Certainly worth a visit. Possibility of tasting flights of the homebrews. Decent burgers. Would go back for some more tasters and a burger if I was in NYC.
Update: in 2015 this place is still a very touristic place. Service is decent. But already adding a tip to your bill, I just donít think itís the way to go...
The interior makes me think restaurant chain, although not of the recently refurbished kind. Not bad though. Decent service too, a couple of the waiters got very interested when they saw we took notes and talked a bit to us about the beers and poured some free samples as well. Not all places you experience that, especially after telling them that the beers lack a bit to be impressive or interesting. Overall, had a nice time here, but it certainly wouldnít be my first recommandation if youíre going to NYC and look for a beer place.
Made short visit after the descent from the 86th floor in the Empire State building. Ignorant staf (according to my host NY standard ;) ). Only had flight on the standards so I had a paint of one of the seasonal ones (I guess they are ther all the time). Beer wasnít that nice and pricy - so one was enough. Interor looked fine, also food that I didnít tried this time. Minors allowed.
When I visited: Late September 2013.
What I had: Indiana Pale Ale on tap, sample of Farmer Jonís Oatmeal Stout, glass of white wine for the wife.
What I liked: Gorgeous, towering, and old-fashioned bar, convenient location for Empire State tourists, draught list has good style variation and the beers are above average in quality, we didnít eat anything but the food menu looked appetizing.
What I disliked: Took a while to get the serverís attention despite the bar being empty, though he was friendly once we ordered. Prices are on the high side.
Would I go back? Possibly.
Overall Rating: 76
Iíve worked right across the street for 4 years and finally stopped in here. Huge, cavernous dining room down stairs. Packed on a Friday night, but I did get a seat at the bar. A medium selection of average draft beers. Rattle and Hum and Ginger Man are each less than a five minute walk from here.
Obviously a tourist trap being located at tHe bottom of the Empire State Building but the lunchtime atmosphere in the downstairs bar area is reasonably chilled. Service can be a bit slow when the place is busy. Usual selection of Heatland Beers, the Indiana Pale Ale is enjoyable.