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The Brazen Tavern

Opening Hours
Today: 11am–12am
Tues:
11am–12am
Wed:
11am–12am
Thurs:
11am–12am
Fri:
11am–12am
Sat:
11am–12am
Sun:
11am–12am
Location
356 West 44th Street
Location
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The Brazen Tavern 1 American Bars Hells Kitchen Midtown West Times Square

More Bars nearby

Lost Gem
Beer Culture 1 Bars Beer Bars undefined

Beer Culture

Beer Culture opened in the summer of 2013, offering beer, cider, whiskey, and bottled sodas. Customers can come in to pick up a bottle – or growler - of beer to take home, or grab a seat at the bar to chat with the friendly staff while noshing on some charcuterie. The record player behind the bar is usually going and if the owner, Matt Gebhard, and bar manager, Peter Malfatti, are around, they are bound to strike up a conversation and offer to guide patrons through their extensive beer selection. The beers are organized by region. The first door of their huge, glass-front fridge is full of beers from New York State, while the second is full of east coast beers, and the third and fourth is full of central and west coast beers. A bit further back into the room is their international fridge, proudly boasting selections from the UK, France, and three shelves worth of Belgian beers. For patrons who just want a nice, cold, familiar beer, grandpa's fridge is the place to go. Customers often mistake the old Kelvinator across from the bar as a prop and are always surprised when they open it up and realize that it works and that they recognize all of the brands inside of it. Matt included grandpa's fridge because he thinks that there is a place for all beers (except lite ones, which are not sold on the Beer Culture premises) and that some brands hold emotional value for customers. True to its name, the beers in the old Kelvinator are those that Matt had seen in his own grandfather's fridge growing up. Matt's first true exposure to beer and its culture was during a year he spent studying abroad in Belgium. When he came back home to upstate NY, Matt was nineteen and decided to pursue his newfound passion by working in a local Belgian brewery. He remained here for a few years until he met Peter, his future bar manager, who was living in Rochester, NY. Before opening their own place, Matt came to Manhattan and worked in a Belgian bar in Midtown. Although he enjoyed it, Matt told us that he wanted to do things his own way and fulfill his vision of what a bar should be. The bar that these two terrific guys opened is one that is dedicated to the simple, comfortable and unpretentious beverage that they adore. Nestled between Eighth and Ninth Avenue in a residential part of 45th Street, Beer Culture, is a hybrid bar and bottle shop offering its customers over 500 different types of beer. Although at the time of this write-up, Beer Culture had been around for less than a year, both Matt and Peter already feel like part of the block. As Matt stated, "We pride ourselves in being an establishment of beer nerds, not beer snobs. "

Lost Gem
Beer Authority 1 Bars Beer Bars Brunch American Rooftop Bars Sports Bars undefined

Beer Authority

Opened in the summer of 2012, Beer Authority has more layers than an overdressed child in winter. At street level, neon signs advertise the presence of beer inside, which frankly was enough to catch our team's attention at the end of a long day. Walking in, we found ourselves in a small bar with a sweet bartender chatting languidly with a few customers, slowly digesting their food along with the daily news trickling down from the TV. This was the quintessential local watering hole. But wait! Stairs in the corner led to a second level, and this was where the real fun began. Over one hundred craft beers are offered, or perhaps instead are celebrated, as colorful flags bearing the crests of various breweries slouch down from the ceilings atop walls likewise bearing the brands. TVs aplenty stand at the ready to convert the potential energy of beer connoisseurship into the kinetic energy of sports fanaticism. And the story (or storey, perhaps), doesn't end there. A third rooftop level opens to the sky so that beer drinkers can commune with the heavens as they sip their cherished brew. In the winter, the space is covered and has heat lamps while in the warmer months, customers can feel the city breathing. Chatting with one of the managers and the new chef, Rob Steffen, I learned that the "very" Irish owners, Joe Donagher and Eamon Donnelley have a simple concept of offering plenty of space, a vast selection of beer, and good food to accompany it. The guys explained to me that each of the three floors offers a diversity of draught beers with sixteen on the ground floor, sixty-six on the main and twenty-eight on the rooftop. The enthusiastic staff is well-educated in the world of beer, and able to speak about any of them, including the different craft beers brought in each week. Customers are invited to try up to three tastings before selecting the pint they would like, and they can always opt for a flight of beer. And, just in case one needs another incentive to check out Beer Authority, happy hour begins at 11am and continues until 7pm! The brand new menu that Chef Rob recently rolled out emphasizes the excellent selection of craft beers by infusing it into some of his recipes. There is an ale-battered fish and chip dish, house made IPA honey mustard, Porter barbecue sauce for their pulled pork sandwich and a Porter cheddar dip for their hand-rolled pretzels. In addition, there is the Authority Burger.

Lost Gem
Entryway to Friki Tiki bar Speakeasy Bars undefined

The Friki Tiki

There’s a trendy tropical paradise in Hell’s Kitchen — if you know where to look. Step through an unmarked door just steps from the chaos of 9th Avenue and down several flights of stairs and you’ll find yourself at The Friki Tiki, a hot new hangout whose beachy beverages, nightly live concerts and funky, irreverent decor is already popular with the Broadway set and in-the-know West Siders. The W44th Street space, previously Reunion Bar, is a semi-speakeasy — friendly door staff are stationed near the entry to help patrons make their way to paradise — but still exudes a hidden-gem quality once you’ve entered the disco-meets-South-Florida lounge that feels not entirely unlike an upscale nightlife version of Midtown’s famous Ripley-Grier rehearsal studios. Featuring vacation-worthy cocktails like the Aloha-Rita and hearty pre- or post-theater bites like Hawaiian sweet bun turkey Cubano sliders and sweet-and-savory candied mango-accented guacamole, Friki Tiki also puts on a nightly piano concert on its spectacularly-marqueed stage, with everything from jazz and rock nights to a weekly show tunes sing-along. Friki Tiki’s quirky-yet-inviting underground space is the work of Broadway producer and hospitality veteran Greg Nobile, designer Eamon Roche and Hell’s Kitchen restaurateur Robert Guarino, who previously ran Reunion Bar in addition to the nearby Marseille and 5 Napkin Burger. The three partners told W42ST that serendipity led them to each other and the Friki Tiki. Greg and Eamon, both from Branford, Connecticut, met through mutual friends and eventually worked together to build barbecue restaurant The Stand and The Friki Tiki's first iteration in their hometown. “We were always interested in potentially moving Friki Tiki to the city, ” said Eamon. In June of 2022, “I fielded Greg’s tri-annual request to go for a walk around the city and look for locations, ” he added. “We looked at a venue that was just horrible, ” he said, “And after we left and were walking down 9th Avenue, we saw this space. We’d been to Reunion before and loved it, and within a week we met the owners and had a handshake deal. ” Robert said the timing couldn’t have been better. “Reunion was the only one of our businesses on the block that we hadn’t reopened since COVID, and we’d been thinking about it and waiting to see what we should do, ” he said. “We had such a great run with Reunion — it was our after-work happy hour bar and we had been waiting to see if we should try to reopen or work up a new concept. Right at that moment we were approached by these two fellas and that hit it off. ” “It’s so funny, when we were about to open last week, my friend sent me a photo of us from years ago at Reunion, it seems full circle to be here now, ” said Greg. Adding to the synchronicity of the transition, “The square footage in Hell’s Kitchen is almost exactly the same as our first space, ” said Eamon. Many design touches — from the cheeky beer can ceiling in the entryway to the tarot card art, mirror wall, furniture and stuffed cockatiel that adorn the bar — have been reimagined for Hell’s Kitchen from their first location. “Everything here basically has been upcycled or recycled, ” said Eamon, pointing to the lounge’s tropical thatch, sourced from a set “rejected by Disney parks. ” Another easy decision was putting The Friki Tiki in the heart of the Theater District. Nobile, whose Broadway producing credits include, appropriately, Escape to Maragaritaville, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, Side Show, Moulin Rouge, Slave Play, Funny Girl, POTUS, Mike Birbiglia’s The Old Man and the Pool and the upcoming revival of Parade, knew that the Broadway community and Hell’s Kitchen were ready for another after-show meetup spot. “Having been in the business for 10 years, I know all the tried-and-true go-to hangs for the industry, but I felt like there was space in this world for something new — something a little bit younger and where you could fuse live entertainment, which none of the other spaces like that have, ” he said. “We wanted to cater to both the community and the fans, starting with the cast and crews — it was an obvious thing for us from the jump. ” The bar has already seen Broadway notables like Parade's Micaela Diamond and producer Rachel Sussman stop by, and some have even hopped on the mic for an impromptu song or two, including Tovah Feldshuh and Jackie Hoffman, Nick Fradiani and Alex Newell — a treat that Greg predicts will be a regular occurrence at The Friki Tiki. They plan to premiere exclusive performances from upcoming Broadway shows. “The Broadway community is amazing, and we’ve seen a lot of support early on, ” he said. “They love a stage and a microphone, and it’s not that hard to get anyone up there, which is great! ” He also hopes to bring the energy of the ever-popular Marie’s Crisis from the Village to the bar’s weekly Wednesday singalong. “It’s a wonderful place, but we think there can be more like it, especially uptown, ” said Greg. More than anything, they want the Friki Tiki to feel like a departure from the typical bar experience. “It’s a bit of escapism, which I think in today’s world is really important, ” said Eamon. And as they move forward with Friki Tiki 2. 0, Greg said that they were “excited to learn from the neighborhood and the community that develops around here — it’s always going to evolve. ” He added, “We want everything about this place to feel unexpected. You’re coming down these weird stairs and you think you’re in the wrong place, until you’re not. And then everything that happens down here is a little bit of a surprise! ” This story originally appeared in W42ST. nyc in February 2023 as The Friki Tiki Bar is Hell’s Kitchen’s Hot New Broadway and Staycation Hangout

More places on 44th Street

Lost Gem
The Chatwal New York 1 Hotels Historic Site undefined

The Chatwal New York

Located in the midst of the hustle and bustle of Times Square lies a hotel that is the perfect blend of old world glamour and modern luxury. A landmark building designed by Stanford White and finished in the early 1900s, it was originally the home of the Lambs Club, an organization of actors, reminiscent of the previous London location. Opening its doors as The Chatwal New York in 2010, architect Thierry Despont oversaw the entire redesign of the hotel. He was incredibly meticulous about maintaining as much of its past as possible while also introducing it to the sophisticated clientele of the twenty-first century. His work has included the restoration of the Statue of Liberty, The Carlyle, Claridges in London and a host of others. After admiring the attractive lobby and bar, where we sampled two of their signature drinks - the Lamb's Club Cup (cucumber, lime, fresh raspberries, ginger syrup, white vermouth, St. Germain, gin, and topped off with club soda), and the Goldrush (honey syrup, lemon juice and bourbon), we were escorted on a small tour of the guest rooms upstairs. It was evident in the Producer's suite with its private terrace and view of Times Square, that they spared no expense in each appointment of the room. The cedar-lined closets as well as the drawer and door handles were wrapped in leather. We also took note of the old movie playing in the elevators and the hallways lined with classic movie posters. Richly decadent, sleekly fashionable, and consciously sexy, the Chatwal is a quintessential midtown hotel that took into consideration every detail necessary for an extravagant stay.

More American nearby

Lost Gem
Wolfgang's Steakhouse 1 American Steakhouses undefined

Wolfgang's Steakhouse

When I mentioned to a friend that I was up to 33rd Street, she reacted immediately, "You know that this is the street that Wolfgang's is on, don't you? " I loved the description that she and her husband shared with me. "It is an old world man-cave that has incredible charm and certainly appeals to the serious eater. " Situated in the former historic Vanderbilt Hotel with magnificently tiled low vaulted ceilings, my husband and I agree that this is a splendid restaurant to dine. Wolfgang's, located in the sleek New York Times building on West 41st Street, is equally pleasant, but offers an entirely different ambiance. During the daytime, the sunlight streams in through the floor-to-ceiling windows, allowing the steaks to glisten even more as they are being brought to the tables. The businessmen in their suits still dominate during the lunch hour; however, theatergoers and tourists fill the restaurant in the evening. Wolfgang Zwiener spent some forty years digesting the world of steak by working in the iconic restaurant, Peter Luger's. Think of it this way, Wolfgang received a veritable master's degree in meats in Brooklyn, and now has earned his doctorate in his own restaurant, where he has written a top-notch thesis. When others might have chosen to slow down a bit or even to retire, he began opening his own restaurants. Over the years, I have been to the four in Manhattan, with the 33rd Street flagship location being the one where we have chosen to celebrate many special occasions. As noted, it is a favorite of friends of ours, and when I asked them to speak to me further about Wolfgang's, the immediate response was, "Personally, of all the steak houses in New York, this is the one to go to. " They went on to describe the menu as not only having excellent steaks, but they also always look forward to ordering seafood, and then brace themselves as the kitchen presents them with a seafood platter appetizer that is "utterly outrageous. " There are jumbo shrimp (my number one oxymoron) and lobster with huge pieces to devour, and thrown in for good measure, some oysters and clams. "Even if you leave the steak out of the equation, it makes for an incredible meal. " But, who can leave the steak out? According to my husband, a man who is passionate about his meat, Wolfgang gets it right every time whether he decides on a filet or a porterhouse. And I, of course, am all about the side dishes and salads, which Wolfgang continues to deliver.

Lost Gem
Joe Allen 1 American Brasseries undefined

Joe Allen

Joe Allen, founded in 1965, is the archetypal post-theater restaurant. With one of the longer histories on Restaurant Row, Joe Allen has been serving classic American cuisine in a brasserie setting since I was a little girl. I was always happy to come here with my parents and be able to order a hamburger rather than having to go out for a fancy meal. Mr. Allen - who also owns Orso, an Italian restaurant next door – had an initial concept to provide a comfortable, dynamic atmosphere with good food. And while the restaurant continues to serve some of the best comfort food around, spending time at night in the bar area, shows Joe Allen's real appeal. The high energy level from the post-theater crowd is contagious. The manager explained to us on one visit that they are the first phone call that people make after they have secured their seats for the next Broadway show. And, while he remained hesitant to divulge names, he shared how many actors and actresses have continued over the years to head immediately to Joe Allen after they perform - "here, " he elaborated "you're surrounded by theater, and we do all we can to promote that culture. " I can attest to the numerous actors who grace their tables, as I have had the pleasure of meeting a few over the years, as well as a highlight one evening when Barbara Walters sat right next to me. It is hard to say something new about Joe Allen, so long has it been a staple for theater goers. While the menu remains updated and contemporary, Joe Allen does not take any risks. Rather, it thrives on its reputation among patrons based on its long tradition of casual dining. Seeing the last of the pre-theater crowd during our visit, we were struck by how Joe Allen seemed appropriate equally for a quick burger and glass of wine in half an hour before a show, or a long, late into the night dinner where no one wants to head home.

Lost Gem
Sardi's 1 American undefined

Sardi's

A restaurant with a history to rival that of its surrounding District, Sardi's first opened its doors in 1927. In an effort to attract customers to their new location, Italian owners Vincent Sardi and wife Eugenia Pallera recalled a favorite Parisian jazz club that hung movie star caricatures as wall decor. The couple imitated the gimmick, hiring Russian artist Alex Gard to depict Broadway stars in exchange for a meal each day, a deal that was honored until Alex died in 1948. The tradition established, Sardi's became known for the drawings of Broadway's elite that peppered its walls. In the 1930's a group of great Broadway figures and newspapermen who called themselves the "Cheese Club" met at Sardi's regularly and helped catapult the restaurant into the middle of the Broadway community. Sardi's became a haven for theatrical folks and stayed open late to welcome actors, and host after-show and opening night parties. Notably, Antoinette Perry's partner, Brock Pemberton, invented the Tony Award while dining at Sardi's, an award that continues to be given in her honor each year. Though owner Vincent Sardi was born in northern Italy, the food itself is not Italian, but rather continental – a decision rumored to have been intended to disassociate the restaurant from the Italian mafia. Over the years, both the elder and younger Vincent Sardi attempted to open other locations in Manhattan and on Long Island, but they ultimately failed. Sardi's is exclusively a Theater District institution, having evolved with the area for nearly a century, and consequently becoming a major player in its development - a fixture in Broadway's world of constant change.

Lost Gem
Beer Authority 1 Bars Beer Bars Brunch American Rooftop Bars Sports Bars undefined

Beer Authority

Opened in the summer of 2012, Beer Authority has more layers than an overdressed child in winter. At street level, neon signs advertise the presence of beer inside, which frankly was enough to catch our team's attention at the end of a long day. Walking in, we found ourselves in a small bar with a sweet bartender chatting languidly with a few customers, slowly digesting their food along with the daily news trickling down from the TV. This was the quintessential local watering hole. But wait! Stairs in the corner led to a second level, and this was where the real fun began. Over one hundred craft beers are offered, or perhaps instead are celebrated, as colorful flags bearing the crests of various breweries slouch down from the ceilings atop walls likewise bearing the brands. TVs aplenty stand at the ready to convert the potential energy of beer connoisseurship into the kinetic energy of sports fanaticism. And the story (or storey, perhaps), doesn't end there. A third rooftop level opens to the sky so that beer drinkers can commune with the heavens as they sip their cherished brew. In the winter, the space is covered and has heat lamps while in the warmer months, customers can feel the city breathing. Chatting with one of the managers and the new chef, Rob Steffen, I learned that the "very" Irish owners, Joe Donagher and Eamon Donnelley have a simple concept of offering plenty of space, a vast selection of beer, and good food to accompany it. The guys explained to me that each of the three floors offers a diversity of draught beers with sixteen on the ground floor, sixty-six on the main and twenty-eight on the rooftop. The enthusiastic staff is well-educated in the world of beer, and able to speak about any of them, including the different craft beers brought in each week. Customers are invited to try up to three tastings before selecting the pint they would like, and they can always opt for a flight of beer. And, just in case one needs another incentive to check out Beer Authority, happy hour begins at 11am and continues until 7pm! The brand new menu that Chef Rob recently rolled out emphasizes the excellent selection of craft beers by infusing it into some of his recipes. There is an ale-battered fish and chip dish, house made IPA honey mustard, Porter barbecue sauce for their pulled pork sandwich and a Porter cheddar dip for their hand-rolled pretzels. In addition, there is the Authority Burger.

Lost Gem
Mother and son duo Joy Shim and Kyle Shim plan  at Green Symphony.. American undefined

Green Symphony

While the theater community (and Midtown at large) may mourn the Starlite Deli’s closure, there’s a morsel of good news for Broadway foodies — longstanding family-owned health food cafe Green Symphony has reopened. The W43rd Street stalwart was originally opened in 2003 by Jay Shim, and had remained closed since 2020 and Shim’s death. His son, Kyle, who had helped at the deli over the years, is now taking up the mantle of keeping his father’s Midtown legacy alive. Kyle’s memories of Green Symphony stretch back to 8th grade, when “the New York Times building was right next door” and people would refer to the deli as “a hole in the wall back in the day, ” he told W42ST. Tucked in between the historic Times Square Hotel building (now a Common Ground residence) and a psychic, the unassuming deli “caught traction through the course of the years, ” said Kyle. Although his father shied away from traditional marketing, he knew how to turn a dramatic moment into an opportunity – as this New York Times article about the 2003 Blackout demonstrates. Green Symphony became a Theater District household name through straight word of mouth, Kyle added, “One customer at a time, he built relationships. We ended up with a bit of a cult-like following, where we’d see customers every day. It’s been a pretty good run. ” Kyle recalled regulars lining up for the twice-weekly fresh salmon, a health food novelty in the early 2000s. He also remembered streams of industry insiders who quickly came to consider Green Symphony their mandatory between-show stop. “We’ve had a lot of actors, producers and stage crew from the theaters that we knew by name, ” said Kyle. “We've had a few celebrities come by too — I remember a while back that Daniel Craig used to come and order food from us, ” he added. “I tried to treat them like regulars. I guess I got pretty immune to being starstruck. ” Health-conscious performers made a beeline to Green Symphony, one of the first wellness-focused delis in the area. “We always try to innovate and experiment on some funky stuff. I remember my dad used to serve shots of Oregano oil to actors who wanted to cleanse their sinuses, ” he laughed. “I can't say it cures anything but they found it helpful! ”  He’d also get to see their work over the years: “I've seen lots of shows. I remember during Spider-Man, I used to get comp tickets from the customers — they would come in at the last minute and say, ‘Hey, I got a couple tickets — you want to go see the show? ’ And then I would see some of the customers onstage and be like, ‘Oh my gosh, I know that guy! ’” Some things have changed since their reopening — for example, the self-serve buffet is now staffed, “Chipotle-style”, said Kyle, but the popular salmon is back, along with newly rotating items. He added. “My dad used to say, ‘people have one tongue — we can't be serving the same stuff every day. ’ So we try to switch it up here and there. ” Kyle is also happy to see his neighborhood regulars: “I feel like the area is coming back stronger than ever, ” and he's happy to be back in the midst of the action. “It's such a diverse area, where you meet all sorts of people and everyone's friendly and we're all just trying to be positive. And it's just so good to see theater business back and bustling. ”One key element is still missing, however, and reopening has been bittersweet, for Kyle. “It’s very welcoming to see a lot of old faces and people coming saying ‘Oh my gosh, you’re back! ’ But, you know, it's not the same without my dad, ” he said, “He had that energy. I had some customers say ‘If you're half the man he was, you'll be fine. ’” “I shadowed my dad for all these years, ” said Kyle, “I feel like I took for granted certain life lessons that he would teach me. ” But as he prepares to steward Green Symphony into its next era, Kyle is ready to try. “It's not going to be easy, but I'm positive we can do it. I want to build relationships with the neighborhood one customer at a time and provide the best service. ” * This story by Sarah Beling was originally published on W42ST. nyc. Original Post from 2015 by BetsyThough not large in size, Green Symphony is a health food store with a comprehensive assortment of bars, granolas, trendy munchies and tasty drinks. When I visited in the summer of 2015, there were at least nine different kinds of seaweed related snacks, each enticing. Dairy-free smoothies, juices, and baked goods are available in addition to appetizing prepared dishes.