Located at 215 West 40th Street, The Hudson Bond sort of feels like numerous other Midtown after-work joints. It’s not an Irish pub, so it’s not in the dime-a-dozen category in this part of Midtown, but we didn’t get any super special take-away from it. Large and spacious, Hudson Bond is part restaurant/part bar. Large bar area in the middle, with some seating in the rear and high top tables in the bar area. Friendly, helpful staff and some decent food sets it apart from some other spots in the immediate area, but probably not a place worth going out of your way for. Photos to follow in a future post.
We came across a recent article in the New York Times (full article available here: http://dld.bz/caF3R). This article discusses how a few bars opening across the United States (and beyond) plan to donate all profits to charity permanently. The article did not mention any bars in the five boroughs, though we hope this idea gains momentum and that such bars are able to keep their word. As the NY times articles mentions, it’s hard enough running a profitable business in the food/beverage industry, it’s probably even harder when profits cannot be reinvested back into the business. Here’s hoping that they succeed and that the model is copied numerous times over in the five boroughs. We can imagine a day when we do a NYC bar crawl where we hit many such pubs!
We’ve heard good things about West Soho’s Houston Hall (222 W. Houston Street). This location neighbors The Brooklyneer, which is our favorite spot in that immediate area (of course, there’s not much else right around there besides ridiculous nightclubs). In addition to Houston Hall, the Upper East Side’s The District has piqued our interest. It sounds as though it’s a gastropub/beer bar type place. The District could be a nice addition to the UES NYC beer bar crawl. We’d also like to check out Dead Rabbit in Manhattan’s Financial District. However, we understand that it’s not yet open for business. Any day now is the word. If you have any suggestions on bars to hit this weekend, please leave a comment!
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.
We had a chance to visit some new spots and some old spots this weekend. Of the new spots, we enjoyed Vanguard Wine Bar in Manhattan’s Kips Bay neighborhood the most. Solid wine selection and a heckuva cheddar cheese dip. One or two more spots like that and Murray Hill/Kips Bay will have a serious wine bar crawl on its hands. We’ll have more details of our visit in a forthcoming post. Across the street was the reliable Paddy Reilly’s, the only all-Guiness tap bar in Manhattan. Seriously, this place has eight taps (one for each letter in the word Guinness) and each tap pours Guinness. So, we just had to stop in for a pint there. Other notable spots we visited: The Windsor, Marshall Stack and Boulton & Watt.
We were able to get some bar hopping done mid-week this week. Among the places we visited were Battery Park City’s Black Hound, Midtown’s (or is it Murray Hill’s) Cash Bar and Murray Bar (these two spots are upstairs/downstairs from each other — same owners). We also visited recently-opened The Royal on Fourth Avenue in the Village (it’s not often you hear Fourth Avenue in Manhattan as an address!). We will have reviews of all these places in the coming weeks. Stay tuned.
Located at 320 West 37th Street, Concrete Bar is a bi-level joint at the western edge of the Garment District. Honestly, we don’t know what to make of the place. The eclectic crowd on both floors was being entertained by the bar’s regular Wednesday night live music, taking place on the upper level. This upper level was fairly small and seemed to be standing room only, aside from the musicians. The lower level, where the bar is, also offers some small lounge style seating. A limited bar food menu is also available. Concrete Bar has regular happy hour specials on both food and drink.
Located at 508 9th Avenue, Scallywag’s picks up where Albert Hall Tavern left off (though this address has turned over numerous times in recent years – before Albert Hall was 508 Sports Lounge, preceded by The Door). Eighteen tap beers and numerous flatscreen TVs for sports viewing. Beyond the front bar area is a small dining area up a few steps in the back. Unfortunately, the Guinness here is not nearly as good as the Guinness at Dolan’s across the street and up a block.
Located at 533 9th Avenue, Dolan’s is a small Irish Pub located in the shadow of the Port Authority building (just about directly across the street from the NYC classic dive, Holland Bar). Dolan’s features only one tap serving beer and that beer is? Guinness. We can’t remember the last Irish pub we visited that had exactly one tap. Anyway, the Guinness pour is fantastic, probably one of the better pours in all of Manhattan. The food menu features a mix of bar food and Irish classics (or, at least, Irish classics that you find in the U.S.). If there were a Ninth Avenue Irish NYC pub crawl, this would be a great addition.
Over the past several days, we’ve read of several new NYC bars that have recently opened or are about to open. There’s Dead Rabbit in Manhattan’s Financial District at 30 Water Street. This place has several different themes including whiskey and craftbeer; apparently, there’s also a small store attached to it. About to open in Kips Bay, Vanguard Wine Bar (530 Second Avenue) will be a welcomed addition to that section of town. Even though there are a few wine bars a block or two west, there’s nothing along that stretch of Second Avenue (we may now have the makings of a Murray Hill Wine Bar Crawl). Then there’s The Royal, a sports bar of sorts, at 127 Fourth Avenue (between 12th and 13th Streets). If that address sounds familiar, it’s because that address was home to The Forum and, and going further back, Pop Wine Bar. And, we still need to visit Cash Bar on East 34th Street. As always, we’ll keep you informed on our progress with these and other spots.
If you have any ideas on new spots we need to visit, please drop us a note!