Bar Spotlights Grub/Spirits — 18 January 2013
Raccoon Lodge- Tribeca: 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.”

Raccoon Lodge
59 Warren St, TriBeCa, Manhattan 
Getting There: 1,2,3 to Chambers Street

 If you have ever wandered through the ritzy streets of TriBeCa you have most likely felt priced out time and time again. But if you are looking for a very relaxed vibe for imbibing spirits and reasonable prices you simply have to dig a little deeper. From the outside this week’s “Drink Here Now” appears to be a rustic outpost for local hunters and that’s just the beginning of the place’s charm. The Raccoon Lodge holds up Warren Street as one of the last remaining bars that truly defines the term “dive” in a highly romantic way. My crew is no stranger to this joint, as we have made our way here as a respite whenever we find ourselves downtown with few other options available when we’re solely looking for cheap beers in a comfortable setting.

The simple signage out front will draw you inside to the rather large, dimly lit and mostly wood filled space. They are not lying when they call this place a lodge. It feels like you have instantly traveled to the snow filled wilderness of Minnesota or some other mid-western rural state. Grab a seat with your buddies or girlfriend at one of the few tables up front, or pony up to the long wooden bar loaded with years of donated knick knacks. During our visit it was just after 9pm and the Lodge was pleasantly packed, filled up just enough to create a fantastic party atmosphere. Since we are drinkers of relatively simple tastes we grabbed some cheap bottles of Bud and Bud Light from the funny, towering bartender and started a tab that after an hour of drinking came out to about half of what we would pay just a few steps across the street.

Whenever we come here, hitting the pool table for a few games is usually the norm. But at that time of the night it had already been spoken for. Instead, we made our way toward the bar’s jukebox, which fits the setting here and is one of the best in the city. It is overloaded with killer rock music and rarities to provide a pulse pounding soundtrack for your night out. Since it is digital, it rips through song after song playing everything you paid for. We’ve yet to hit the Raccoon Lodge and have a bad night- it really isn’t possible. Whether it’s your first stop before a night out or your final destination, put on your best flannel shirt and grab your hunting hat because it’s time to grab a brew and play endless rounds of Big Buck Hunter with the ones you love.

Bar Type – Classic no frills New York dive bar located in ritzy Tribeca that happens to have one of the best jukeboxes in town. And they got a pool table too!

When to Visit – Make your way over on a Saturday in the early evening for a busy bar with a lively party vibe.

Value – This is a true blue dive bar and therefore the lion’s share of the drink list is priced below market level all week long. And that’s something we can all drink to!

The Lowdown – The Raccoon Lodge is no stranger to the “Drink Here Now” crew. We have been hitting this terrific watering hole for years simply because of a laid back atmosphere that focuses on quick customer service and plenty of fun distractions while you booze. A dive in the truest form of the word in an area of Manhattan that’s becoming deprived of them.

- Alex Corrine

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