Old Town Bar
I love how old this bar is. It is worn down by years and years and years of humanity, in its best and worst forms. The tile is beautiful and the woodwork is beautiful. You walk in and it feels a little like a time capsule, but they are also not trying to make it that way. The bartenders don’t dress like they are in 1910.
You are not coming here to drink an Old Fashioned. I am sure they make them, but it just doesn’t seem that's what they do here. Old Town Bar is a perfect day drinking spot. If you have an hour, pop in for a beer.
45 East 18th Street, New York, NY 10003
T: 212.529.6732 | www.oldtownbar.com
I don’t know how long it has been here totally, but the bartender who is here now has been here for about 17 years or more. It’s a bar that has nothing pretentious about it. It is kind of exclusive in that if I have been going for ten years and you have been going ten minutes, we are not on the same level. And we shouldn’t be. You have to earn your status as a regular.
Just order a beer, or maybe a shot of Jameson. Now they probably have Fernet Branca as well.
48 Spring Street, New York, NY 10012
T: 212.965.1774 | thespringlounge.com
McSorley’s Old Ale House
McSorley’s is a fantasy of the bars that existed in the 1920s. Joseph Mitchell wrote about McSorley's in his book called “Up in the Old Hotel.” The first chapter is all about the history of McSorely’s. People love it because they know what it was. You just have to visit it.
15 East 7th Street, New York, NY 10003
This is one of those places that I don’t really like, but I definitely appreciate it. If I am in that neighborhood, and I spend a lot of time in that neighborhood, it is certainly a place I go. They put pictures of the regulars that come here on the bar top itself. The bar is literally about the people who come here. It is super skinny and incredibly uncomfortable, but it is still dirt cheap. You still see Jimmy sometimes shuffling around.
140 West 44th Street, New York, NY 10036
The Odeon institutionalized that hip way of dining and drinking. You can’t sit anywhere in the restaurant without having a mirror in your view somewhere that shows you the rest of the room. Back in the day, they were very good at taking that it-factor and saying this is why you are here. It’s deco, the food is fine (over the years it has been better or worse), it is certainly not cheap, but it is almost decadent and not in a duck fat way. They really developed the Tribeca neighborhood.
145 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013
T: 212.233.0507 | www.theodeonrestaurant.com
Bartender Michael Neff is a bi-coastal bartender who has launched and worked at classic bars in New York (Ward III, The Rum House, and most recently Holiday Cocktail Lounge) and Los Angeles (Three Clubs and soon to be opened Clifton's Brookdale).
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