As Metro’s spirits editor, T. Michelle Murphy hits a lot of bars. In this new column, in various states of sobriety, she offers her take on New York City’s finest — and foulest — alcohol-proffering establishments.
129 E. 15th St.
There's an outdoor patio and you can bring your own food. Not to blow up this place or anything, but, it'll be hard to hit Trader Joe's without at least stopping by from now on.
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Neighborhood: Union Square
Ambience: (Tuesday, 9:30 p.m.) There's a big debate on this place's Yelp page: "It's a dive bar" "It's NOT a dive bar" (we didn't say it was an exciting debate). We'll weigh in: There's this cool red awning outside, so you think you're going somewhere fancy. But inside, it's as laid-back as a dive bar, with plenty of nooks in which to hide if you're looking to talk (or get handsy). Several people were definitely on dates. Most tables left within an hour, making it seem like more of a "stop by" place than a "hangout forever" place.
Bartenders: Megan didn't let us close out our tab on a credit card because we spent $14 and the minimum was $20. She seemed cool enough otherwise, though. You know, nice smile.
Cocktails: No. This place has a "maybe dive bar" reputation to uphold! Just order a beer or whiskey coke or something, fancypants.
Food: Bring in your own! Order and have it delivered! THERE ARE NO RULES HERE (about food).
Price: ($$) Well liquor and a mixer should not be $7, this isn't Living Room at the W. We are firmly on the side of "NOT a dive bar" when it comes to the price of alcohol.
Specials: Happy hour on weekdays from 4-7 p.m. with beer ranging from $1-$4 and $4 well drinks.
Drunkenness: (+) We just had one drink and a bellyful of Maoz (from outside!) so "drunk" was not happening on this particular night.
Best bar in NYC for … meeting up with Brooklyn friends without getting on the L.
To suggest a contender for NYC’s best bar, tweet T. Michelle Murphy: @TMichelleMurphy.