Archive for May, 2013
Clinton St. btw Rivington and Stanton St.
Speakeasy located through above/through the back of Barramundi, pretty easy to get into before 9, good luck afterwards. Basically someone’s living room with a bar, tables spaced around for groups, good amount of PDA going on. Drinks are all cocktails, ~$12 on average for a drink, taste alright.
54th St. btw Park and Madison Ave.
Used to be a piano bar under the same name that had a quiet crowd. Now they’ve kept the piano but thrown open the windows and the crowd is much livelier. Draws in your business people and B&T’s, place gets packed after work. Average and above average beers, above average prices, taste fine.
28th St. btw Park and Madison Ave.
I’m not shocked in any way that the owners of this own Whiskey Rebel. Same layout of a long bar, though with higher ceilings, eastern European bartenders, loud house music at any hour, and popcorn. Crowd is people who like all of that. Average beers at average prices, taste fine.
26th St. and 3rd Ave.
Used to be Vertigo, and I like the changes that have been made. It feels like one big room now instead of a roped off space. The bar draws a crowd on most nights, plenty of room to drink and mingle, lots of sports on TV, friendly staff. The one downfall is that the drinks aren’t exactly “brewhouse” caliber, meaning it’s just your average beers mixed with above average beers, nothing you would ever see at a homemade brewers show. Average/some above average beers at average prices, taste fine.
54th St. btw 7th Ave. and Broadway
Not as good as it’s downtown counterpart. It feels like a basement (where its located), the space is tighter and the ambiance isn’t conducive to champagne drinking. The staff is friendly, they have some beers…just feels like they crammed a bar into a small space and hope the name brings the customers. Some beers, mostly cocktails and champagnes, slightly above average prices, taste fine.
18th St. btw Irving Pl. and Park Ave.
It’s not as big as its Flatiron counterpart, but the crowd is the same. Decent sized space filled with your B&T’s, business kids and D-bags, all here for after work drinks or to stare at the very attractive bartenders. If you catch it on an off night, it’s actually a quiet spot to watch sports and not be bothered. Average drinks at average prices, taste fine.
7th Ave. btw 30th and 31st St.
I can only think of two reasons two come here: you’re staying in the hotel or going to Penn Station. There really isn’t any other reason. Horseshoe bar that is home to either guests or random work groups. Not much too it, small space, restaurant space in the back (though I cant vouch for the food)…I really don’t have anything else. Average drinks at average prices, tap lines need a cleaning.
Chelsea Piers – 18th St. and West Side Highway
If you’re done with your bucket of balls or finished taping Law and Order, this spot on the Hudson River is one of the further west bars in the city that is a decent place to hang out. After playing the game of “which pier do I walk down (58), dodge cyclists and cars trying to park, this hidden bar has a decent amount of space, usually quiet, sports on TV, and you can even get a tour of the brewery. Honestly, it’s really for the first two groups mentioned, but if you really want a trek, its an alright spot that has a little outdoor seating. Above average beers (home grown), slightly above average prices, taste alright.
60th St. btw 3rd and Lexington Ave.
This border between Midtown and the Upper East Side is sorely lacking in a bar scene. So wedged into one of the busiest streets, vehicularly speaking, is a new “Gastropub” that, in spite of the heavy traffic, draws a pretty good crowd. It’s basically all business kids and young Upper East Sider’s filling in the decent sized bar space and the tables in the back. Above average beers at above average prices, taste fine.
Bleeker St. btw Elizabeth St. and Bowery
Of all the gin joints in…I should probably stop before I infringe on some copyright. This is a gin bar, pure and simple, no beers here. Now I happen to be a gin lover, but the mixes here are 50/50, with, honestly, the best being a straight up gin and tonic. It’s a decent sized space that draws a crowd at night, with a few bar stools up front, some tables behind. Above average prices, drinks are average.
17th St. btw 5th and 6th Ave.
Now this is what I call a speakeasy. There might be a wait, but they accommodate with a small standing bar/waiting room in the back. The place circulates the tables pretty well, and once you’re seated, it’s a chill atmosphere with good service as you sip a cocktail that actually makes me change my stance on cocktails. The drinks are a little pricey (~15 to start) but completely worth it, taste great.
15th St. btw Irving Place and Park Ave.
This place use to be 119, and this is a complete about face…or headless face…anyone? From dive bar to wine cellar/clean dungeon look, this place attracts a different clientele than its previous tenant. Crowd is B&T’s in their 20’s, pretty packed in the middle space around the bar, a slight less crowded in the back. Above average beers at above average prices, taste fine.
15th St. btw Irving Place and Park Ave.
From the decorations, I’m assuming horse racing was actually watched in here at one point. Those days are gone, and now its half sports bar and half weird alcove-back table land. Quieter than the other bars around Irving Plaza, it’s an older crowd mixed in with the youth, decent place to sit and watch a game. Average beers at average prices, taste fine.
14th St. btw 2nd and 3rd Ave.
Used to be King’s Head Tavern, and now it’s a gastropub. It’s the same long bar with a good amount of space, but a little more surprisingly bearable pretentiousness sprinkled in with some fascination with pickleback shots (not that I’m complaining about the latter). There’s also live music which plays here. Crowd is a mix of B&T’s with hipster, but then again, it’s what the neighborhood is becoming. Above average beers at slightly above average prices, taste fine.