Monthly Archives: December 2012

Pondering the end of 2012 in NYC bar terms

So, here we are on the last day of the year 2012.  Looking back, it was quite a year for us in terms of number of bars visited.  We visited nearly 80 newly opened bars in Manhattan, nearly 40 newly-opened spots in Brooklyn and over a dozen of that type in Queens.  And, of course, we returned to many of our favorites and not-so-favorites over that same time period.  Perhaps our favorite new bar opening of 2012 was New York Beer Company.  We’ve written about that spot a few times already in this space.  If you’re a craft-beer fan and you haven’t been there yet, then start 2013 off right and go to New York Beer Company.

A visit to Fig 19 on Manhattan's Lower East Side

Located at 131 Chrystie Street, Fig 19 is a sort-of Speakeasy spot with a fairly difficult door.  We unlikely would have gained access had we not been there for a birthday party.  Located on the floor above the bar Home Sweet Home, Fig 19 offers cocktails in a somewhat relaxed setting (aside from the doorman and the ‘Photographs Prohibited’ sign on the entrance).  The space is mostly taken up by a bar just past the entrance with seating opposite the bar and just beyond the bar.  If you like these type of places, then it’s worth a visit, otherwise, there are plenty just like it around Manhattan and Brooklyn, without the doorman.

A visit to Flatiron Room in Manhattan's Flatiron District

Whiskey… and whiskey!  And other corn-based, alcoholic amber-colored liquids are the focus at this spot at 37 West 26th Street.  A bar and some seating and tables for standing in the main area.  Toward the back of the main room is a performance stage and then a small second story level toward the back of the space.  What catches your eye is how the place is just lined with whiskey/scotch/bourbon bottles.  Such liquids from all over the world are available at the Flatiron Room.  A nice space and we hope to bring some out-of-town guests here as it has a definite “only-in-NY” feel.

The performance stage toward the back of the main area
Part of the wall lined with amber-colored liquids

A visit to SD26 in Manhattan's Flatiron District

Located at 19 East 26th Street, SD26 is a wine bar / restaurant located on the northern edge of Madison Square Park.  We’ve visited this spot a few times now.  The spot offers a large lounge/bar area in the front half, along with a more formal dining area at the back, past the long lounge/bar area.  We did not try the food here.  The wine selection was decent, but pricey, even for Manhattan standards.  Still worth a visit.

An update on the South Street Seaport bars

As a follow-up to our post from earlier this month, it sounds as though numerous South Street Seaport bars, particularly the ones along Front Street (Stella, Nelson Blue, Bin 220, Keg 229), will be closed for several more months.  According to local community leaders, some of the historic buildings housing these Front Street bars will be under Restricted Use until March/April of 2013.  Only at that time can the whole scale renovations begin.  In the meantime, you can enjoy libations in that area at Jeremy’s Ale House and Meade’s, the two bars in the area that re-opened within a few weeks after Hurricane Sandy.

The weekend in pub crawling

We had a solid NYC pub crawling weekend.  Checked out several spots on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, including Two Bit’s Retro Arcade and Fig 19.  We’ll have brief reviews on both spots forthcoming.  We’re gonna continue bar hopping this week, as this will be our last week of bar crawling before we take our annual Christmas break.  We anticipate visiting some recently opened spots in the East Village and The Windsor in Midtown South, (yet another) upscale sports bar in the Gansevoort Hotel on Park Avenue.  As always, we’ll keep you informed on our progress.

A visit to Center Bar in Manhattan's Time Warner Center

Taking over the space that was Clo Wine Bar, Center Bar, on the fourth floor of the Time Warner Center, offers an upscale atmosphere and a place to get a drink if you’re waiting for a table at one of Time Warner Center’s many restaurants.  The main drink focus here is cocktails, both their take on classic drinks and some of their original concoctions.  Nearly two dozen cocktails are available.  Also a few bottled beers and wine by the glass.  Food menu consists of small bites.  Good spot if you happen to be in the Time Warner Center for another reason, but it’s not a destination spot for your night out.

The entrance to the bar area
The lounge area