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.”
220 West Houston Street near Varick Street, West Village, Manhattan
Getting There: 1 to Houston Street
Drink Here Now: The Brooklyneer
The “Drink Here Now” crew was on a bit of a bar crawl on a recent Saturday. Therefore this week’s entry into my critiqued tour of NYC’s best watering holes places us directly next to Houston Hall from last week’s edition. It’s rare that a Manhattan bar would ever choose to import the culture outside of its own borough and create a bar out of it. But with The Brooklyneer, it seems New York City is now breaking out of this mold. With parkas fully zipped we headed a mere ten feet down the road and headed inside one of the hippest bars this side of Houston Street.
At the time of our visit it was mid-afternoon and the dimly lit bar was nearly packed with those enjoying a late brunch or gathered with groups of friends for some weekend reveling. A few families and twenty-somethings filled the tables which line the space’s perimeter. Having eaten earlier, we opted to sit at the bar and order a few specialty drinks. The bar space had a very rustic feel to it, and is much longer than the space would indicate, running almost the entire length of the walkway immediately upon enterting. We opted to sit on the service side of the bar to get a full feel of the space. Ornate wallpaper and art fills the extremely warm place, thus making it a perfect winter respite or cool summer shady getaway. After taking in the surroundings we motioned to the bartender who appeared to have been plucked directly from Williamsburg’s best pubs and dropped in the middle of the West Village.
Since we weren’t in any hurry, we took our time to get settled in and enjoy the cozy surroundings as we went over the menu. And because of The Brooklyneer’s generally laid back vibe, I went for a classic Manhattan made with a bourbon chosen at the bartenders discretion. It was both quite boozy and sweet, a perfect match if I do say so myself. Instead of a typical stirrer stick, a paper straw was added for mixing giving the drink a truly classic feel. As a group we indulged in our new favorite drink- “Pickle Back Shot.” To those of you not in the know, a pickle back involves taking a shot of house whiskey or Jameson followed by a shot of pickle juice. It may sound gross to some, but the sourness of any pickle juice will make any brown liquor shot go down with ease. Since The Brooklyneer is one to not cut corners, their pickle juice appears to come from a local artisan variety. Even though we barely scratched the surface on their vast drink menu, and didn’t even try a bite of the food we know that our imbibing crew will be making another visit to Manhattan’s take on NYC’s most popular borough.
Bar Type – Laid back mixology based cocktail and craft beer bar touting itself as a Brooklyn import to Manhattan.
When to Visit – Saturday in the afternoon they are smack in the middle of their brunch rush and the place is nicely busy. The bartenders are less busy at this time and more apt to spend time with your group to go over the menu. But we’ve also been there on a weekend night, and it’s equally as energetic.
Value – You won’t find cheap brews or well drinks here, especially during our visit. When you visit The Brooklyneer you are paying for the scene and that is fine by us when we are in the mood.
The Lowdown – Sure, you’re not really in a Brooklyn bar but this newcomer to the local cattle call of bars is giving other mixology based, craft beer-centric establishments a run for their money with an outstanding selection of cocktails.
- Alex Corrine