Eniochs Bar Review
This week's review will be of the SOHO AREA on THURSDAY 1/15. The reviewers were two 26 year old male 3L's, me (23), and a 23 year old male, fresh out of undergrad visiting the big city before starting work.
7:30 - 9:00pm LUCKY CHENG'S
$$ = approximately $32 for a drink, salad, and entree not including tip.
9:15 - 10:30pm BAR d'O
$$ = approximately $6 per cocktail.
10:30 - 10:45pm MATCH
10:45 - 10:45pm SPY
10:45 - 12:15am SOHO KITCHEN AND BAR
$$ = anywhere from $3.50 to $10 for a beer or wine.
12:20 - 1:15am BAR 89
Spacious upscale decor. Very high ceilings meaning that it's
bi-level. The spacing of the place was more like a restaurant instead of a bar. Modular furniture. Crowd ran from suits to gay to every single race. One must get a table in order to get a drink which is brought to you by servers in ties and aprons. The BATHROOMS are a good reason to go this place. They are the coolest I have ever seen. The doors to the toilets are clear until someone steps inside and closes the door - then a sensor turns the clear glass opaque!
$$ = pricey running approximately $7 per drink. Drawback is that it closes at 1am every night.
1:30 - 2:00am XR BAR
Slightly tacky with a neighborhood feel. For example, there was a
large red Texas Star hanging on a wall. Seems to be more of an upper west side bar in Soho. Nonetheless, the decor was still nice but it just did not match the atmosphere. The music was rock and roll.
$$ = we did 5 shots of tequila for $25.
2:00 - 3:00am BACK TO BAR d'O
If I lived around this place, it would be my favorite hangout
(which is Soha currently). Definitely 2 thumbs up.
Next week - I will send out a review of the East Village that we did on Friday 1/16 and Thursday 1/22. Everyone is more than welcome to join me in this endeavor. Contributions (not $ but of different places) and volunteers to bar-hop are more than welcome. Typically, I plan to do this on Thursday and/or Friday.
Thanks for reading, Enoch
Over 80 people have replied in the first 3 days and many more hopefully will - assuming the email works and everyone gets the second sending of edition 1. People have contributed reviews, offered suggestions on places to go, volunteered to come along (I had to twist many arms though ;), and even suggested that I start a website. Also, since people have been demanding addresses, I will start including them. But for your information, www.metrobeat.com contains all of these bars, information on all of nyc's restaurants, movies, the arts, etc... It is an invaluable resource for those of us seeking to explore the big apple!
LUCKY CHENG'S 1st Avenue b/w 1st and 2nd streets
BAR d'O 29 Bedford St (on block west of 6th Ave and
one block north of Houston)
MATCH 160 Mercer b/w Houston and Spring SOHO KITCHEN & BAR 103 Greene b/w Prince and Spring BAR 89 89 Mercer b/w Spring and Broome
XR BAR ?? - on Houston somewhere but don't worry
about it cuz it sucks
SPY 101 Greene b/w Prince and Spring
The following SOHO reviews were prepared by Meredith Codlin - a 1L kindred spirit! All I have to say is that her reviews are MUCH better written than mine...
Mercer St. between Houston and Prince
The restaurant upstairs has a subtlely lit, trying-to-be-tragically- hip atmosphere, accompanied by an unimposing soundtrack of popular hip-hop tunes, which was ideal for a cozy dinner with a couple of friends. Service is friendly as long as you are dressed appropriately (i.e., in black); and the food is good but not extraordinary. The lounge downstairs has plenty of couch room (before ten, at least--after that, the crowd is often spillovers who couldn't get into Spy, Wax, or Bar 89) with candle-bedecked tables flocked with fresh-faced under-thirty types.
$$$--$140 with tip for three 22-year old females for three entrees (ranging from chicken dishes to sushi), a bottle of wine, three more glasses of house wine, and one dessert. Drinks downstairs are somewhere around $6 each.
Mercer, across from Match
Pools of soft light fall onto each intimate table, if you are lucky enough to score one, in this unassuming SoHo bar. By ten, this popular hangout is packed by a crowd that tends toward the post-college, jeans-wearing types, lots of whom are couples or single, not-so-fashion-conscious males (the latter flanking the bar, heavily scoping the female scene--be forwarned if you intend to approach the bar as a single woman). Waitresses who are obviously funding their fledgling modeling careers will bring you a cocktail, if you can attract their attention (you might want to order in bulk if you want to maintain some sort of continuity or not spend six hours there--or otp for a tanqueray and tonic, which are mind-numbingly potent). Generally, cool place to hang with friends for an hour or two.
Drinks about $6 each.
(just down the street on Mercer about a block from Merc Bar and Match) Pleasantly dark bar with relaxing blue gel lighting and strands of Christmas bulbs, filled with very hip types and tall skinny women, wearing the requisite black clothing. Plenty of couch space was still available around 11:30 when we arrived, and the drink tables provide great footrests, making the scene very relaxing for the end of an evening out. Having gone at the end of a rather extended evening of bar-cruising, I don't recall too much else about this place except that it was very mellow and the amaretto sours were very tasty. I think it wants to be more hip than it is, and judging from the line outside when we left around one, it's working pretty well. Again, rejects from Spy and other true model hangouts go there to chill and scope the scene of highly attractive clientele.
Drinks $7 each.
Now - let us move towards the EAST VILLAGE:
The Reviewers were:
Me - a 25 year old female 2L - a 23 year old college graduate seeing the Big Apple before starting work...
11:45 - 12:20 205 LOUNGE - 295 Chrystie @ Stanton
VERY minimalist (i.e. Cannon's) and small with a few couches. Really tiny pool table in back and old arcade games. Excellent techno/housey music; definitely club quality yet nobody dancing. Bartender and bouncer noted that the place fills up between midnight and 2am.
The crowd ranged from the all black-wearing docmarten/fluevog types to the mega-wideleg buttonfly skater types wearing airwalks and dyed hair raver types. Very racially mixed.
$$ = $5 per bottled beer and a $5 cover.
12:20 - 12:30 GOT LOST LOOKING FOR DEN OF THIEVES
This is explained by the fact that it's closed for renovations...
12:30 - 1:10 LUCKY CHENG's - 1st Ave b/w 1 & 2
Since we got lost looking for Den of Thieves, we ended up @ Lucky Cheng's again (it was cold outside okay?). Anyway, the drag show proper was much better than the one they put on during dinner. It's every weekend night at 12:30 am downstairs with $3 margaritas! Absolutely one of the funniest things I have seen in nyc. Be prepared to be caressed, grinded against, and have your clothes taken off (maybe that's why this show is not performed at dinner)! Being drunk is a big plus...
1:30 - 2:30 LUDLOW BAR - Ludlow b/w Houston and
It was a dark place (surprise!) playing 70's and 80's music. Extremely crowded with a yuppie post-collegiate crowd playing the pick-up game. As the female reviewer put it: "Wow! There are lots of hot guys here." I just saw lots of hooking up going on b/w not very attractive people on the dance floor. But back to the atmosphere:
It was somewhat dirty with some couches and two rooms. Very cool lava lamps ala Venue. However, BEWARE - there is only ONE bathroom for everybody.
$$ = approximately $4 per beer; no cover
1/22/98 a Thursday Evening
The reviewers were me; a 25 year old female 2L; a 26 year old male 3L; and a 29 year old male 3L.
MUSICAL BOX Ave B b/w 13th and 14th streets 10pm - 11:30pm
The couches reminded us of Soha but the overall ambience tended towards the more upscale side. Red velvet curtains divide two wooden-floored rooms w/ a black felt pool table in the back room. It was candle-lit and therefore dark. Very spacious. Biggest criticism:
music stunk and too many members of the male persuasion...
$10 for two drinks (a draft beer and a glass of red wine).
NIAGARA Ave A and 7th Street 11:40pm - 12:40am
This was a large, bi-level bar. On the first floor, there was a long bar with cool tiles and green lighting in the front - a dark wooden room with red booths and tables in the back. The basement was like a tropical breeze with a thatch hut bar and HUGE (64 oz.) frozen drinks (go witht the rum - not the vodka drinks). The crowd seemed pretty cool but a little bit empty. This may have had something to do with the random 50's music being played.
$32 for two of the big ass drinks.
10th STREET LOUNGE 10th street b/w 1st and 2nd Ave
Very swanky hip place. Red lighting - lots of room and many native american patterned chairs, couches, and futons to sit on. Very high ceilings w/ slowly turning fans. Very cool atmosphere playing mellow lounge music and some mellow hip hop (Fugees was heard). 1 long bar in front and another smaller room w/ a tiny bar in the back. 1 3L described it as a: "good chill date place". Another reviewer liked this place better than Bar d'O (my personal favorite). Crowd was beautiful, cool, and sparse - it was relatively empty so that everybody could get a seat.
$28 for 4 cocktails (gin and tonics; vodka gimlets).
2/13/98 - A Friday Evening
The reviewer was basically me even though it was a large group.
ART BAR 8th Ave and Horatio (2 blks below 14th) 11:00pm - 12:30am
Diamond walls and mirrors. Nice tables (with food service running into the wee hours) and a long bar in front - a lounge w/comfortable couches in back. The crowd was mixed running from suits to dredds. One friend noted that the bar meets the typical cliche of: "uptown mingles with downtown". Lighting was mostly via candles. Music was mellow hip hop but sometimes tended toward the "Oasis" set. Get there early - we were lucky enough to be meeting people that had gotten a table at around 8 - or else it would have been standing all night! $4.50 for a draft beer.
2/14/98 - A Saturday Evening
The reviewers were me; a 26 year old female 2L; a 24 year old male 3L; and a 25 year old female 3L in addition to random non-law school types...
REBAR 8th Ave and 14th Street 11:20pm - 2:00am
Sex discrimination ran rampant as men were charged $10 and women only $5 at the door.
If you are looking for a chill bar that has dancing, this is the place. The music was a great mix satisfying everybody's tastes: hip hop, techno, house, disco. The bar was divided into 2 rooms separated by a dark velvet curtain (which is pulled back once the dancing really starts). Tables and couches in the front room with plenty of space for those wishing to "tie one on" before venturing onto the dance floor. According to one reviewer: "not too swanky and not too divey". Another noted: not a "to see and be seen" crowd like in Soho but definitely not a post-collegiate yuppie crowd either. Wear hip clothes but not necessarily black.
It was empty when we got there but a decent size crowd gathered around 1 am. Still enough room to dance though!