LocalBozo.com correspondent Link Cromwell vowed to have a drink at every bar in Hoboken before running the 2011 New York City Marathon. With every bar visit in the “Sixth Borough” now completed along with a successful race now finished, it’s time to reel our reporting back toward the City. And as such, every single Friday we’ll be taking over where Link left off, showing you distinctive bars in each borough perhaps for the very first time, perhaps to refresh your memory of a fun place you’ve ducked into, or perhaps to suggest a new spot for you to check out. You can follow our travels as we approach each weekend on Friday mornings with LocalBozo.com’s “Drink Here Now.”
Hop Devil Grill
129 St. Marks Place, East Village, Manhatan
Getting There: F to 2nd Avenue
Drink Here Now: Hop Devil Grill
In the New York City bar scene it is virtually impossible to have your cake and eat it too. For example, you can’t duck into most dive bars and get craft beer. Furthermore you can’t go into most sports bars without getting a frat house attitude. But a trip down to the southern side of St. Marks Place brings you to “Hop Devil Grill,” a customer friendly multipurpose bar located in the thick of the East Village’s most popular block of streets. Apart from the after work Happy Hour, many of you think hitting the bars only makes sense as a weekend activity. Well your buddy Alex is here to tell you that is simply rubbish. “Hop Devil” is your weekday bar.
During the middle of the week, our drinking crew was bouncing around Avenue A seeking a middle of the road venue for drinking that satisfied that evening’s cravings. The criteria for this was a place that had space to sit at the bar, Happy Hour specials, and some solid rock music either on a Jukebox or being played by the house. Quickly after rounding the corner of St. Marks Place we came upon “Hop Devil Grill” a bar that I had only visited in passing previously. Once inside, we literally checked off everything on that evening’s bar list. This was the joint for imbibing and we waited no time discussing it and grabbed seats right away. The bar area is medium in size, with all seats facing the front of the beer taps. Personally, I feel this is the way to go when it comes to selecting beers. Patrons can see all the taps and help a busy bartender in the selection process. “Hop Devil” may seem like an East Village dive but they break this mold by having a highly impressive craft beer list, all reasonably priced. At an average price of $7 a beer, guests can enjoy pints of Lagunitas, Avery, Bear Republic, Blue Point, and so much more. As a fan of craft brews I was thrilled to see such an extensive selection. But on this Wednesday night we were in the mood for some easy drinking, yellow fizzy brews.
The friendly bartender quickly informed us that dive bar favorite, Pabst Blue Ribbon was $1 a mug that night. I can honestly say that most bars are not this friendly when it comes to beer prices. Many joints use the hipster street appeal of PBR and jack up the price. “Hop Devil” knows value and pours mugs of this working class brew cheaply and with a smile. As we ripped through several glasses, we chatted with surrounding patrons. The bar-grill extends this value and fun attitude beyond the beer. Taco Tuesday’s pack the joint in on a weekly basis allowing revelers to combine brews with this handheld Mexican favorite. And if that isn’t enough, the pub also participates as a stop during many popular themed “Bar Crawls.” So plan ahead, grab some friends or a cheap date and head over. Well maybe if you want a second date feel them out first.
Bar Type – Craft beer bar with a dive bar feel. Hop Devil Grill is a hybrid pub like none other.
When to Visit – Weekdays are simply the best time to stop in.
Value – Few places actually charge the true price for a mug of Pabst Blue Ribbon. Hop Devil stays true to this working class style beer by charge $1 for mugs on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. If that’s not enough on Tuesdays well, it’s Taco Tuesdays!
The Lowdown – Age is definitely an issue when going out in the East Village. If you are not a recent college grad you may feel out of place at times. At Hop Devil, their laid back attitude and wide selection of craft beer helps them to draw a highly diverse crowd. Between some killer food, craft brews, cheap PBR and a ton of other deals, they have this highly trafficked side street on lock down.
- Alex Corrine