Archive for January, 2013

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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29th January
2013
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Amsterdam Ave. btw 84th and 85th St.

Well, to sum it up in one sentence, it looks like a place where you can grab drinks in the front and then sleep in the back?  Big bar up front with plenty of high tables to sit at.  The back is all laced tables, so unless you like eating under mosquito nets, stay up front.  Very attentive staff, goof food to nibble at, above average beers at slightly above average prices, taste fine.

www.slightlyolivernyc.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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24th January
2013
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Lafayette St. btw Walker and White St.

So I got to go here for a corporate party, but since it was for a Vodka release, I got the club aspect of it.  And by the looks of this place, that is the only aspect of it.  Went back a few weeks later…yep, same aspect, though with a line.  Bar up front, lots of room for dancing and room for people to sit above and stare at people who dance.  It’s a club, no way around it, with an alright DJ.  Beer was average tasting (bottles) and actually around average prices, taste fine.

www.santospartyhouse.com

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23rd January
2013
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28th St. btw Madison and Park Ave.

Pretty good example of what a pub should feel like, with the exception of the low ceiling.  All British beers, like Fuller’s and Carlsberg, on tap, and plenty of space to hangout.  The crowd is mixed of B&T’s with a smattering of older people.  The food’s pretty good too, though it’s fancier than your average pub grub.  Only gripe is with the low volume audio of Churchill being piped into the bathroom…that’s a recommendation to lose the audio, not make it louder, in case anyone reads this.  British beers at average prices, taste pretty good.

www.thechurchillny.com

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22nd January
2013
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17th St. btw 5th and 6th Ave.

Great example of what I like to call a “borderline bar”; packed bar up front and a tiny restaurant in the back.  However, because you can sit in the back and drink (until 7 when they enforce reservations and start chucking you up front), I’m going for bar status.  For the bar space, it’s packed with a young B&T crowd, and getting a seat takes a lot of patience, but the bartenders do a good job of keeping up with the crowd.  Above average taps, slightly above average prices, taste fine.

www.ryehousenyc.com

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21st January
2013
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2nd Ave. btw 111th and 112th St.

Guarantee you will miss it if you’re not really looking for it.  Upon finding the front entrance, you walk into the first of two bars.  The first is basically a game room with a small bar, and it was actually empty.  The second bar is the one where most people hang out.  Bigger bar in the back, a friendly bartender, local late 20’s to 30’s crowd.  A pretty solid place to just hang and watch a game.  Average beers, average prices with good deals, taste fine.

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18th January
2013
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45th St. btw 5th and 6th Ave.

Walk in the doors and leave the most annoying bell sound ever behind on the sidewalk, and you have a big space that doesn’t really have too much personality (shiny and tall does not equal personality).  The beers appear to be the only thing actually British in here.  If they just liked the bar name for the sound of it, I apologize for assuming they were going for a pub.  Crowd is your B&T’s, a few tourists thrown in (probably attracted by the bell), and definitely not a quiet place to just sit down and enjoy a pint.  British beers with some regulars, average prices, taste fine.

www.cockandbullnyc.com

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17th January
2013
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70th St. btw 1st and York Ave.

This place used to be For Pete’s Sake, and while I was glad to see that the previous tenants no longer exist, the place hasn’t upgraded by much.  It’s better lit now, but the clientele is a mix of nurses and douche, and the bartenders are hit and miss, meaning some will chat with you when there’s no one else around, and some could care less.  So maybe it’s okay to compare it to its predecessor, so check out the link above!  Average beers, average prices, taste alright.

www.thealliewayny.com

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16th January
2013
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1st Ave. and 75th St.

The East Side version of this bar that first came to Hell’s Kitchen.  And even though I’m not always up for craft beers, this actually adds, dare I say, a level of maturity to the Upper East Side.  It is a good sized bar, lots of table space and bar space, TV’s on all over, late 20’s into 30’s crowd.  Beers are above average and at slightly above average prices, taste fine.

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15th January
2013
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2nd Ave. btw 83rd and 84th St.

This place used to be something hard to pronounce (Jack Tamson’s Bairns) and can now be pronounced clearly by the people stumbling down 2nd Avenue.  There really is zero difference, so please click on the link above to check out that review!  Bartenders are still very nice, quiet crowd, average to above average beers, average prices, taste fine.

www.caledoniascottishpub.com

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14th January
2013
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9th Ave. btw 16th and 17th St.

After finally finding the right staircase to bring me upstairs, I found what is basically a big hall, with trees, and a really tiny bar crammed into one corner.  No taps, so it’s all bottles or cocktails in this joint.  Lots of seating and lots of standing room at least for the event I was here for.  Cocktails and beer are a little above average prices, taste fine.

www.cabanasnyc.com

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11th January
2013
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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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10th January
2013
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1st Ave. btw 63rd and 64th St.

This place used to be Becky’s, and I never liked Becky’s so this is a welcome change.  Now, I have zero idea what makes this place anything even remotely resembling “Honky Tonk”, unless it’s from the posh section of Austin.  Playing some light country music in the background makes you a relaxing bar, not a Honky Tonk bar.  But it’s not a bad bar by any means…so just mis-named.  Food is good, average beers at average prices that taste fine.

honkytonktavernnyc.com/home

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9th January
2013
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1st Ave. btw 75th and 76th St.

Used to be Citibar, and they really didn’t do a thing to change the place, with the happy exception of giving the tap lines a quick rinse so the beers taste better.  Since they changed nothing else, read that review (my laziness knows no bounds).  Average beers at average prices, taste average.

www.singlepage.com/citi-bar–grill/menu

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8th January
2013
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2nd Ave. btw 5th and 6th St.

This is a live music venue but there is plenty of bar space in here and also plenty of room to get lost! Usually draws a good crowd on the weekends, full of college age kids and hipsters here to enjoy a show.  Not a bad music venue by any means, with lots of space to dance, though don’t you dare make any noise when you leave the place!!!  Average beers at average prices, taste fine.

www.litloungenyc.com

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7th January
2013
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Bowery btw Great Jones and 4th St.

Totally stumbled upon this bar on my way to a haircut.  Head downstairs an you enter into a floor to ceiling painted black bar and you have a place that is just as cheery as the color scheme.  Thankfully the bartender and the two other people people (young crowd) in here balanced it out by being very friendly.  Not much too it, bar up front, open room in the back, average beers at average prices, taste fine.

www.kingscrossnyc.com/

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4th January
2013
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2nd Ave. and 4th St.

So I popped in here right after work and there was literally no one in here except for the bartender and what must have been a person interviewing for work.  To make sure it wasn’t a fluke, I went by on a weekend night and saw about a dozen or so people, but nothing classified as raucous.  The place can hold maybe 20 people, and it’s a cross between an authentic pub and my grandmother’s living room, so if you’re into cozy and quiet, here’s your place!  I guess I’m always on the hunt for an authentic pub, but I want more of a London pub rather that a country pub.  Average beers at cheap prices, taste fine.

www.queenvicnyc.com/index.html

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3rd January
2013
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Murray St. btw Broadway and Church St.

Lively bar on a quiet street, this place provides a spot for the business crowd who wants to stay close to trains they know, wants to watch sports, and wants to go out drinking after work…so basically everyone who works south of Chambers.  After 10 on a weeknight it empties out, so if you want a seat and to watch a west coast game, come on in!  You do get some stragglers mixing in with the locals, and the staff is pretty friendly.  Big place once you squeeze past the bar area, average beers at average prices, taste fine.

www.darkhorseny.com

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