Monthly Archives: July 2011's visit to 508 Restaurant and Bar

After learning that the 508 Restaurant & Bar at 508 Greenwich Street in west Soho had recently started brewing its own beer, I figured it was time to pay a visit.  The location, just south of Greenwich and Spring, is nearby a lively nightlife block including spots such as Sway, Ear Inn, Don Hill’s and The Anchor.


The layout is more restaurant than bar with tables for parties of two and four opposite a 12-seat bar on the right.  There is additional restaurant seating in the back half of the space, which includes a large hightop table for parties of 10 or more.  The beer brewing occurs in the basement.

Their website indicates nine different beers brewed on the premises.  When my girlfriend and I were there, however, seven were available and only four were available on draught.  I tried the I.P.A, the Dark Brown Ale and the Coffee Porter.  My girlfriend had the Citra Common and the Hefeweisen.  All were solid and to paraphrase someone close to me, you “could taste the handcraftedness in the beer”  I look forward to a return trip when I can try the rest of the beers that I did not have time for.  The food menu, which we did not try, was very eclectic.  A mix of small plates (including ceviche, truffle mac and cheese and fried artichokes), pastas and a few entrees enticed us for a return trip.

Coffee Porter

The staff was very friendly and attentive and we got to meet the brewmaster toward the end of our visit.  I can’t wait to return to taste the beer and have some food.  I recommend this place to anyone who wants to try some good beer and food.  Earlier this month, when I reviewed La Birreria, I wrote that La Birreria was one of two spots to brew its own beer.  Well, I stand corrected, there are now three spots in Manhattan that brew their own beer.  We definitely have the makings of a brewpub NYC bar crawl.

Have you been to 508 Restaurant and bar yet?  Please share your thoughts on the place or my commentary here.

Could Pub Crawls get banned in a section of Manhattan?

The following article comes from, written by Jenny Miller.

Already this week we’ve brought you damning news about food trucks, cheese-cutting, and porn stores, and now it seems the latest endangered New York institution is the pub crawl.

DNA Info reports that one item on the docket at a Community Board 6 meeting last night was a proposed ban on such binge-drinking jaunts in the area, which covers 14th through 69th Streets on the east side.

Look, Grub Street doesn’t make a habit of hitting Murray Hill’s Irish pubs with our bros, but a ban? Well, it turns out CB 6 doesn’t have the authority to institute such a measure anyway! But here’s what it can do: “When bars apply for new or renewal liquor licenses, they are asked to sign a document that includes a clause not to participate in pub crawls (among other stipulations, such as closing at 2 a.m. instead of the legally sanctioned 4 a.m.).” Oh, so now it looks like 4 a.m. closings are in danger, too. Is it just us, or is this city turning into a nanny state?

Ban on Pub Crawls Brewing on the East Side

My comments:

Stay tuned.  The outcome of this issue could have ramifications for all NYC bar crawls, regardless of the neighborhood.

What are your thoughts on this proposed ban?  Share your take here.  I look forward to hearing from you!'s brief commentary on Drinking Made Easy's NYC visit


Here’s a great video that I saw earlier today.  From the Drinking Made Easy folks, this video profiles two Manhattan bars, Exchange Bar & Grill and Ear Inn.  The former has a very cool drink price change feature based on demand of that particular drink, while the latter is one of the oldest in the city.  The Ear Inn is a stop on my one of my favorite NYC bar crawls, the Old NYC pub crawl!

What do you think of this video and the two bars it profiles?  Please share your comments here.

Harlem Brewing Company to construct a brewery in Harlem

The following article is from, written by Sally Goldenberg.

An economic renaissance is brewing on Harlem’s 125th Street.

Mayor Bloomberg yesterday announced deals to redevelop two long-neglected sites on the commercial corridor, including a $100 million project that will include a new brewery, tap room and brewing museum.

The Harlem Brewing Company, which now brews its Sugar Hill Golden Ale upstate, will build a new brewery at the site of the old Taystee Cake bakery. And the company will turn its roof into a hops farm, where it will grow the essential ingredient for ale and beer.

In a separate project on 125th Street, city officials announced a deal yesterday to redevelop the landmarked Corn Exchange building at the corner of Park Avenue. Developers will restore the base of the building and build six additional stories for office space.

The two projects are expected to create 1,100 construction and permanent jobs.

My comments:

A large brewery to be built in Manhattan!  This is great news and I am very excited.  Including Manhattan’s two brewpubs (Chelsea Brewing Company at Chelsea Piers and Birreria), I see a brewery NYC bar crawl on the horizon!

What do you think about this forthcoming addition to the NYC brewery scene?  Please share your thoughts here.'s review of Birreria

Seeing the brewing tanks soon after the elevator ride up showed some promise for Birreria.  The tanks are the first thing you see as you enter the area.  This is now the second place that brews its own beer in Manhattan (Chelsea Brewing Company at Chelsea Piers is the other, Heartland Brewery has been brewing in Brooklyn for over a decade.  Hopefully more brewpubs will open in Manhattan and we can have ourselves a brewpub NYC bar crawl).  Past the brewing tanks and up a few more stairs, you’ll find a long bar on the left and the main restaurant area in the middle and right of the space.  There is a retractable greenhouse-like roof to cover the space in less-than-ideal weather.


This is definitely not a beer garden in the sense of most of the other beer gardens that are proliferating around the five boroughs.  No communal tables.  Mostly, the tables are two or four seaters with place settings, with a few larger round tables toward the east end of the space.  You would be fairly accurate to describe this rooftop space as an Italian tapas restaurant that brews its own beer.  Despite being a rooftop, there is not the 360 degree view that you find at some other rooftop establishments nearby in this Midtown South nabe.  You can see the top of the Empire State Building to the north as well as the Metlife and Flatiron buildings to the east, but that is about all.


Currently, Birreria serves three cask-style house brews, in addition to a mix of beers from Dogfishhead, Victory and a few imports.  I ordered a cask IPA and cask Pale Ale.  I am not a huge cask fan, but these two beers were very good.  It sounds as though the three casks will rotate fairly frequently.  The price comes in at a lofty $10 for these house brews served in a 20 oz pint glass.  That’s a bit pricey, even for Manhattan standards.

In closing, I would say Birreria is definitely worth a visit, but carefully pick your time to go.  If you try a weekend afternoon or evening, you will be waiting for a table for at least 45 minutes (even a seat at the bar will likely put you on a waitlist; but while you wait, you can spend time in Eataly).  While the beer is good and the space looks nice, it’s not worth waiting too long for.

Pictures to follow in a future blog post.  What do you think of Birreria and my commentary?  Have you been yet?  Please share your thoughts here.