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.”
17 Thompson Street at Grand Street, Soho
Getting There: 1 to Canal Street
Drink Here Now: Naked Lunch
This Bar Is Now Closed.
The dim lighting, the feel of the throwback lounge, the intricate and intimate setup- you’ll find all of this inside Naked Lunch, one of Soho‘s longest reigning neighborhood haunts in an area with a dearth of decent bars. While the space doubles as a lounge, what with its plush red couches and ample space in the back area, it’s also quite serviceable as an every evening bar, replete with a selection of competitively priced beers, to go along with the evening bottle service that the loungy atmosphere would imply.
I joined a group of my mates in the early evening weeknight hours and pleasantly stumbled upon a spacious room that gave us plenty of seating to get comfortable and catch up. Plenty of window space takes up the front of the bar which allows guests to gaze out onto Grand Street‘s hit or miss street traffic. Nevertheless, your focus should remain inside where the decor brings a dark rustic space with requisite candlelight underneath a wood paneled ceiling and walls filled with exposed brick wrapping around low to the ground seats in tables and booths nearby.
The long bar is ornately illuminated by a six light makeshift candelabra which is as eye catching as the semi-circle booth that sits in the back of the space, which is outlined by some seasonal Christmas-style lights for good measure. The bar is infectiously charming though based on the fact that it’s been around for more than two decades and because it has a very cool feeling to it, brought to light by the fact that on some nights it is so heavily frequented by an array of different guests. Add that to an eclectic musical mix from 80′s and 90′s nostalgia to downright rock anthems and it’s a difficult place to be out of your element. We plopped down for a few bottles of Abita Light ($5) and some cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon ($5) as a precursor to our dinner reservation nearby but will make sure to drop back in on a Thursday, when the place sports their best weekly specials.
Bar Type - One part lounge meets one part bar- visit at the time of your liking and get the very best of both worlds.
When to Visit – The bar is best served for weekend nights- but you can also do some damage here any weeknight- aside from Sunday and Monday when Naked Lunch is closed.
Value - Thursday is your night for value at Naked Lunch. Most canned beers will run you just $4 with Tecate, Porkslap, and some Blue Point on that list. They also run cocktail specials at $8 and glasses of Sangria at $6, so there’s plenty to imbibe on for any drinker at reasonable prices.
The Lowdown – Whether you’re looking for a distinctive bar that stands out in the neighborhood or seeking out a space that’s more than just a dive bar, Naked Lunch brings together a confluence of different drinkers into a space with a fun aura about it. Turn back the clock some and turn up the music because whether you’re sitting down with some friends on their lush lounge space or you’re docked at a barstool kicking it with the staff, there’s no shortage of likable elements here.