Hell’s Kitchen bars

HELL’S KITCHEN BAR REVIEWS

(just my own opinions of places I’ve been to, not a comprehensive list. Arranged by Avenue, north to south. More reviews to come)

EIGHTH AVE.

  • SOCIAL and LATITUDE. 795 and 783 8th Ave., between 48 and 49th St. These two bars share a common owner and are somewhat similar in theme, although Latitude is a little more sleek and steel and Social more relaxed and, well, social. Both are very big and both are good places to have a drink … but I do feel that this close to Times Square you might get more tourists than actual New Yorkers.

NINTH AVE.

  • COSMO, 359 W 54th St, just east of Ninth Ave. This tiny hole-in-the-wall bar serves $4 martinis during a happy hour that lasts until 9 p.m.! It’s a funky little cocktail place. You can rent the whole joint for just $200.
  • COPPERSMITHS, 793 9th Ave (west side) by 53rd St. Reading the Citysearch reviews, you’d think this after-work/sports bar was one of the hottest bars in New York … Um, I think not. It’s a decent enough neighborhood bar, though, that draws good crowds. The burgers are pretty much standard, and the TVs are CRT, not plasma.
  • MERCURY BAR, 659 Ninth Ave., west side, between 45 and 46. This same people who own this bar also own the Mercury Bar on the East Side, as well as the two Joshua Tree bars. All of them are very similar: giant-screen TVs behind a long bar, shiny tables and chairs and very good food. They’re usually playing sports, but this is not quite a sports bar. It’s fun, though. Even before I moved to Hell’s Kitchen, I would sometimes come here to eat a burger and watch a Red Sox game.
  • JOSHUA TREE, 366 W 46th St, just east of Ninth Ave. I feel this place is inferior to the Joshua Tree on Third Ave. or the nearby Mercury Bar. Long and narrow, it’s got a bit of a bowling-alley feel — and I just found it disorienting to be on a bar facing a street, rather than an avenue! Still a nice place, though.
  • RUDY’S BAR AND GRILL, 627 9th Ave, west side, between 44 and 45. Glasses of Rheingold is $2.50, Bud is $3 and Bass is $4 … how can you go wrong? This is definitely a dive, but with a great jukebox. When I visited the crowd was pretty young, with a lot of college-age kids playing beer games. In warmer weather it looks like there’s a “garden” open in back.
  • ZANZIBAR, 645 9th Ave. I guess most people would either love or hate this place. It is a genuine Mediterranean-styled restaurant/bar/lounge; very trendy and often kinda crowded, with good people-watching. The drink menus are wooden! (and the drinks are pricey, but worth it.)
  • DALTONS, 611 9th Ave, west side between 43 and 44. This beautiful new sports bar has seven — count ‘em, seven — large plasma TVs scattered throughout the room. The food is great, too. In my mind, this place is physically superior to Coppersmith’s in just about every respect. But I’ve found Coppersmiths to be much busier, with a better crowd. Give it time, I guess.

TENTH AVE.

  • PERDITION, 692 Tenth Ave., between 48 and 49. I really like this place: lots of exposed drink, a sleek interior, two plasma TVs and lots of yummy $9 martinis. If you go on weekdays, often you can get the semiprivate lounge in the back all to yourself. What little food they offer is pretty bad (there’s no kitchen, just a microwave), but this isn’t really a place you’d go to eat.
  • RUFUS, 640 10th Ave, between 45 and 46. This small little neighborhood place has sofas.