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.”
The Penny Farthing
103 Third Avenue at 13th Street, East Village
Getting There: L to Third Avenue
Drink Here Now: The Penny Farthing
The Penny Farthing has been jam packed just about every time we’ve walked by the spacious bar/restaurant. One of the East Village‘s most frequented haunts based on its prime Third Avenue location, the bar has much in common with its sister spots- the nearby Linen Hall and Phebe’s also in close proximity. With a rustic feel, the place is both a hub for social activity but also offers enough privacy for an intimate night out as well.
The Penny Farthing’s front bar is always busy. Always. There’s enough room for about four rows of people stacked to the gills around the long bar as well as some communal spots for high top table seating at long tables just a few steps away. The atmosphere, while always energetic, has an old world feel to it- dimly lit with candle lights, exposed brick walls outlining and array of mirror columned walls, and ancient wagon wheels fashionably strewn about the border of the space. Bar-wise, there are a collection of wooden stools pulled up to the wooden bar top that is long and comfortable and with some pop rock piped in behind the glimmer of televisions showing whatever game or talking head sports show happens to be on at the time.
Downstairs, The Penny Farthing’s speakeasy space called “PF13” is known as their party cellar. Open for spillover traffic from the main bar, the place is ideal for the upcoming run of holiday parties sure to inhabit the wood paneled space. Fortunately, The Farthing runs happy hour specials an extra hour longer than most up until 8pm on weeknights and with a selection of 14 draught beers and an additional 16 bottles at a time, most of the booze here is about half off during these hours. Not to mention, bottles of wine are reasonably priced- all of which are under $40- and the cocktails like the “Lovely Rita” with jalapeno tequila and ginger syrup and the sweet “Wild Honey” prepared with Jack Daniels’ Honey Whiskey with hints of orange, cherry, and bitters, range from $10-$12, a more than comparable price point for East Village haunts.
Typically our ‘Drink Here Now’ crew stops in just for some beers. But hunger would call on this night and as such we sampled some savory “Beef Sliders” ($11) which was perfectly serviceable given the four bulbous mini burgers that were served to us with a side of ketchup. The innovative “Portabello Banana Bread Sandwich” ($12) though, was a home run. Served on sweet thick banana bread, the goat cheese and balsamic dollop meshed well with the juicy mushroom cap and the side of egg white salad was like a healthier dose of delicious cole slaw. A couple washes of Samuel Adams ‘Winter Ale‘ later and we were back outside and on our way, having relished our first trip to The Farthing.
Bar Type - A sprawling bar that’s part restaurant with above average fare and intricate wooden decor
When to Visit – Take advantage at Happy Hour, but the place always seems to be abuzz at all times- be it at 8pm or midnight, as any walker on Third Avenue will tell you.
Value - The cocktails are moderately priced and beers run from $5-$8 during prime hours. But you’re coming here more for the scene than for cheap beers.
The Lowdown – With the wreaths now out in full swing, The Penny Farthing is seasonally decorated for the colder months. And with the space literally adorned by wood and brick, it’s got an aged cabin feel to it which relaxing despite the swarms of thirsty boozehounds inside. It’s a step up from the dingy dive bars in the area and is a place that, once you visit, will be worthy of your praise. It’s our first but not our last trip to The Penny Farthing- but it’s one where you should certainly drink at now.