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 LocalBozo.com’s “Drink Here Now.”
218 East 53rd Street near Third Avenue, Midtown East
Getting There: 6 to 51st Street; E,M to Lexington Avenue-53rd Street
Drink Here Now: Hudson Malone
There’s a familiar face slinging hand-crafted cocktails behind the bar at new Midtown East haunt Hudson Malone. It’s former P.J. Clarke’s bartender extraordinaire Doug Quinn, who for years and years made the bar scene at the New York burger institution more of an opportunity to catch up with an old friend than to order a drink from some employee. It’s that same familiarity that makes Hudson Malone feel like an old New York City style haunt that’s already been around for years even though it only just opened this November. And it’s a place where Quinn, the owner, wants you to feel at home.
We arrive on a weeknight right around 8pm and the bar scene is fully abuzz. After-work types in their suits and ties are occupying the surrounding tables underneath the combination of taxidermy heads and throwback posters of fights from Madison Square Garden among other locally identifiable knick-knacks set amid the tastefully old fashioned space. Toward the back of the room sits a decorated Christmas tree and a dated but functioning piano just steps away from a long communal table which looks to have been transported from a traditional dining room – lit up with candlesticks and all.
Despite the sizable crowd and the corporate holiday party taking place in the other large bar area upstairs, a cocktail bar called Siren Room, getting a drink is hardly trouble. Quinn’s been masterfully preparing drinks for years and quickly works through each order seamlessly. His rules of being a gentleman inside of a watering hole- known as Quinn’s Laws- are plastered on chalkboards around the space, lending credence to the ‘drink like a man’ ambiance that you immediately feel upon entering. As such, we eschew the cocktails and clink together our glasses of ice cold craft beers and toast to the type of brand new bar that feels old world and one that’s adds another fabric of history to the dearth of notable bars in Midtown.
Bar Type - A bar that reeks of New York and its lineage, through and through. Be it for crafted cocktails or plain old beers- Hudson Malone caters to you.
When to Visit – The bar is a hit with the after work crowd. Buzzing with patrons who look and act like they belong.
Value - While the beers and cocktails are priced in accordance with what you’re getting in the neighborhood- there aren’t many offerings of $2.50 Bud Light draughts in a place like this.
The Lowdown – If you’re in our age bracket, for some reason there’s something incredibly romantic about the nostalgia of old Manhattan- the men in tailored suits, the women seeking them out, the art of acting like a gentlemen. All of that brilliantly comes into play the minute you step inside Hudson Malone. It’s only been open a short amount of time, but there haven’t been any real kinks to speak of and it’s already become a scenester place to be in Midtown. Come for the cocktails but stay for the atmosphere, which doesn’t exist like this in many other spots- most of which have been open far longer.