90 Greenwich Ave New York, NY 10011-7744 (212) 741-5279. For a couple of years after I first moved here, I used to walk past this place and think, 'that would be a good place to spend all day in.' I kicked myself when I finally ventured in - Johnny's Bar is one of New York's few remaining true dive bars. Visit after midnight to bustle with a crowd of frat boys, drunken blondes, music-hipsters, fire fighters and fairly dodgy looking hustlers. It's tiny but everyone manages to find a stall somewhere. I particularly like the chalkboard that lets you buy a drink for a friend you missed. Cheap and cheerful. A final stop before bed.
Corner Bistro, 331 W 4th St (off 8th Ave) (212) 242-9502 - I was surpised to find that I hadn't written about this instituition before but then again maybe I remembered why. The place is an old locals pub crammed with anything but. Crammed with lots of people lining up to be eat the places great burgers in the back room.
It's a nice gaff, miserable bar staff - perfect if it wasn't for the crowds. Worth the 30-45 minute wait (each night)? Not for me - but if you get the chance, dash in to the gap at the bar, order the Bistro Burger for take out and sup a quick McSorleys.
Brass Monkey- Little West 12th (btwn Washington & the West Side Highway) - Huge new wood panelled hall created for the enjoyment of a good drink. Large global beer selection. The Brass Monkey is good looking haunt that reminds me of a modern decent Irish/London pub and is a welcome change to the current crop of unimaginative neo-space-age bars around the corner (e.g. Highline).
Right now you can even take your pint outside the front for a cigarette. Very reasonable menu that includes Fish & Chips and Bangers & Mash. I fear that in 2 months this place will be swamped and unbearable like the rest of the area (except the great Passer By). Sept 23 '04
Update Feb 12 2005: Stay away on Saturday nights. The mob is in town. You'll be lining up outside for 30 minutes to enter an over-crowded space filled with folk who venutred far to be here.
Update Feb 17 2005: Thursday nights are busy but maintain the right mood. OK, it's not a 'trendy bar' but it's lively and has a decent pint. The barman even got me a free one on his round!
Update Feb 23 2005: Wednesday nights: perfect for that pint with a coupla mates.
Guy's Diary posts about Brass Monkey
FRI 9th JULY : SHINE BRASS MONKEY SHINE
WEDS 14th JULY: WATCH THE BRASS MONKEYS
WED 11th AUG : GOOD AND BAD IN ONE DAY
THUR 12th AUG : DEFINITION OF A LADS NIGHT OUT
THUR 7th OCT : POPCORN
Stuff's NYC Bars
April's issue of Stuff magazine features two hall-of-fame dive bars in NYC:
Johnny’s Bar at 90 Greenwich Ave. in Manhattan -- The place is so small, you’ll practically be wearing women. Cute, just-out-of-college chicks come to drink the $5 shot-of-Beam-and-bottle-of-Rheingold special from noon to 7 P.M.
Sweet Up’s at 277 Graham Ave. in Brooklyn -- Owner Benjamin Shih demands that his staff pours stiff drinks and encourages binges. "We have obscene levels of hooking up," says Shih.
Look for the neon sign - Spring Street (btwn Washington & West Highway)
The Ear Bar is one of the oldest pubs in the city - found on Spring St and close to the river. Cosy, warm, an old fisherman's pub with good grub: burgers, pastas, fish. When it was built in 1817 it was only 5 feet from the river now it's 300! However it’s still dark and dingy, full of old sea dog-type and carnivalesque characters.
UPDATE FEB 9th: Ear Bar remains simply unchanged. A great place to meet friends or just sit on your own. Careful with the shots! Also - smoking with your drink allowed out front.
New York's Oldest Pubs
7 Rivington (&Bowery) 212.253.7077 - A dozen German brews on draft, another dozen in bottles. Beer garden out back but I wouldn't go for the food in the brightly lit back half of the bar.
18th Street, just north of Union Square - Great 113 year old boozer unchanged by progress. Old Town possesses a great NYC style long, long bar with huge mirrors staring over the standing crowd and the lucky few seated in the antique booths. Maybe for discerning tastes / people who like old gothic bars. Beautiful to me but maybe just for one or two - just to see the place.
Guy's Diary Posts About Old Town
Thur 28 Oct : More Brits
Smith Street, Cobble Hill - a good long narrow dimly lit drinking den with no name on the door (the door is metal with three slant windows in it - that's all i can say).
Perfect for a beer or two. A great juke box and chance to let your hair down. Beware of roving gangs of British fashion industry girls.
Guy's Diary posts about The Boat
SATURDAY 10th JANUARY : STRIKING ROCK BOTTOM
Alternative Pub Ideas from www.manhattanusersguide.com/
1. Blind Tiger Ale House, 518 Hudson [10th] 212.675.3848. Over two dozen draught micros. March 10: 5 on draft from Colorado's New Belgium brewery.
2. Brewsky's, 41 E. 7th [2nd/3rd] 212.420.0671. A dozen on tap, over 170 bottles.
3. Burp Castle, 41 E. 7th [2nd/3rd] 212.982.4576. A dozen on tap, over 170 bottles.
4. d.b.a., 41 1st Ave. [2nd/3rd] 212.475.5097. Over a dozen on draft, plus three hand-drawn cask ales.
5. Ginger Man, 11 E. 36th [5th/Mad] 212.532.3740. Sixty or so brews on tap.
6. Loreley, 7 Rivington [Bowery] 212.253.7077. A dozen German brews on draft, another dozen in bottles. Tasting March 19th of special German beers, plus full dinner.
7. Waterfront Ale House, 540 2nd [30th] 212.696.4104 and 155 Atlantic [Clinton/Henry] 718.522.3794. Twenty on tap.
229 E 7TH St & Avenue C, New York, NY, 10003, (212) 598-1098 - German indoor beer garden on the East Edge of the village: Ist Gut! A great range of Weisse beers, pilsners and other beers on tap. Food too: mustard potato salad, a classic weiner schnitzel or sweet red cabbage and schweinsbraten. Beers come in small, medium and Steins.
You know what sort of night you'll have if you go here. Can get a little loud. Think it shows the soccer too, call to find out.
6 at Astor Pl; F at 2nd Ave
3 Bleeker Street (and Bowery), East Village/Noho Hip, candle lit bar normally playing chilled urban beats: Long bar to lounge along, cozy tables to rendevous at and another whole room to hang en masse with too!
Easy to get sucked in to Von all night long. Well worth starting an adventure around East Village from here - or rounding off the evening too.
Best bar in town, possibly.
Guy's Diary posts about Von
WED 17th MAR: VON CURRY