Archive for September, 2011
Washington St. btw Carlisle and Albany St.
I used to consider this the quiet side of the Financial District, the home of pubs and really old bars. But with new buildings, comes the new crowd…oh boy. B&T’s have crossed Trinity and gathered here. Decent amount of room, mixed age crowd, and good times staring at the hotel guests walking by as they head to their rooms. Beers are above average prices, taste average, service average.
Lexington Ave. btw 38th and 39th St.
So this place used to be Chill Lounge. They changed the name, brightened it up, and sweet fancy Moses, it’s like night and day. Always packed after work with the B&T’s, so that of course comes with the obnoxious factor. A decent sized space that get insanely crowded, beers taste alright and average prices, average service.
South Street Seaport
I’m glad they’re continually finding ways to make the Seaport more attractive to the younger crowd…though now it’s a noisy, younger crowd. They basically plunked an outdoor club on the pier, threw in some Porto Potties, sprinkled in some average priced craft brews, and voila, you have an outdoor bar that is usually full of people. Tables to sit at, many places to stand, service is pretty quick, beers taste fine, and a foosball table.
79th St. btw Broadway and Amsterdam Ave.
Definitely more space than its downtown brother, and definitely less people. There’s a pretty big bar space, lots of room to stand around, and if you come for brunch, heads up that most of the drink specials have milk in them. Is that a selling point? Who knows, but my calcium intake was superb that day. Very nice staff, average prices for drinks that taste average, and, of course they have your specialty Aussie beers.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Park Avenue btw 30th and 31st St.
Am I old? I thought 30 was still a pretty good age. Well, this place has rightly put me in my place. A young, pretty large crowd with pretty good music. Even though there are lots of people here, and a few rooms to roam around in, it’s still pretty tight in here. Surprisingly there were few shenanigans, any problems were quickly diffused by one of the 43 bouncers. Drinks were average prices, decent house brew, average tastes, good service.
West Side Highway and 42nd Street
I guess this is becoming a chain…they should’ve kept it to just 72nd St. This can only be for tourists or bikers or those Tibetan protesters who need a break from running across the highway. Now, that’s not to say I’m not glad there isn’t a bar on the water in midtown, but this place is a far cry from its namesakes uptown. $8 for a beer!?! Enough said. Service is pretty good, lots of tables, but really, you’re not serving liquid gold, it’s your regular, average beer that tastes like regular, average beer.
2nd Ave. btw 52nd and 53rd St.
Even as I’m writing this review, I have no doubt that this place will change hands again. The layout remains the same though. Two floors, business kids and B&T’s, and probably some of the better looking bar servers in the area. Well, for the second floor at least, didn’t get a great peak at the main floor servers. Average beers at average prices, good amount of space.
9th Ave. btw 18th and 19th St.
While I enjoy the attempts at new speakeasies, I always feel bad for the store that you skip past, as I completely ignore their wares for beer inside. Anywho, through the door, a decent sized space, good amount of space to sit, but they have to have the servers lose the flappers outfits. It’s not actually the 1920’s, nor is the guest list exclusive, nor the patron’s dress indicative of anything pre-1998, so the gimmick in unnecessary. Nitpicking aside, prices were surprisingly average prices, service was very good, and there’s a giant tub in the middle of the back area which I’m sure will be filled with drunken bodies or vomit in no time.
10th Ave. btw 48th and 49th St.
Quiet bar on an avenue that is getting more and more people wandering over to it these days. A lot of standing space, almost unnaturally so, and a small crowd. Locals mostly, most with brogues, and the bartender was mainly aloof but always was ready to give me another beer after I flagged him down. Average prices, taps tastes alright.
2nd Ave. and 33rd St.
Best way to describe this would be “neighborhood bar”…and yes, because no one was eating and people were only drinking, it’s a bar. It’s a quiet bar, kind of small, the crowd consisting of older people/people who just came from the movies/people who know the staff. Beer tastes average, average prices.
1st Ave. btw 53rd and 54th St.
This place used to be McAnn’s on 1st. It’s different in absolutely no way, so see this review of McAnn’s on 1st.
8th Ave. btw 37th and 38th St.
The name of the bar is probably the sound you would make when you walked in. You feel as if you are in what once a strip club, but has since felt the cleansing hand of ex-Mayor Giuliani and had to change to just a bar. And while it is on a very crowded route towards either Penn or Port Authority, most people definitely walk past it save for the few stragglers whose curiosity has been piqued. Beers tasted alright, average prices, locals (yes, they exist in this area) and creepy guys make up the crowd.
45th St. and Vanderbilt Ave.
So, yeah, basically one big room filled with people below the age of 28, all B&T’s (mostly in “pack formation”), half sitting and half standing. There really isn’t much of a draw to this place besides the fact that it’s a couple extra blocks in all directions to the next bar. Plus sides: average tasting specialty beers at average prices, service was pretty good.