Very much in the heart of Manhattan is a medium size friendly pub. Sits less than 100 people. Manages to keep a friendly neighbourhood pub atmosphere despite its center-of-Manhattan location. I had the Ommegang Cuvee BXL which was exclusive to this place, not sure if Ommegang is still brewing this exclusive beer for them anymore. It was a somewhat disappointing Ommegang offering anyway. I was there early after-noon, it was peaceful and quiet, I didnít eat there and I cannot comment on the night crowd. Beer list is nothing to attract the beer geeks, except maybe for the Cuvee BXL. Mostly common Belgians offerings and some common USA offerings. Not a bad pub but with places like Ginger Man and Rattle N Hum walking distance, I cannot imagine myself ever going back there.
Chili, laid back pub only steps from Times Square. Beers are all (or at least mostly) Belgian. Theyíve got a good draft selection and a number of additional offering in bottles. Been in here a few times - the bartenders have always been friendly. Food is good as well. I like to stop in for a beer every time Iím in NYC.
After dinner next door at Heartland Brewing I happened across this place and thought Iíd give it a try. This is primarily a bar. Iím not sure if they serve any food but itís a narrow room with just enough room to get some seats at the bar and to let people walk by behind those seats. I found a small table at the end of the bar where I looked through the beer list and found a house beer made by Ommegang. I was dubious but decided to order a glass anyway. It was pretty good but I was unsure if it was just a rebranded Belgian Pale Ale or not. It had been a while since I had had that particular beer but this one seemed darker and maltier and had some spiciness to it. Sure enough it has its own entry in the database. No idea what the connection is between this place and Ommegang but itís kind of cool that they have their own beer made for them. I didnít stick around too long to fully experience the ambiance but the people that were there were friendly as was the server but I didnít talk to them much as I was only there for a beer and needed to get back to the hotel.
I went here two days in a row while in NYC. I know that goes against a lot of tourist rules but I had the most awesome time Iíve ever had outside of Belgium.
*Decent tap list. Decent Bottle List. Nothing mind blowing*
*After you sit there for a while, random bottles just start getting offer from Fantome, De Dolle and Boon*
*The wait staff was great. We spent about 4 hours dancing to grunge rock, and being entertained by the staffís awesome karaoke skills*
*One of the waiters offered me his floor to crash on next time Iím in NYC*
*Excellent service as in, when your glass is almost empty, they are ready to take your next order*
*Good glassware selection, clean taps but other than that, itís very much a dive bar looking place*
*I canít wait to go back*
I didnít have the food. Great bartender that without hesitation gave me 3 free samples of random stuff without really asking. Everything they have on tap is "belgian" of some sort. Very nice. You wonít find anything crazy, but you will have a good time. Easy to find a spot at 1am and grab a drink, not sure if this is always the case. You wonít find anything crazy like the cantiloons, but again, the house beer is worth the stop if youíre stuck in the 40something st. area. Giant window up front was taken out to get some air, loved the smoke coming in from the window myself, others might not be so happy I guess. Pricing was reasonable, nothing over $10 a pour on draft and smaller pours were an option on quite a few drafts. Great little place that holds probably 40 people butt to nut at best.
Would give it a few more points for being such a cool place near Timeís Square. As you might have guessed from the name, heavy on the Belgians. Place can get crowded with a narrow shoot to get from front bar to back dining area. Bartenders might be a little gruff even for NT standards but not sure how much of that come from working so close to the heart of darkness.
Solid pick if youíre pressed for time and stuck in Timeís Square.