Archive for March, 2014
48th St. btw 6th and 7th Ave.
This bar must purely exist for events or for people who work in the neighborhood to pretend to be big shots. You enter into a decent sized space lined with booths for bottle service, and lots of people in suits dropping $14 for cocktails. The scene is business kids, staff is very attentive, cocktails at above cocktail prices (~$13), taste alright.
45th St. btw 8th and 9th Ave.
The latest in the line of Beer Refrigerator’s comes to Hell’s Kitchen. Thankfully, this one is a little livelier than others. You go in, you can buy six packs, you can buy beers on tap, and they have sports on TV. It’s not the biggest of spaces, it can get crowded, which it usually is, and the crowd is late 20’s and up. Above average beers and craft beers, above average prices, taste fine.
8th Ave and 45th St.
New bar to the 8th Avenue scene (is there an 8th Avenue scene?) that is just like any other sports bar. The difference is that while it offers nothing different (not a bad thing), it has crammed this place full of tables and there’s actually a VIP section. I get it, rent is too darn high (copyright avoidance!) but, when you’re in here, you’re cramped into a small standing space next to many empty tables. The crowd is older with some spill in from people on their way home to the Port Authority and theatre goers, service is pretty good, average beers at average prices, taps could use a cleaning.
10th St. btw Greenwich and 6th Ave.
Two floors of bar here. The top floor is an island bar with some decent standing space, though you are surrounded by people eating. Downstairs is a better bar space, more room to mill about. The scene is mid-20’s to low-30’s crowd mixed with older locals, above average beers at above average prices, taste fine.
8th St. btw Macdougal St. and 5th Ave.
A cocktail bar that is joining the influx of cocktail bars into the area…every area really. It’s basically an escape from the sports bars/frat fests below 3rd Street, just a nice spot that has a good amount of room, and it doesn’t feel as stuffy as other cocktail bars. Now don’t get fooled, still a mid-20’s to low-30’s crowd, but it’s some of the better cocktails I’ve had, friendly service, cocktails at cocktail prices (~$11), taste fine.
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.
53rd St. btw 2nd and 3rd Ave.
This bar has changed so many times (Black Finn, Tammany Hall), but maybe they might have gotten it right with this recent iteration. Taken over by the guy’s from PJ Clarke’s, gone are the days of test tube shots and pure frat boys/business kids. Now it has an older feel, drawing in a more mature crowd (actually fun to watch people come in, look around for their old haunt, linger for a drink , and then leave) while still having a good amount of sports on TV. Service is very friendly, average and above average drinks at slightly above average prices, taste fine.
1st Ave. and 1st. St.
So after seeing this place on countless “top new bars” lists, I gave it a once over. With the exception that the bar area reminds me of the neon lights on an old jukebox, there is really nothing out of the ordinary about this place. The menu had your generic cocktails, there was a decent sized space for sitting, service was friendly, just your run of the mill bar. Mixed drinks, average prices for them (~$8-$10), taste fine.
3rd Ave. btw 17th and 18th St.)
Used to be Still, but now it draws more of a crowd, though that crowd may still be business kids, thankfully with more adults mixed in. Still plenty of sports on TV, service is better, still a pretty big space. Average taps at average prices, taps could use a cleaning out.
40th St. and 6th Ave.
I always thought this was a sandwich place, but come here after work and you just find a bunch of people drinking. And during the winter, they drag out a fire pit in the middle of a bunch of chairs. Not much else to it, all outdoors, above average beers at above average prices, taste fine.
40th St. btw 5th and 6th Ave.
Normally a coat check will have me turn right around, but this blog ain’t gonna write itself! Head to the basement of Bryant Park Hotel, and you have a somewhat spacious bar room packed with business kids, after work parties, and tourists. Pretty tough to get a seat, so you cram next to the bar and grab a cocktail…not much more to it. Service is pretty good, no taps, cocktails at cocktail prices (~12), taste fine.
39th St. btw 5th and 6th Ave.
A packed “gastropub” that’s trying to bring a little bit of adult to the neighborhood. Basically two room, island bar up front, tables in the back. There’s a good amount of standing space but, as mentioned, can fill up quick around happy hour time. Clientele is older mixed with business types, service is pretty good at handling the orders, above average beers at above average prices, taste fine.