenyc.com

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19th September
2011
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Avenue A btw 8th and 9th St.

One of the furthest extensions of Poland in this area of the city, and this place feels the oldest.  Old bar, very nice, older Polish bartender, lots of chatter between my friends and her that had to be translated to me.  Polish beers at regular beer’s average prices, tastes good, a little dive-y yet homey, if your home is a dive.

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16th September
2011
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Avenue A btw 5th and 6th St.

So hard to classify this place.  First, stairs, so that sucks.  The sparsely furnished bar is actually nice to sit in on random weekday nights with few people, gets crowded on the weekends.  Hipsters all the time, yet when there are only two at the bar when I’m sitting with people in the back, they were surprisingly tolerable.  Am I becoming immune to the hipster plague, god I hope not…maybe I just need them in incredibly small doses?  Anywho, average beer prices, beer tastes alright.

www.arrownyc.com

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31st August
2011
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4th St. btw Ave. A and Ave. B

Thank the lord for a pub down in this neighborhood.  A little bit more space would be nice, but I still liked this place.  Good place for a nice sit down with friends, pints taste good, average prices, late 20’s to 40’s crowd.

www.doriangraynyc.com

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30th August
2011
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5th St. btw Ave. A and Ave. B

I almost thought this was a new hipster bar in what used to be an old dive bar.  Lucky for me, I don’t judge a book by its cover (would kind of fly in the face of this blog if I did!).  A good amount of space, an actual TV showing sports, friendly bartender, beers taste alright and at average prices, crowd goes from tolerable hipster to normal young people.

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26th August
2011
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14th St. btw Avenue A and Avenue B

If Cheers was in a smaller bar, 30 years later, and more of a dive, you might have this place.  No one under the age of 45 in here, but everyone is very friendly and will chew your ear off, whether you like it or not!  Nice bartender, beers tasted average, average prices, maybe sits about 20.

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8th August
2011
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St. Mark’s Pl. btw Avenue A and 1st Ave.

It’s big, at least bigger than most bars in this neighborhood.  Empty during the day, good sized crowd at night.  Definitely sports oriented, but not exactly giving me the warm and fuzzies, feels kind of cold actually…that’s a horrible last description…crowded yet empty feeling?  The taps were a little off, average prices, nice bartenders.

www.hopdevil.com

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7th July
2011
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St. Mark’s Pl. btw 1st Ave. and Avenue A

Belgian beer, lots of it, and that’s about it.  Plus all of the mail away Belgian ads and paintings adorning the walls that can possibly authenticate the place.  There’s a good amount of space in here, it doesn’t get too crowded and it’s comfortably silent, a definite bonus when compared to its neighbors.  Beers are slightly above average prices, but it’s as advertised and all about the specialty Belgian beer.

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6th July
2011
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St. Mark’s Pl. btw 1st Ave. and Avenue A

Let me say that the bartender is really nice, the music selection is good, and it’s a cool place to relax.  Otherwise, I probably wouldn’t normally come in here.  They have your microbrews on tap, they’re a buck or two above average prices (though I found out they do this to keep out the college kids), average tasting, and, to be honest, it’s practically a wine bar.  Space is small up front, slightly bigger space in the back.

www.10degreesbar.com

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5th July
2011
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Avenue A and 6th St.

This is a prime example of “is this a bar?”  Arguments against: they have a big dining area.  Arguments for: no one was eating there.  Decent sized bar with a big music space in the back.  That’s three red checkers to one black…bar.  As for criticisms of this “newly declared” bar, if you don’t get a seat to watch the acts, come back later.  If you do get a table, keep sneaking beers from the bar as service is slow due to the amount of people in a tight space.  But be clever about it as the bartender is a hard ass who won’t serve you if you say you’re sitting in the back.  Beers tasted average, average prices, skip the comedy acts.

www.sidewalkmusic.net

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28th July
2010
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Avenue A btw Houston and 2nd St.

I’ve said it for one other bar and I’ll say it again…Air Hockey!  The one drawback is that the rest of the bar thought we were un-cool for playing it.  The beers were priced a little below average (there was even a giveaway the night we were there), beers tasted fine.  The crowd had the pretentious air, but we tuned them out with the juke box and the joyous sound of puck gliding on air.

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23rd July
2010
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Avenue C btw 7th and 8th St.

One of the better bars in this neighborhood.  It doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb and it doesn’t pretend to be a relic of days past.  Run by some fun Turkish people, there’s two floors of space and a pretty cool atmosphere, actual TV’s with actual sports on, and good tasting beers at average prices.

www.porchnyc.com

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23rd July
2010
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Avenue C and 10th St.

It was only a matter of time before the newer bars started creeping up Avenue C, but by no means is it pretentious…microbrews aside.  This place is a decent sized space, usually draws a crowd (mostly younger) on most nights, has a good happy hour special, average prices other times, and the beers taste fine.

www.evtnyc.com/index.html

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23rd July
2010
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Avenue C and 7th St.

This German restaurant/small indoor beer garden in Alphabet City is the spot for a long night out of good drinking and eating.  The food is your typical German fair, while reasonably priced, and the beers are even more reasonably priced for a glass bigger than most patrons’ heads.  Go with a group, pull right up next to a table of strangers, and buckle up.

www.zumschneider.com

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12th July
2010
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Ave. C btw 8th and 9th St.

One of my favorite places in the city.  While most people come to this area for Zum Schneider’s, this bar/restaurant is great for good, average priced Australian beer and great food.  The bar gets its fair share of business and there is live music on some nights.  The bar can be kind of cramped up front, the crowd is mixed.

www.thesunburntcow.com

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12th July
2010
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St. Marks Pl. btw 1st Ave. and Ave. A

Definitely one of the better lit bars on the block, but by no means the most crowded.  There’s not much to this place, decent amount of space, a quiet crowd for the neighborhood, the taps taste fine and are average prices.  This is one of those places where I don’t necessarily like or dislike the place, just not much to write home about.

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9th July
2010
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10th St. btw Ave. A and Ave. B

Interesting bar, kind of feels like scenes out of Kubrick movies in here.  Dark in some parts, plenty of long space (A Clockwork Orange), oddly lit room in the front that feels like you’re in a space pod (2001).    Drinks are average prices, taste fine, and the clientele ranges from kids thinking it’s a lounge to those who are tired of the wannabe dives around the corner on A.

www.planbny.com

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8th July
2010
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St. Marks Pl. btw Ave. A and 1st Ave.

Normally, if you told me there was a bar in a hot dog place that was accessible by walking through a telephone booth, I’d have you burned for witchcraft.  But yes, Grif Dogs does in fact have such a place.  In the age of trying to open up a speakeasy (almost 70 years after Prohibition), you usually get misses instead of quality knockoffs, but this place holds it’s own.  Only specialty beers here that taste pretty darn good and cost average prices (though in smaller pint glasses).  Getting in here can be easy once in a blue moon; most nights involve you waiting outside eating tater tots.

www.pdtnyc.com

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9th June
2010
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Avenue A and 1st St.

Holy crap, an actual sports bar in the Lower East Side.  Sure, other bars may show sports but they have other purposes.  This bar is always crowded and has a great crowd that wants to get away from hipster bars in the area.  They have lots of beer at your average prices and a pretty good piece of cheesecake.

www.niceguyeddies.com

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9th June
2010
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7th Ave. and Avenue A

A different room for everyone here, all of them overcrowded.  Upstairs you have your usual small bar, followed by the photo booth waiting room.  Downstairs are two more bars, one tucked away, and the other right in your face with a quasi dance floor.  For the most part, the place is fun, the staff is pretty quick with the beers, and not overpriced.

Just went back a week ago, this place has been completely renovated and has fallen victim to people trying to clean up Alphabet City…I will be avoiding from here on in.

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4th June
2010
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Avenue B. btw 13th and 14th St.

Thankfully a bar exists this far west where the bartenders have brogues and is not yet inundated by the L train patrons.  That being said, it’s just an okay spot.  There’s a decent amount of room by the bar, a pool table in the back, haven’t seen Buck Hunter in these parts in a while, and a young crowd.  The beers are average prices with a decent happy hour, they taste fine, and if you’re going to show a muted Tarantino movie on the only TV turned on, especially during the dialogue and not the violence, put on the closed captioning!

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4th June
2010
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Avenue A btw 2nd and 3rd St.

I walked by expecting another dimly lit bar in the East Village, and I was definitely shocked, in a bad way.  This overly polished bar is something so hipster-ish that even Hipsters would hate this…ha, who am I kidding, they’ll make an indy movie out of the place or something.  Young crowd, decent sized space, but every inch is planned out to try and be a lounge and a bar at the same time, from awkward seats in the front, empty picture frames on walls, borderline eating room in the back (I say borderline because the food is bad).  The drinks were at least average prices and tasted fine.

www.maryosnyc.com

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4th June
2010
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Avenue B btw 6th and 7th St.

Well, thankfully there are still a couple of bars that aren’t polished in this neighborhood.  Manitoba is one of these.  My curly haired friend likes coming here for her Photo Hunt addiction (the first step is admitting you have a problem), every biker in the area comes here, and most people keep to themselves.  The taps are your typical standard with your average prices and average tastes.

www.manitobas.com

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4th June
2010
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Ave. B and 3rd St.

Nope, definitely not a grocery store.  Not much of a bar either, but it will suffice as a stopover.  Extremely laid back bar in Alphabet City that has a lot of open space where you will never feel more stared at by it’s patrons than anywhere else, especially if you don’t have your hipster membership card on you.  The beers taste fine and are average prices.

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4th June
2010
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Ave. B btw 13th and 14th St.

Dear hipsters, please stop, thank you, love Me.  I walk in, cute bartender turns around, she looks down from her ironic glasses, and gives me my $6 Amstel Light, which thankfully didn’t taste bad.  There are back rooms but my ex-girlfriend new my head might actually explode if I sat amongst the emo induced scene occurring.  There is a lot of space in the back, lounge couches in the front, a few bar stools, people staring at my non-flannel buttoned down shirt, and thankfully some decent music playing.  Also, one bonus point for some interesting bread nibbler snack on the front bar…but just one point.

www.lucaloungenyc.com

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27th May
2010
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13th St. btw 1st Ave. and Avenue A

Nice, my apartment is actually bigger than something in NYC!  Though mine smells more of booze.  This small bar has a ton of good specials (the buy one get one free deal carries over until your next visit), a friendly staff, there’s a tiny crowd of quiet hipsters staring at you while you drink.  The prices are average, the beers taste fine, and my friend assures me that this place gets packed to the brim on weekends, contrary to a Monday night.

www.keybar.com

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27th May
2010
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Avenue A btw 1st and 2nd St.

Perhaps because the other bars are too crowded would be the reason for people going in here.  It’s usually empty and gives you that warm, run down feeling you’ve always been searching for.  The beers tasted alright and average prices, the vibe was a little slow in here, which can be a nice reprieve from its neighbors.

www.kellsnyc.com

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27th May
2010
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Ave B. and 4th St.

A nice place in Alphabet city that does a good job of turning away the club crowd from Le Souk across the street.  Though it could also be due to the fact that it’s usually considered a Vegan restaurant.  There’s a good amount of space and it was pleasantly one of the quieter bars I’ve been to.  The beers tasted fine, average prices, and the typical no TV policy in Alphabet City.

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26th May
2010
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6th St. btw Ave. A and Ave. B

I don’t want to call it a dive bar, because it’s spacious, not crowded, and they were playing a movie on TV with the volume actually up!  That being said, you walk in through that creaky door and the bartender and the one hipster in the bar stare at you the whole time, wondering when you’ll leave.  The taps tasted alright, average prices, sense of foreboding comes free of charge.

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26th May
2010
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Avenue C btw 8th and 9th St.

A lot of people call this a dive bar, and I think a lot of people need to check their definition.  Sure, it looks like hell on the outside, but inside is actually a really awesome bar.  TV’s, some of the friendliest bartenders, a good 20-30’s crowd, there’s a backyard and even semi-clean bathrooms…so no, it’s not a dive.  Beers were average prices, taste fine, worth the schlep to the east side.

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17th May
2010
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Avenue B and 7th St.

I always knew it as 7B, now I know it as the yuppie/dive sports bar of Alphabet City.  It gets really crowded in here with people who honestly think they’re slumming it.  It’s usually from the fact that they’re walking back from Zum Schneider’s and think the place looks “rad”.  All of that doesn’t take away from the fact the pints taste fine and are average prices and it has a decent amount of space to keep the crowd tight.  They also have a butt load of TV’s and of course Buck Hunter for the aforementioned slummers.  Bonus point to the largest Photo Hunt screen I’ve ever seen.

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17th May
2010
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Ave. A btw 10th and 11th St.

A big bar that thankfully is only crowded up front.  Standing in the back is usually the main option, as the booths are consistently packed.  The service is also kind of slow, but with all the people packed around the bar, it’s expected.  The crowd is mostly those people who like to dip a toe into Alphabet City and think they’re really slumming it by heading east of First Avenue.  Typical beers that taste alright and cost average prices.

www.thehifibar.com

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13th May
2010
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Ave. A btw 13th and 14th St.

I’m going out on a limb, and I could be wrong, but this has got to be an Asian fusion/gay bar.  There’s a big island bar that takes up a lot of the space, but you can still freely move around.  If you show up on a weeknight, there’s some kind of weird dance party that occurs.  There are a few tables but nobody is eating from the menu.  And yet, the place was laid back, the service was great, beers about average prices and tasted fine, but I felt left out of whatever groove I clearly don’t have.

www.forbiddennyc.com

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12th May
2010
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Avenue A btw 1st and 2nd St.

This place used to be just another dive on Avenue A, and for some reason they decided to clean it up.  And now it’s some kind of wannabe speakeasy, very posh, and very empty.  We were told it gets packed on Wednesdays through Saturday nights.  We were there on Wednesday and we were the only people in there, aside from the girl going to see the live music downstairs…because it was her brother playing.  No beer here, very quiet, the cocktails were around average prices and tasted fine, friendly bartender.

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12th May
2010
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Avenue A btw 13th and 14th St.

A surprisingly large bar with a lot of open space.  Another plus is that the happy hour goes until 8.  Some negatives are the hipsters, the microbrew only taps, and the one lone projector screen that will show TV programs without sound or close captioning.  The bottled beer is average prices and the Guinness tasted alright, as average tasting as Guinness can here in the States.

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12th May
2010
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Avenue A btw 1st and 2nd St.

Good bar that stands out in a neighborhood filled with tons of bars, especially this particular block.  A good amount of space for the masses, the beer tasted good, had plenty of selections, and were average prices.  Lots of average people in the bar, which was the real stand out, especially for this neighborhood.

www.doubledownsaloon.com/newyork/index.html

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12th May
2010
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Ave. A and 9th St.

Good for you Doc, being one of the holdouts of the way things were before Giuliani.  One of the closest things to a dive bar that you’ll find in the city, complete with old guys, borderline fights at the pool table; both groups wondering what the heck I was doing in there.  It was just a bit too well lit for a dive bar.  The random group of college kids in here were huddled in the corner, trying to have fun but another more decibel and a scene would’ve been created.  Beers taste fine, average prices, decent place.

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12th May
2010
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Avenue A and 13th St.

Can it be, a normal bar that I actually like in the northern part of Alphabet City!?!  Saints alive, my prayers have been answered.  Okay, that was over selling it a bit, so here’s the lowdown.  Minus point for having microbrew taps, but they have every normal beer in bottles.  Lots of space, pretty quiet during the week, but draws a normal behaving crowd.  Beers were average prices and tasted fine, and the one TV didn’t have sports, but it did have closed captioning for what was showing, or else that would’ve been another minus 50.

www.destinationbarnyc.com

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11th May
2010
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Avenue B btw 2nd and 3rd St.

If you come here for the wings, you’re waiting in line.  It’s best to come after the dinner rush to make sure you actually get a seat.  Tons of TV’s, decent drink specials, the aforementioned 10 cent wings on certain days, and a friendly bartender might make me go back, at a time when I wont have to wait of course.  As a note, the “hot” level of spice is not that hot.  The Croxley Blonde Ale is extremely light, so stick with the normal beers, which are average prices and taste fine.

www.croxley.com

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11th May
2010
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Avenue A btw 12th and 13th St.

An oddly shaped bar, definitely geared towards having a live act in the front.  The strange part is the bar becomes very quiet when someone is on stage and if you’re there for a drink, the glares from the other patrons keep your conversation to a minimum.  Thankfully, they have regular beers that taste good and are average prices or else I would’ve written this off as a waste of time.

www.commongroundnyc.com

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11th May
2010
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6th St. btw 1st Ave. and Ave. A

Ugh, this bar sucked on many levels.  You have your pouty hipsters who think it’s their place and heaven forbid you walk in wearing something not bought out of a thrift store.  One of the few open seats is near the Photo Hunt (which didn’t work properly) and they shun you for even thinking of playing.  Toss in the dank (not dive) atmosphere and I was eager to leave.  Beer, though, tasted fine, average prices.

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Bua

11th May
2010
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St. Marks Place btw Avenue A and 1st Ave.

This place can be night and day.  Sometimes, it’s a quiet space where you can grab a seat and enjoy a beer.  Most nights, it’s a little tight in here from the crowd, which ranges from hipster to the “stepping the toe right over First Avenue” crowd.  The service blows at the bar, but the table service makes up for it.  Average tasting beers, average prices.

www.buabar.com

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5th May
2010
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11th St. btw Ave. A and Ave. B

Take one part kids who think they’re being cool and going into Alphabet City, one part awful emo band’s bassist that owns it in an attempt to draw them there, PBR cans and one part giant gong behind the bar…ta dah!  It’s one decent sized room that kind of wants to be a club atmosphere with its dark corners, but most people came in, looked around, and left.  The best thing about this place is the staff.  Beer tastes fine, average prices, borderline annoying clientele.

www.angelsandkings.com

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5th May
2010
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Avenue A btw 2nd and 3rd St.

Owned by the same people as the uptown location (at least that’s what the bartender told us), but about 50 times better.  It’s a little cleaner (mostly due to it being new), there’s a separate room in the back for beer pong, lots of booths, and a decent sized bar in the front.  One down side is the 2 for 1, where you can’t just get two drinks for you and a friend and have that count (spending $10 instead of $5), but that’s it.  The bartender is really friendly, drinks were average prices, taste fine, though it needs more TV’s in the front.

www.acesandeightsnyc.com

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5th May
2010
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5th St. btw Avenue A & Avenue B

So most bars down here don’t have activities (or lunchboxes for that matter).  If you’re looking for pool, darts, and skee-ball, and people who will never walk away after losing a game and let you play them, then come here!  There’s a decent amount of space in this bar full of the young crowd.  Good pints that are average prices, good assortment of taps too and they all taste good.

www.acebar.com

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2A

28th April
2010
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Avenue A and 2nd St.

One of my favorite places to go in the city.  It still hasn’t been completely usurped by the hipster crowd, though it’s getting there, which makes it enjoyable.  The drinks are your average price, taste fine, there’s plenty of space, especially on the top floor, and the staff is friendly.

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28th April
2010
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11th St. btw Ave. A and Ave. B

Putting aside the awesomeness of the fact that this is a fully fledged Liverpool bar, this place isn’t that bad.  There’s a decent amount of space with a small room in the back.  Depending on when you’re here, you either sit among a sea of red jerseys, or get a group that wanders off the beaten path of Avenue A.  The drinks taste good, average prices, and they serve meat pies…yes, actual meat pies.

www.11thstbar.com

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