New York is the city that never sleeps, and rarely do the clientele and bartenders at O’Hanlons Bar. Walking in the doors intending to have a quick conversation with some of the staff, we were introduced to a surprisingly young crowd enjoying a few beers at 10am. Turns out that they are doctors getting off the night shift, so their happy hour is at a completely alternate time than the rest of us. "Morning cocktails for the doctors" is how other customers laughed and described this phenomenon to us. We counted ten different-sized TVs, two pool tables, and a few dartboards. This is definitely a place to sit back, relax, and have a drink while watching any game, at any hour.
O'Hanlons offers Happy Hour deals every weekday from 8am-6pm.
The East Village has notoriously been New York’s counterculture epicenter. It has become synonymous with art, music, grit, and grunge: a good place to let your freak flag fly. It comes as no surprise, then, that this beloved East Village dive bar, built in 1835, was a haunt for people like Frank Sinatra, Allen Ginsberg, The Ramones, W. H. Auden, and legend has it, even Leon Trotsky. It closed its doors in 2012, but resurfaced in the spring of 2015, new and improved and ready to welcome a new generation of creatives over its dimly lit threshold. Pirate Booty’s founder Robert Ehrlich and La Palapa owner Barbara Sibley teamed up to restore the old neighborhood staple. They cleaned the place up, but still aimed to keep some of the grungy charm that kept people coming back; A mural dating back to the 1920s still remains, as well as a wooden phone booth and classic horseshoe bar. Holiday Cocktail Lounge has all the eccentricity of the East Village that people have come to expect from time-honored St Marks Place establishments with just a touch of contemporary chic.
Serving an interesting but decadent assortment of coffees, hot cakes, desserts, Japanese tapas, sandwiches, pasta, and more, Hi-Collar functions as many things. In the morning the atmosphere is subdued and relaxed like a coffee shop, as customers come to enjoy “kissaten” – a term to describe Japanese-style coffee shops. The lady we spoke to at Hi-Collar told us their coffee selection is extensive and that there are a variety of beans to choose from. Not only is there the opportunity to select the bean varietal, but one can also choose how the coffee is made as well: pour over, aeropress, or siphon—each method drawing out a distinct flavor. For the non-coffee drinker, there are teas and even a fruit milkshake. As the afternoon wears on and evening approaches, Hi-Collar becomes a bar complete with wine, sake, and beer. Inquiring about the name, we found that Hi-Collar is in fact a term that came to be during the Japanese Jazz Age, when Western culture infiltrated Japan and many men were seen wearing Western style high collars. The only seating available is at the long bar, and the beautiful flowers and lamps that hang from the ceiling add to the allure of this multifaceted nook on 10th.
The Tiki bar theme at Otto's begins with the windows that are decorated with Hawaiian statues and little hula girls. Moving inside, it is dark with big lit flowers and beach girl designs. Continuing on to the back there is a cool photo booth and a surf board hanging from the ceiling... oh, and some pretty good rum drinks served in Tiki mugs. As Esteban, our photographer, commented, "It feels like a dive bar that just swam over here from Hawaii and surfaced in Alphabet City. "
Beneath the Spanish Benevolent Society lies La Nacional, one of Manhattan’s most authentic Spanish restaurants and the most easily accessible part of the society. Just by walking down the steps into the dimly lit basement lounge, we felt the bustle of 14th street quickly recede and we were transported across the ocean. La Nacional has the same relaxed, no frills atmosphere as most tapas bars in Spain. We gazed at the old photographs from the society’s earlier years on the walls and then had the option of sipping a drink at the bar, sampling some classic simple Spanish tapas such as tortilla de patatas, croquetas or chorizo, or dining on a full meal of paella. Perhaps the most authentic option, though, was to simply have a seat by the television to watch the fútbol game - it is always on. For visitors from Spain who want a taste of home, those of us pining for the Spanish travels of our past, or New Yorkers simply curious about a new culture, La Nacional is the place to go.
We were immediately taken by the Belfry from the moment we stepped inside. There is something very welcoming about its decor and the people; hip, but not over the top. Tables can be reserved, there is a live band some nights, a giant TV screen, a long, attractive zinc bar with a selection of craft beers, and pickle back shots. The only food items available are a few pickled preserves - in the form of string beans, okra, pepperoncini and, of course, sour pickles.
Open to 4: 00 a. m. every night - no exceptions - this scantly lit Irish watering hole has everything one could expect from a real neighborhood bar. It is well-stocked with liquor, the beer and wine list is eclectic, the TV's are always broadcasting various sporting events, and the menu is simple with only two choices - Ham and Gruyere or Cheddar and Onion sandwiches. Our bartender called this place a “gentleman’s bar” - no pitchers, no Bud Lite. "It is where the regulars hang out, old timers from along the street or avenues, and a few artists. " This is one of those East Village pubs where people come by to rest their elbows on the scuffed bar-top, have a good conversation, and down a pint.