Bar Spotlights Grub/Spirits — 12 April 2013
Whiskey River- Murray Hill: 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.”

Whiskey River
575 2nd Ave, Murray, Manhattan
Getting There: 6 to 33rd Street

As you know, the “Drink Here Now” crew loves beer in bulk. It’s our thing. That is why we make it a point to seek out joints that can fill us up without hurting the wallet. One joint that borders the neighborhoods of Murray Hill and Kips Bay satisfies this need and much more. It’s Whiskey River, a southern themed lodge style watering hole. Sounds like a mouthful right? But when you walk through the wooden door and into the large space you will instantly become a fan of it’s charm and value. The crew and I were in the area on a weekday to check out a movie across the street at the popular Kips Bay theater and wanted to do some pre-show drinking like we have done several times before.

At the time of our visit the after work crowd was just arriving, but we were able to secure a few seats at the small yet, ornately designed wooden bar. The bar literally looks like it was carved from a massive tree and dropped right in Midtown Manhattan. If you love cheap brews or just want to save money, look no further than these buckets of beer. Patrons have a choice of buckets stuffed with brews like Pabst Blue Ribbon, Rolling Rock or Natural (Natty) Light for right around $15. As per usual we opted for PBR and laid the money down with ease. And nothing goes better with cheap beer than rock music. Luckily the “River” runs hot with a loaded jukebox filled to the brim with choice cuts from The Rolling Stones all the way to ’80s bar favorites. But if you’re extra nice to the bartender he might play a few deep rock cuts from his iPod to really let you kick back in style. 

Most of the charm from Whiskey River comes from the abundance of things you can do while you drink down ales. Post-frat brothers and sisters can enjoy massive games of Beer Pong that can sometimes go into the late evening hours. The faux-living room space and porch in the back boasts an extremely relaxing place to play some darts or catch the game on one of many flat screen HDTV’s. During the warmer months smokers can head to the small outdoor area to take in the evening sky. In an area that is often associated with meat market style bars, Whiskey River has their act together providing customers with an honest nightlife experience without any of the lame bells and whistles thrown in. They keep it simple and because of that the “Drink Here Now” crew is a lifetime fan! 

Bar Type – Southern hunting lodge themed dive bar. It’s fusion of bar themes provides a good deal of fun for any casual drinker. 

When to Visit – Weeknights are perfect for a trip to Whiskey River. The space is rather large providing a ton of room to sit, stand or play beer pong with your friends or frat brothers!  

Value – Cheap beer is “Whiskey’s” calling card. Patrons will enjoy overloaded buckets of  brews like Pabst Blue Ribbon, Rolling Rock or Natural (Natty) Light for right around $15. 

The Lowdown – Whenever the “Drink Here Now” crew is in the Murray Hill area, a stop to Whiskey River is mandatory. Nothing beats the laid back vibe of a bar that offers great music, tons of space, cheap beer and drinking games like Beer Pong to make any day of the week amazing. If that’s not enough, they are directly across the street from a movie theater providing one of the best pre-games around. 

-Alex Corrine

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