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
29 2nd Ave, (Btwn 1st & 2nd Street) (212) 777-9660 - Now here's an interesting bar. It's everything you imagine New York's underground scene to have been like in the 70s or 80s. Dark, dingy, dubbed with graffiti, plastic cups, smoking, meat-market, everyone on party tricks, dressing up wild, long line for the single toilet, guys dressing the same (if different colors), random music, random people. Recommended for that night out in New York's gutter.
NB Some nights are gay nights (1979 on Sundays).
Guy's Diary Posts About The Hole
SAT 15th MAY : THE HOLE NYC
191 Orchard Street (off Houston) - 212 982 4770 - If you ignore the 'Turkish-Techno' decor in the inside of this spacious restaurant and make your way through to the back, you'll find a medetranian-style courtyard (with fountain/ ignore overshaddowing tenement blocks).
The food is supposed to be great - but great place to hang when the sun shines, smoke cigarettes (courtyard only) and drink Hoegardens.
Guy's diary posts on Cafe Lika
THURS 29th APR : OASIS THEN DESERT
Bar & Books
c/o Hudson & Horatio, West Village - It's a bit up its arse, but this small cubby hole looks like a gents club, still has a smoking license, and plays Bond films on the TV. Great turkey club sandwich.
In the winter it can get a little too fumy inside as the cigar crowd puff away - but in the summer, you can lounge on the pavement chairs and sup away.
Still need a local puff?
Try the patio at the Maritime Hotel, 9th Ave
Visit the balcony at Park on 10th Ave
Pop out back after a dance at Cielo, Little West 12th
Eat and fume in the back garden at Paradou, Little West 12th
Where to go before or after Bar & Books
A place to meet if you plan to eat is Bivio across the road.