Monthly Archives: July 2012

Summary of pub crawling in NYC this past weekend

It wasn’t Manhattan’s Financial District, it ended up being the Village in Manhattan and the North Side of Williamsburg in Brooklyn.  Saturday started with The Wren and continued with Jimmy’s No. 43, The Central Bar, Kettle of Fish and Barrow Street Ale House.  All great spots, especially Jimmy’s and Barrow Street, both candidates for a craft-beer focused NYC pub crawl.  Sunday, Pub Crawl NYC crossed the East River to explore a few recently-opened joints including The Bellwhether (in the former Royal Oak spot), Kent Ale House and The Ides Bar.  A few words on the Ides Bar: If you like rooftop bars, then you must, repeat MUST visit this spot.  The Ides Bar, located at 80 Wythe Avenue (at North 11th Street) offers 360 degree views of Brooklyn, Queens AND Manhattan.  The bar is located only on the 6th floor, but because Williamsburg does not have many buildings above that height (not yet, anyway), you can see for miles in every direction at this place.  Pub Crawl NYC can’t wait to visit again.

What are your thoughts on these spots?  We want to hear from you!

A visit to Alewife in Long Island City, Queens

Alewife opened in late 2011 and is a solid craft beer bar in the Long Island City section of Queens, located at 5-14 51st Avenue (in the old Lucky Mojo space).  One block south and one block west of the Vernon-Jackson 7 train stop (which is just one stop east of the Grand Central Terminal), Alewife offers 28 quality tap beers and another three dozen or so bottled beers.  The spot is bi-level.  Opposite the main bar area on the first floor are 6-7 high-top tables that fit 4-6 patrons.  A long, non-hightop communal table resides toward the back of the lower level.

Upstairs is a small lounge area and some more tables for parties of 4-6 patrons.  There’s also a small outdoor patio upstairs (that was not open during our visit).  The food menu, currently experiencing some upgrades, consisted of mostly pizza and burgers, along with a few appetizers.  If there were more places like it nearby, Alewife would certainly be the anchor spot for the Long Island City craft-beer NYC bar crawl.


A view from just inside the entrance
The delicious tap beer selection

What are your thoughts on Alewife?  We want to hear from you!

A brief visit to two new spots in Manhattan's Hell's Kitchen

Due to other commitments, Pub Crawl NYC wasn’t as enterprising when it came to bar hopping this weekend as we had hoped.  This weekend, we visited two recently-opened spots in Hell’s Kitchen: Fast Eddies and Mickey Spillane’s.  Fast Eddies is located at 47th Street & 10th Avenue (southwest corner) and Mickey Spillane’s is located at 49th street and 9th Avenue (southeast corner).  A more detailed review will be forthcoming.  Suffice to say, both have a sort-of neighborhood bar feel to them (maybe Fast Eddies more than Mickey Spillane’s).  Each has a good craft beer selection on tap.

Where to pub crawl in NYC this weekend?

Pub Crawl NYC is pondering in which neighborhood to bar hop this weekend.  Last weekend, we hit a few spots in the South Williamsburg section of Brooklyn and the Upper West Side in Manhattan.  We haven’t visited Park Slope in Brooklyn or the Lower East Side in Manhattan in a while, so maybe those will be our top candidates.  If you have any suggestions, please share your thoughts with us!

Some photos from a recent crawl in Manhattan's East Village

Gramercy Park Bar, located at 322 Second Avenue (between 18th and 19th Streets).

This spot used to be Three Steps is now a neighborhood/sports bar. Laid back and chill.

Kingston Hall, located at 149 Second Avenue (second floor).

This address used to be a Thai restaurant. Now a fairly spacious Jamaican-themed spot offering specialty cocktails and a food menu to debut later this summer.

East Village Social, located at 126 St. Mark’s Place (between First Avenue and Avenue A).

Small, dark East Village-y type spot.

Gin Palace, located at 95 Avenue A.  It’s the same owners as Cienfuegos, which is just upstairs from Gin Palace.  Gin Palace’s layout is almost identical to El Cobre, the former occupant of the first floor of 95 Avenue A.  Pub Crawl NYC wonders why the renovation to this location took nearly one year.

Pub Crawl NYC's visit to Doyle's Cafe in Boston

When your visit to the Sam Adams Brewery in Boston is complete, take the party trolley a few blocks south to Doyle’s Cafe.  Dating back to 1882, Doyle’s is a classic Boston Irish pub as well as the starting point for the Old Boston pub crawl.  A few photos from Pub Crawl NYC’s recent visit:

Wooden booths, murals and an Irish flag. Great ambiance.
This was the first bar in the world to serve Sam Adams on tap. Today, Doyle's serves seven lines of Sam Adams, probably the most of any bar in Boston, and maybe the world.
This is the main bar area, several Boston-based movies and television shows were filmed here, including Boston Public and Mystic River.

Pub Crawl NYC's visit to the Sam Adams Brewery in Boston

Next time you’re in Boston, you must check out the Sam Adams Brewery in the Jamaica Plain section of town.  Here are a few photos from a recent visit:

The entrance to the brewery
Just inside the main entrance, numerous banners celebrate Sam Adams' victories at the Great American Beer Festival.

 Hey, look! It’s the guy from the TV commercials!

The copper kettle and tank for the first part of the brewing process
The tour participants learning about the beer ingredients
The best part of the brewery tour, aka the tasting room!

What are your thoughts on Sam Adams and brewery tours?  We want to hear from you!

Pub Crawl NYC's brief thoughts on mixed drink prices in Midtown Manhattan

Pub Crawl NYC realizes it’s not news that mixed drinks at upscale Manhattan spots can now cost well over $10.  Still though, on a recent night out at Rooftop Lounge at Renaissance Hotel in Midtown, Pub Crawl NYC learned that a Grey Goose vodka and soda drink cost $14 (see picture of bill below).  Grey Goose is not a high end vodka, probably middle range.  Considering how much ice was in the glass (see second photo below, which was taken after the drink was finished), Pub Crawl NYC thinks that this borders on the ridiculous.  Yes, there are numerous cocktail bars that charge $14 or more for artisanal cocktails.  But this vodka-soda was definitely not one of those well-crafted cocktails.  And Pub Crawl NYC is not uniformly calling out Rooftop Lounge at Renaissance Hotel on their drink prices because there are numerous other Manhattan rooftop bars that charge similar prices.  But where does it stop?  It probably doesn’t.  As long as we, the consumers, are willing to patronize these places and pay these prices, the establishments will continue to charge what they can.

The bar tab after one round. Note the $14 charge for the "cocktail", which was a plain, old vodka-soda.
This cup shows how much ice remained after the vodka-soda was finished.

What are your thoughts on this?  Pub Crawl NYC wants to hear from you!

Another night out on Manhattan's Upper East Side

Pub Crawl NYC’s last outing on the Upper East Side was so much fun, we had to return sooner rather than later.  On a recent night out, we visited three spots: Sin Bin (located on First Avenue between 58th and 59th Streets), the Honky Tonk Tavern (located on First Avenue between 63rd and 64th Streets) and Tequileria Maya (located on First Avenue between 64th and 65th Streets).

Sin Bin: This no frills Irish/Sports bar was a good spot for the 2012 Euro Cup. Picking up where State of Grace (and before that, Venus Room) left off, Sin Bin's friendly staff make this bar a worthwhile visit.
Honky Tonk Tavern offers a Texas/Southwest U.S. theme of sorts. Bar in the front third of the space, with a dining area in the back 2/3. Decent tap beer selection, but they poured a Lagunitas IPA into a frosty mug! ! Yikes! The frosty mugs are, of course, for the Lone Star and Coors Light.
To finish the evening, Pub Crawl NYC went to Tequileria Maya, which is basically an extension of Richard Sandoval's restaurant, Maya. They took a neighboring nail salon and expanded Maya's existing small bar area into a larger bar area. Nice happy hour specials on both drink ($6 Margaritas) and food ($4 tacos).