Bar Spotlights Grub/Spirits — 18 October 2013
Local West- Midtown West: Drink Here Now

Our correspondent vowed to have a drink at every single bar in Hoboken and did so successfully with Spirits in the Sixth Borough.” Every Friday morning, we’ll pick up where he left off, showing you distinctive bars in each New York City 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 as you gear up for the weekend. You can follow our sudsy travels every week with’s “Drink Here Now.”

Local West
1 Penn Plaza at Eighth Avenue, Midtown West
Getting There: A,C,E,1,2,3 to 34th Street – Penn Station

Drink here now. No seriously, before it gets way too cold outside, drink here now! Local West has for years been one of the finest spots to imbibe in the proximity to Madison Square Garden and Penn Station. It’s always busy for the after work crowd and is sufficiently swarmed every game day, but the best reason to visit is for the place’s open air roof. And the space heaters can only keep that setting warm for so long.

The bar itself is slightly more upscale than anything nearby on Eighth Avenue and despite the construction, there’s something special about being a stone’s throw from the Garden. The primo spots are located upstairs where more than a dozen tables surround a half-circled bar and the beer list offers a bunch of different options. With open air and some decent food though, you’re still in the thralls of midtown and as such, the propensity for out-of-towners, tourists, and bridge and tunnel folk is unnecessarily high.

Downstairs, the space is strewn with televisions and tables but is slightly on the smaller side as far as traditional sports bars go. That said, it does have a slight lounge feel to it when seated in the main bar or when ascending the steps to the garden patio. About a dozen padded stools line the long bar for more informal seating or for chatting one on one with the bartender during the slower hours. The menu meanwhile is outfitted with more traditional bar food- from burgers and sliders to wings and salads- much of which is serviceable but nothing stands out as a ‘must try.’ With Local, you get what you make of the trip- head over when the weather is nice with a group of friends and kick back on the patio. Or have a few pops before hopping back on your train or to the Knick game. Just enjoy the experience while you still can. It’s almost November for cryin’ out loud.

The Rundown

Bar Type - An smallish American sports bar that also sports a rooftop patio.

When to Visit – Anytime you find yourself near Penn Station really. After work. On weekends. More of a circumstance of your geography rather than a place to seek out, but there’s nothing wrong with that.

Value – There’s some happy hour deals until 7pm, but if you’ve got a job, you’ll be hard pressed to make it in time. After that, it’s pretty much in line for the beer and cocktail prices of the area. And while there are words I would use to describe the prices, cheap isn’t likely to be one of them.

The Lowdown -Local is an ideal spot…if you find yourself nearby. The food, nor the prices, nor the bar itself are really cause for heading across town to visit per se, but we have had countless trips in and around the Garden, shopping at Macy’s, or just strolling updown from Chelsea where we’ve seeked out a decent spot or a place to sit outside. Alas, the weather be warm, the beer be plentiful, and Local be where ye should drink right now!

-Alex Corrine

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