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183 West 10th Street
Bar Sardine 1 American Bars West Village

Chez Sardine, opened in December 2012, was reimagined in July 2014 to become Bar Sardine - a neighborhood bar with lots of good vibes, pub food and cocktails. The space is small but comfortable, with an expansive bar and a few corner tables. For the best view, grab a spot at the marble bar that lines the windows at this corner spot. At the intersection of West 10th and West 4th Streets, one can people-watch on two different side streets at Bar Sardine.

When the Manhattan Sideways team grabbed a mid-week lunch on a cool November day to sample some of its highlights, chef Matt Griffin’s menu certainly did not disappoint. The Fedora burger was pretty high up on the list of our favorites. With smoked cheddar, crispy potatoes, cucumbers, and barbeque mayo, this unique creation is crunchy, a little spicy, and altogether delightful. Paired with the French fries and their maple-mustard dipping sauce, this meal is a slightly fancier take on the classic. We also indulged in the lunch special, a Cuban sandwich that substituted smoked pork shoulder for the ham, and thin-sliced cucumbers for the pickles, served up on flaky, buttery ciabatta with gruyere melting off the sides.

Further, with a killer menu of cocktails, beers, and wines to accompany a meal - or to enjoy on their own - Bar Sardine has the drop-by-anytime atmosphere of a low-key neighborhood bar.

Bar Sardine 2 American Bars West Village
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Bar Sardine 1 American Bars West Village
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Bar Sardine 11 American Bars West Village
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Bar Sardine 17 American Bars West Village
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Bar Sardine 19 American Bars West Village
Bar Sardine 20 American Bars West Village
Bar Sardine 21 American Bars West Village

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Lost Gem
Arts and Crafts Beer Parlor 1 Bars Beer Bars Greenwich Village

Arts and Crafts Beer Parlor

What a find...down a flight of stairs from street level on 8th Street, Arts and Crafts Beer Parlor is the "antithesis of a sports bar." Artisan and craft beer are brought together in a friendly environment that certainly had us feeling like we were right at home. The Parlor is also named for the Arts and Crafts movement, “a cultural revolt against the ideals of industrialization.”When we visited, we spoke to Robert, one of the two owners, with whom we thoroughly enjoyed chatting. Robert is an internationally recognized speaker and writer on dining out and traveling with special diets (he co-authored the series Let’s Eat Out!), and he also has a background in acting and producing on Broadway. He told us that the other owner, Don, has an impressive resume working with the FBI and counterterrorism efforts both in New York and around the world - which left us wondering what brought this dynamic duo together as friends and eventually co-owners. Robert informed us it was a love of American Craft Beer and the visual and performing arts...and that they actually met enjoying a pint of beer in Manhattan.Just as intriguing as its owners, the interior of Arts and Crafts is beautifully designed; the sophisticated wallpaper is custom made by Bradbury and Bradbury, and the soft green and beige pattern was Frank Lloyd Wright’s favorite, supposedly. The constantly changing art is displayed along the wall opposite the bar, and an exposed brick wall and fireplace give the parlor a true “extension of your living room” feel. Described by Robert, as the “Bugatti of beer systems,” the twenty plus beers the Parlor keeps on tap rotate monthly and are kept by this state of the art system at a refreshing 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Robert also astounded us with how small the carbon footprint of the Parlor is — he told us they are very conscious of keeping things compostable and earth-friendly. In addition to their rotating display of art from both established and up-and-coming artists, the Arts and Crafts Beer Parlor also hosts a monthly lecture series on the subjects of art as well as culinary topics. We could not get enough of how interesting this place is — both the concept of art and beer coming together and the two fascinating minds behind it.

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Lost Gem
Housing Works 1 Thrift Shops Vintage West Village

Housing Works

This bright and colorful West Village thrift shop is just one of the many businesses run by Housing Works, one of New York's highly regarded non-profits. Housing Works was founded in 1990 by members of ACT UP, an AIDS activist group that is dedicated to fighting the joint issues of homelessness and the AIDS epidemic. Their first thrift shop opened in Chelsea in 1992 and thirteen more have opened throughout the city since then, as well as a bookstore café in SoHo.At the height of the AIDS epidemic, the social stigma associated with those living with the virus or simply being LGBTQ+ resulted in thousands of individuals being denied the foundation of a stable living: housing. Whether it was from familial rejection or housing discrimination, more and more HIV positive people found themselves on the streets, and poverty, queerness, and AIDS soon became intrinsically linked. Recognizing this often neglected connection, the founders of Housing Works sought to create an organization that addressed this crisis. The non-profit is committed to ending the dual crises of homelessness and AIDS through relentless advocacy, the provision of lifesaving services, and entrepreneurial businesses that sustain their efforts.Luke, a member of the Manhattan Sideways team, sat down with the 10th Street store manager, Lauren Guttenplan, to discuss the community atmosphere forged in their shop. She mentioned, “Community feels very central to the mission. We’re not too far from Christopher Street and Stonewall, so many of our customers and volunteers have lost someone or have a personal connection to the cause. They like to know that the money they’re spending is going to help towards something good.” Guttenplan also noted that many of their regular customers come in as frequently as once or twice a day, and that the staff, the majority of whom are volunteers, often know customers’ names. Some patrons will even make a point to shop on a day where they know when a particular volunteer is working. Guttenplan credits much of the success of the operation to the devotion of the volunteers, whom she describes as “the face of the store.” The shopping experience is truly unlike many other in that there are opportunities for customers to become volunteers or get involved in local activism and protests.With a retail background and a degree in social work, Lauren finds Housing Works to be a perfect blend of her passions. The organization provides the unique opportunity to run a business and actually make a difference. She appreciates that with programs like job training, it is particularly satisfying to witness the impact of her work first hand.Because all of the merchandise sold in the stores is donated, each of the Housing Works shops also serves as a reflection of the surrounding neighborhood. The West Village shop, with plenty of natural lighting and exposed brick, features not only fun and unique clothing selections, but also many household items, including kitchen items, home décor, and even furniture. The store hosts a number of events, the biggest of which are the Best of Fall and Best of Spring sales.

Lost Gem
Clash City Tattoo 1 Tattoos East Village

Clash City Tattoo

When I walked into Clash City Tattoos, Baz was hunched over his station, completing a tattoo sketch. The space popped with bold red walls, brightly colored ink bottles, and large tattoo designs. One could not miss the almost human-sized bass in the corner if they tried – “some friends just like to come in and play the bass,” Baz told me as he shrugged his shoulders. Music influences much more of this tattoo shop’s ideology than I could have anticipated. Named after Baz’s favorite band, the space encapsulates the idea that just as The Clash could play such a range of genres, so too could Baz’s tattoos encompass all kinds of people. “Lawyers and rockstars alike listen to The Clash,” he elaborated, “and I want my tattoos to unite my customers, just as a single beat can unite different listeners.”Baz first visited the United States in 1991 while working on a cruise ship and was immediately drawn to everything American – particularly the music, cars, and TV shows. Working in a comic bookstore, he was captivated by posters for Iron Man, Planet of the Apes, and an assortment of cartoon superheroes. He claimed it was the “solid black lines, bold colors, and clear forms” of comic art that lent it a unique and sophisticated artistic quality. Moreover, his mother’s admiration for surrealist painter Salvador Dali offered him an early penchant for the freedom of abstract art anchored in bold lines – the ideal forms for tattoo art.Clients coming into Clash City Tattoos have usually heard about the store and like to visit with an idea of what they want inked. While Baz and his team are exceptionally friendly, asserting that their store “is a place that you won’t have to be afraid to walk into,” they are also honest with clients about which designs work and which simply do not. Equipped with a creative bent, the team mostly designs custom tattoos using clients’ ideas. However, when someone comes in asking for a "full bible verse on their little finger" or an arrangement of “a heart with four names in it, two wings on either side, and a crown on top in the size of a fist,” the team knows when to say “this isn’t working; let’s fine-tune.” What is more, they pay exceptionally close attention to each client’s pain tolerance. While some can manage three hours of inking in a go, others (like Baz’s wife, he laughs) only last ten minutes.I asked Baz about the most challenging tattoo he was tasked with designing. When the bass player of globally-renowned British band Muse, Chris, asked for a tattoo of his son’s name, Buster, in Disney font, Baz started thinking of ways to make the design more complex and unique. A few days later, Chris and Baz were hanging out with a group of friends, when Chris recounted a story about Buster. The young boy was playing with his toys at home when he ran straight into the corner of an table and cut his forehead. But he continued with his play as usual until Chris’ wife noticed a large gash on his head and rushed him to the hospital. Buster was unfazed. The story inspired Baz to draw up the tattoo that now decorates Chris’ right forearm – a smirking cartoon kid with boxing gloves over the name “Buster” in striking black font. Chris loved it.Looking at Baz’s journey thus far, it is easy to see how he has settled into a characteristic set of themes and motifs. Through space backgrounds, gypsy girls, cartoon superheroes, and more, Baz eventually reached a signature design – “pin-up girls with stuff in their hair,” as he amusedly called it. I was thrilled to see his gorgeous side profiles of girls with complex forms – ships, octopuses, and more – wrapped in the locks of their hair. Baz’s artistic genius spans a wide range of imagery, fixed into his defining black lines and bold forms.

Lost Gem
Pinto Garden 1 Thai West Village

Pinto Garden

Pinto Garden began on Christopher Street in 2006 and moved to its current location on 10th Street a decade later. Stepping inside the fairly new, intimate space, the Manhattan Sideways team was greeted by chef and owner, Yo Teerawong. After a few minutes of conversation with Chef Yo in the covered backyard secret oasis, we quickly learned that his goal with Pinto was specifically not to create a typical Thai restaurant, but rather to design an environment that looks and feels more like one is in one's own home.Sitting in the garden, Luke, a summer intern, began to notice a particular decorative pattern: rabbits. From tiny porcelain statues along the shelves to the wallpaper in the restrooms and the illustrations on the menus, an eclectic collection of rabbit-themed artwork permeated the space. Chef Yo explained that this is a subtle reference to his personal background, as his mother was born in the Thai Year of the Rabbit, as was the current King of Thailand. Chef Yo, himself, immigrated to the U.S. twenty years ago from Bangkok. When he became interested in learning to cook, his good friend, who trained in the kitchens of Jean Georges, taught him the craft. Yo told us that he had the pleasure of befriending another well known chef, Thomas Keller, many years ago. As a matter of fact, Chef Yo admitted that it was Mr. Keller who suggested that he try to create a "home" when designing Pinto. Yo then laughed, saying, "I now refer to Pinto Garden as my vacation home."Subversion of presumptions plays into Chef Yo’s menu as well. “I want to take out any expectation for a specific type of cuisine - there’s more to ethnic food in New York City than that.” He notes that while many will anticipate typical spicy pad dishes with plenty of fish sauce, he prefers to develop his menu based on what is available at the farmer's market in Union Square, all the while imagining the smells and flavors of his mother’s cooking from growing up in Thailand. "What I enjoy best is recreating these tastes of traditional Thai cuisine while adding my own flare." One example that he cited was replacing strawberry with rhubarb. The result is wholly original. He remarked, “Even some of my Thai friends come in and say ‘Oh, I’ve never heard of that.’”In the middle of our chat, Chef Yo stood up and announced that he was now going into the kitchen to cook for us. It did not take long for him to present several interesting and beautifully plated dishes. Included was crab fried rice served inside of a coconut topped with egg, a salad of lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, mint, chili jam, and roasted peanut artfully arranged inside a banana blossom and wild mushroom salad with a spicy lime dressing. Each plate combined flavors, perhaps reminiscent of Thai food, but certainly set far apart from what any of us were used to eating.Before leaving, Chef Yo added that he was looking forward to mixing traditional and trendy in his new brunch menu, which will include typical American items with a Thai twist, such as chicken and lemongrass waffles.

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