Bar Spotlights Grub/Spirits — 29 November 2013
Aspen Social Club- Times Square: 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.”

Aspen Social Club
157 West 47th Street near Seventh Avenue, Times Square
Getting There: B,D,F,M to 47th-50th Streets- Rockefeller Center; N,Q,R to 49th Street

It’s not always easy to find a comfortable haunt near Times Square that doesn’t include a full arcade, a chain restaurant or a place that has many of the tacky qualities that make touristy spots so attractive for out of towners. But slightly off the path of the bright Broadway lights sits a spacious, first floor bar that is comfortable despite being just steps away from the bustle of insane foot traffic. It’s Aspen Social Club and it sits adjacent to the lobby of the Night Hotel Times Square, sporting a lodge like interior and a totally unique drinking experience.

The first thing you’ll notice upon entering the bar is its cabin feel. With old barn wood lining just about every square foot of the main bar and lounge area- replete with a mounted deer head and antlers- the spot is especially appropriate in colder months. Beyond the main area, the space is arranged so that every nook and cranny can host a small table before heading to the back room for more intimate table seating, surrounded by mirrors and a makeshift fireplace beneath the back bar area. Although you might expect to be served some wintry beers inside, Aspen Social Club is a bit more modernized and upscale than that misconception would imply.

Meanwhile, the menu seems to be as authentically catered to Colorado as possible, what with the “Slow Cooked Colorado Chili” ($6), the “Grilled Rocky Mountain Pork Chop” ($24), and the “Bison Sliders” ($13) being some of the more traditional style fare that you’d expect to find in this setting. The cocktails at $14 are frankly not really a steal, although they are particularly tasty. Our party went wild for the “Blueberry Mint Margarita” and the surprisingly tasty “Savannah Old Fashioned” which offered a hint of peach with every kick-laden taste. But there’s some real value with Happy Hours that last until 11pm on weeknights, offering up beers for $5 and discounted wines and cocktails.

The Rundown

Bar Type - A unique space that doubles as a lounge, restaurant, and cabin styled bar.

When to Visit – The bar definitely gets packed during late night- they may even offer bottle service- but the afterwork crowd dictates weeknight visits. Happy Hour specials are solid and competitive even though being so close to Times Square would normally dictate higher price points.

Value - The cocktails are tasty, but you’d be best served to stop by on Wednesday when they’re discounted or Thursday nights for $5 margaritas. $30 beer buckets aren’t much of a steal, but you could do worse than $5 per beer.

The Lowdown – There’s a truly cozy feeling inside of Aspen Social Club. From the taxidermy to the wooden surroundings to the fireplace, everything here feels like a ski lodge setting, sans bulky jackets and equipment. There are only a few places that are seasonally distinctive and this is certainly one of them. Just as the weather begins to get colder, make your way over to Aspen Social Club to warm yourself up.

-Alex Corrine

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