Bar Spotlights Grub/Spirits — 11 January 2013
Fat Cat-West Village: Drink Here Now 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’s “Drink Here Now.”

Fat Cat
75 Christopher St, West Village, Manhattan
Getting There: A, B, C, D, E, F, M to West 4th Street

Remember when you were a kid, heading down to your friends wood paneled basement to play some pool or mess around at the ping pong table, before you realized it could be used for beer games? Sure, you do. They are great memories. But have you ever done all of that at the same bar? The West Village’s Fat Cat has been the place to play virtually every table game while getting your drink on at the same time. And guess what? It’s in a basement too! The “Drink Here Now” crew made our way to this popular multipurpose venue to let our hair down before going out to dinner. For the most part, it was a relaxing experience. But there are certain things everyone must know in order to have a fully solid time. 

It was shortly after 6:30pm when we made our way down the stairs into Fat Cat. The first thing all guests need to know is there is a cover charge set for all times. It may only be $3 but it’s just slightly odd to have it before peak hours. Without any fuss we paid our way in and hit the bar. Piped in jazz music filled the space as the patrons ordered from the reasonably sized bar and while the nightly live band was setting up. It was about seventy percent packed but the bartenders moved briskly. Our group ordered cans of PBR at just $3 a pop, but any craft beers on tap are well priced at $6. After a few cheers and hearty gulps of the canned ale we inquired about getting a billiards table. Yet, for some reason during this early hour they were all spoken for. It was a bit of a let down but we didn’t let that effect our stay.

An open table was available that also doubles for playing board games like Chess, Scrabble, etc. so we grabbed it up. It was a cool sight to chat and watch people playing around us even though we were just spectators. After a few minutes more of the piped in music, an actual jazz band took to the staging area and began to fill the room with easy to enjoy fusion-style jazz. Jazz may not be our cup of tea, but it works when you just want to hang out and talk to your friends. Fat Cat has been around this long for a reason. They found a way to tackle all of these separate nightlife markets and put it all under one roof, and/or basement. Hopefully next time we can get a table!

Bar Type – Table sports bar to the max. They got your shuffleboard, billiards, ping pong and board games! Just don’t forget about the fully stocked bar and regular jazz shows.

When to Visit – Our crew visited during the week, just after regular happy hour time. The place was less packed but all the table games were spoken for. The lesson is get their early!

Value – Happy hour is in full effect during its scheduled slot. But if you want a no B.S. value you should opt for cans of PBR while you “Ace” your friends in Ping Pong.

The Lowdown – NYU Students, the after work crowd and local West Village residents have been haunting this place for years. It is literally one of the few places in NYC where you can play every basement style game you enjoyed growing up while getting your drink on.

- Alex Corrine

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