Visited the Pony Bar recently under unusual circumstances...staying in a hotel a few blocks away...unusual because I live 30 mins away in north Jersey. I was in NYC for a training course though and luckily my hotel was in walking distance. I hadnít been there in years and never reviewed it. I stopped in after my class on a Mon or Tue night and hung out for a few hours. I thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere and the bartenders. I was able to sample a variety of IPAís which are my favorite. The bartender serving me was very helpful and provided numerous samples. I would view this place as a classic NYC craftbar...and I highly recommend a visit if in the area. In fact if youíre a craft beer fan...make a special trip.
When I visited: Late September 2013.
What I had: Southampton Publick House Keller Pils, Brooklyn Blast DIPA, and Cricket Hill American Brown Ale on tap, Flying Dog Dogtoberfest on cask, sample of The Bruery Trade Winds Tripel, Spicy Gumbo, several white wines and a Roast Chicken Sandwich for my girlfriend, Soft Pretzel and Potato Chips to split.
What I liked: Comfy bar, clearly visible and constantly changing draught list with many beers I hadnít tried before, efficient and engaging servers, tasty pub grub, music is kept to a reasonable volume, had a great chat with one of the patrons, bartender gave me a souvenir bottle opener as we left.
What I disliked: Nothing that I can recall.
Would I go back? Yes. Pony is an exemplary American beer bar and we had an outstanding experience here.
Overall Rating: 96
Visited here on 7/9/13 after two previous stop earlier in the evening.
A: The bar area is very nice and has a good amount of tables...no table side service so if you are not at the bar, I could see it being a pain, especially if it is crowded but we went on a tuesday night at like 1am in the morning, no issues then.
Q: Everyone enjoyed their beers and had no issues, they obviously take pride in their glassware and serving portions.
S: The bartender was on top of his game, glasses never stayed empty and was very knowledgeable.
S: Decent selection for what they had on tap...when we arrived, we were treated to Stone IPA on Citra Hops and Mangoes...fantastic. We did well after that great treat too.
V: Probably the cheapest of our three stops that night but still paying that NYC upcharge.
Overall, a must stop when in the area or near Times Square.
I think the most memorably aspect of this place is the fact that all the beers cost exactly the same amount ($5) but they adjust the serving size accordingly. Pretty neat idea. I like how they have a large selection and many of the taps are from semi-local breweries. I had a glass of the Industrial IPA from Kelso Brewing and a few other randoms selections.
The service was friendly but they donít come to the tables. You have to go to the bar to order, which was a novel concept I suppose. Maybe thatís how they keep costs down, by hiring less people. Over all the place is pretty cool and Iíd stop in again, if for no other reason than to try all the stuff that I havenít tried before.
I start by acknowledging that this is one of the highest RB-rated spots in NYC. With 20 taps and 2 casks on offer this place should have an outstanding "selection" rating. Yet somehow I was underwhelmed. Maybe it was the time of year (mid-summer), but there was a decided overabundance of fruity, wheaty, "saison"-style beers and a decided lack of old-fashioned, "pale, alcoholic and bitter" American IPAs, for my taste at least. Iíll give it another try in a different "saison".
Excellent beer bar. A bit off the beaten path, which is great because the crowd is mostly local, with very few tourists stumbling in. Amazing constantly revolving beer selection with very knowledgeable bar tenders. Highly recommend.
Visited late night on a Thursday. Cool looking bar on a corner in Hellís Kitchen. Dominant feature inside is the tap list, which is beamed out of two LCD tvís above the bar. 21 beers on, one of which was cask. Hard rock was playing, crowd seemed pretty local, everyone having a good time drinking good beers. I did like the $6 per beer concept, with either shaker pint or 8 oz glass depending on what you ordered. Service was attentive. I would hit this spot again if I am ever nearby.