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.”
1359 1st Ave, Upper East Side, Manhattan
Getting There: 6 to 68th Street
If you’re twenty three years old or have ever lived in Manhattan at the tender age, it’s likely that you’ve been to Session 73. The Upper East Side is chock full of joints that cater to the post-college youth set who moved into town to start their lives out in a major city. Many of these bars tend to have a similar vibe to them by serving the same drinks, playing the same music and most importantly keeping the atmosphere very uniform. But make your way toward the relaxed, old school streets of First Avenue and that’s where you will discover why Session 73 is one of the saving graces of the area.
Our group headed inside the Session doors on a chilly weekday evening looking for a relaxed place to grab a few beers to end the work day. The extremely long bar gave us plenty of room to spread out without feeling the crush of the other patrons around us. Since our visit was during the work week, many of our fellow bar flies were in suits or otherwise well dressed. Don’t worry, no one was acting the slightest bit conservative. Everyone was just looking to let their hair down on this night. Once we were totally settled, the relatively young female bartender greeted us and took our drink orders. We started with pints of the Sam Adams Seasonal which was the Winter Lager at the time of our visit ($7). This highly enjoyable seasonable was made even better due to 73′s extremely clean draft taps.
The crown jewel of Session 73 is their live music. Ever since I started patronizing this joint eight years ago, the bands were the reason to be there. And since the crowd is a mixed bunch, the type of music the bands play has to be as well. A prime example of this versatility lied in the performance of The Characters, a cover style band that ripped through an arsenal of bar standards from The Beatles, The Eagles, Neil Diamond, and even New Jersey’s own Bon Jovi. I would put you to the test not to sing along to the likes of “Livin’ On A Prayer” after five or six brews. Fans of current hits will be taken care of us well since the bar has a rotating line-up of bands who love ripping through Justin Beiber and Rihanna songs at random. Although the place offers live bands on a weekly basis, Session 73 isn’t resting on that alone. The bar has a full menu featuring food as diverse as the music blaring from the speakers. Customers can enjoy everything from pizza to Mexican fare to sliders. Private parties are also one of the bar’s top draws. The bartender let us know that they are happy to cater to large birthday parties, corporate events and everything in between. So get your dance shoes on and prepare to rock at one of the Upper East Side’s finest finds.
Bar Type – Live music bar and lounge serving Upper East Side regulars for years.
When to Visit – If you want to get down and dirty with the rock n’ roll then the weekend is the obvious time for your visit. But at the same time never discount the weekdays for this huge bar’s cozy Irish pub appeal.
Value – Happy Hour here is standard and is the best way to get yourself pumped up for the cover band going on stage later that night.
The Lowdown – Listen, you can never be young again. Trust us, we have tried. The UES is chalk full of joints filled with either youthful appeal or the nostalgic memory of it. Session 73 is literally both of those ideas rolled into one. If you want to hear Sublime you will. If you want to do a funky shot, you can. Just be prepared to deal with youthful attitudes, especially if you’re young at heart but not in age.
- Alex Corrine