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Alternative to PDT bar

I hear this place has food and is quite interesting. However, friends who returned from NYC said that they tried every singe day to get in and were told they had no room. When they thought they'd go by on the advice of the concierge, the place had three booths empty for over 40 mins and they did not get seated. In the meantime, they had to deal with rude and arrogant staff.
Sounds interesting, but not willing to subject myself to that type of treatment. Love the idea, anyt hing similar out there? Doesn't have to be dogs and burgers, can be other.

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  1. Death & Co., Pegu Club, Little Branch, Flatiron Lounge or the bar at Tailor.

    1 Reply
    1. re: KTinNYC

      NB: Little Branch, Flatiron don't have food. Tailor has a pretty short bar food menu, too.

    2. i never had a problem. you just cant go with more than 4 people and be prepared to wait. you can go to one of the bars next door and they will call you.

      1. I've never had trouble getting a reservation for 3-4 people on the day of, but it is true that they do not put walk-ins at the bar. They will put your name on the list for seats at the bar. Go next door and get a beer while you wait and come bacak to enjoy the delicious drinks and dogs. Or you could go with one of the wonderful suggestions from KT!

        1. Death & Co. Mayuela, Pegu Club, Clover Club, Raines Law Room, Apotheke

          1. For one or two people, go early (it opens at 6pm) and get first-come-first-served seats at the bar. That's what I've always done, and never a problem.

            1. Did they call at 3pm for a same-day reservation or only try to drop in? Booths and tables are for reservations, booths sometimes are empty because a reservation is coming in an hour or so.

              The bar is first come first served. If it's full, the hostess can put you on the waitlist and you'll eventually get in, but the list is often long. Some people come in after 6pm and stay for hours and hours. Unlike a meal, it's impossible to predict when people will leave. They could be there for one round or several rounds of drinks.

              PDT is perennially slammed after 8pm even on "slow" nights. It's also tiny, which does not help. Death & Co is a little easier to get into, but if you go after 8pm on a weekend night, it can be really hard, because they stop letting people in after 11ish. If you want to do PDT or Death & Co, I'd go before 7pm on an off night. Sunday through Wednesday. Mayahuel is getting that way, too. It can be fully packed on a Tuesday after 9pm. You just have to remember that these bars are small, do not allow standing, and are very popular.

              Pegu is also really busy on weekends after a certain time but in my experience, it doesn't get insanely busy until much later on in the night. If you go before 8pm, it's usually fine. Places that allow standing like Pegu, Flatiron, Tailor, etc. will let more people in -- the effect though is that it's louder, crowded, and the bartenders can't pay as much attention to the drinks.

              2 Replies
              1. re: kathryn

                I thought Death & Co. had their liquor license restored in July? I haven't been back in a while, but it was my understanding that it was the license dispute that forced them to close at midnight every night.

                Pegu is ok but really not in the same league as PDT or D&C for food or drinks.

                1. re: InfoMofo

                  It's a "soft" extension of hours they're doing for the time being. They're not kicking people out at 11:55pm any more... but they're hesitant to start letting lots of people in that late.

              2. PDT=douchey anyway. Death & Co. is way better with a very cool bunch of bartenders.

                4 Replies
                1. re: Slob

                  I like D&C but there is nothing wrong with PDT

                  1. re: Slob

                    I adore Death & Co and Little Branch but find Pegu, PDT, Apotheke and Flatiron to be leagues below. Surprised no one has mentioned Employees Only? East Side Company is cool too. And of course there's Milk & Honey if you have a connection there, one of the bartenders alternates between there and Little Branch though so you can get the experience there too. Where does Raines Law Room go on the spectrum? Haven't checked that out yet.

                    1. re: Slob

                      Must agree. Went to numerous bars/speakeasies this weekend and Death & Co was head & shoulders above the rest. Staff was super cool, food was fantastic, drinks were brilliant. Went to PDT right beforehand and found it pretty hipsterypretentious, and Pegu Club night before, which was decent but equivalently douchey. Death & Co was the best drinking experience this trip by far.

                      1. re: Slob

                        PDT won Best Bar Program at the James Beard awards a few weeks ago so I wouldn't gloss it over, and I've been there when there has been a cool shift of bartenders. Also, while we're talking about them, a little birdy told me that PDT won the bid to open a rooftop bar concession at a new midtown hotel, so they are movin' on up!

                      2. no food, but painkiller (PKNY) is an amazing 'speakeasy' style cocktail bar that is themed as a neo-tiki establishment. no pretense and some of the best bartenders i have ever dealt with, particularly a guy named keegan.

                        1. I know and like all the bars people listed below... Apotheke (good drinks and great room but cheap base spirits), Pegu, Raines, Mayahuel, D&C. Lately I like Booker & Dax which is attached to Momofuku Ssam Bar. Angel Share is a cool 2nd floor Asian-run speakeasy on 10th Street. I've also heard that the new Parisian import Experimental Cocktail Club is pretty legit too but haven't been. But my favorite mixology spot in NYC hands down is the often overlooked and incredible SUMMIT BAR in Alphabet City. This is where the bartenders from all those other places go drink after their shifts. The drinks are absolutely incredible and inventive. My favorite: the 'Say Hello To My Little Friend' made with coca leaf liqueur. Well designed and intimate room, down to earth and cool staff, incredible ingredients from top to bottom.


                          1 Reply
                          1. re: InsolentGourmet

                            BTW this thread is from August 2009, before some of the spots you mention even opened.