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Best pubs in Manhattan (no TVs)?

PhillyStyle Jan 6, 2010 09:42 AM

My wife and I are looking forward to a kid-free long weekend in Manhattan, and we're hoping that you can help us find the best places to get a festive afternoon drink. We need bars that make a good cocktail, have a reasonable (doesn't have to be huge) selection of fresh U.S. microbrews on tap, and are TV-free. We're staying in Gramercy, but are willing to travel for a memorable, relaxing bar. We'll be trying to avoid anything too trendy or exorbitant. Any suggestions?

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  1. princeofpork Jan 6, 2010 09:46 AM

    No TVs rules out a huge amount of options. How firm are you on this requirement.

    1. Bob Martinez Jan 6, 2010 09:52 AM

      There are many places that turn off the volume on their TVs. It makes a big difference. Other places have no TVs but a thunderous sound system. You'd be better off looking for a quiet bar.

      1. c
        chow_gal Jan 6, 2010 10:50 AM

        The Breslin.

        1. princeofpork Jan 6, 2010 10:54 AM

          Usually a selection of Micro Brews and TV go together as does a "festive" atmosphere.

          1. MVNYC Jan 6, 2010 11:24 AM

            Try the Ginger Man on 36th Street. I usually do not go here because it gets crowded on weeknights but it is pretty low key in the afternoon. It should be quiet and the beer selection is good. I know they have good liquor which I have ordered but am not sure about cocktails.


            1. t
              travpard Jan 6, 2010 11:35 AM

              The Crooked Knife is a traditional pub without tvs. I think its 30th between Park & Mad. Not sure how extensive their beer selection is though.

              1. h
                hazelhurst Jan 6, 2010 11:35 AM

                Man, I sure hope you get a good answer on this---I long for a TV-free place. even with the sound "off" there is always simian baying when someone sinks a basket. Even the Oak Bar put in a goddamn TV (or it had one on my last visit)

                11 Replies
                1. re: hazelhurst
                  PhillyStyle Jan 6, 2010 02:59 PM

                  Wow--I was hoping that the "no TV" option wouldn't be so hard! There are a handful in Philadelphia--we have an Irish guy who has several popular bars, all TV-free. OK, I'll ease up on the TV thing, but I think you understand what we mean. A place where people talk to each other, rather than to the TV... Thanks for the answers so far!

                  1. re: PhillyStyle
                    Sugar Jan 6, 2010 04:59 PM

                    Check out Rye House. They actually do have a TV but it was off on a recent Thursday night. Good selection of microbrews on tap and bottle. I'm trying to think of something like a Standard Tap or something of that ilk that's in Manhattan and coming up short.

                    Gingerman, as noted above, is known for it's beer selection, not sure how festive it is.

                    1. re: Sugar
                      iFat Jan 6, 2010 08:18 PM

                      Seconded on Rye House, that place is great. That and The Summit on Ave. C are my two current alcohol crushes. Both new, nice places, no tv's, sophisticated enough without being too cool with excellent drinks.


                      1. re: Sugar
                        PhillyStyle Jan 7, 2010 05:24 AM

                        Rye House sounds good--we're having dinner at Aldea, so that's pretty convenient for before or after...
                        I've heard good things about the Blind Tiger--is that a place that might fit our criteria?
                        Thanks for Swift, the Summit, the Tavern Room, Ginger Man, and Shoolbreads, too. I'm plotting them all on Google maps for a potential pub crawl!

                        1. re: PhillyStyle
                          Bob Martinez Jan 7, 2010 06:12 AM

                          Ginger Man has a reputation for attracting a frat boy crowd at times. I suspect if you time it right you can avoid this but you'll need to do some research.

                          1. re: PhillyStyle
                            travpard Jan 7, 2010 06:35 AM

                            blind tiger has tv's but is a nice beer bar to check out.

                            1. re: PhillyStyle
                              MVNYC Jan 7, 2010 09:35 AM

                              Blind Tiger is the best beer bar in the city. It too can get crowded but should be good for an afternoon beer as their selection can't be beat. The one TV they have is small and located in a corner so shouldn't be a bother. the only problem is they just serve beer and wine, no cocktails

                          2. re: PhillyStyle
                            bronwen Jan 7, 2010 06:37 AM

                            I'm with you on the TV thing - I absolutely hate them especially when they've got a football game on and it's blaring. McSorley's doesn't have any TV's (I don't think) and coming from Philly you'll love the atmosphere.

                            1. re: bronwen
                              KTinNYC Jan 7, 2010 07:18 AM

                              McSorley's doesn't have good cocktails, a reasonable number of microbrews on tap, or a festive atmosphere.

                              1. re: bronwen
                                princeofpork Jan 7, 2010 07:30 AM

                                McSorleys meets none of the criteria the OP asked for except no TVs.

                                1. re: princeofpork
                                  roze Jan 7, 2010 08:12 AM

                                  They actually do have a tv even.

                          3. c
                            Casey Jones Jan 7, 2010 04:44 AM

                            The Swift Hibernian Lounge on East 4th Street would be a good choice, especially on a quiet afternoon. Beautiful pub, good microbrews, great bartenders, no TV.

                            1. r
                              roze Jan 7, 2010 05:18 AM

                              Okay it's not a pub but the Tavern rooom at Gramercy tavern is my go to place for a festive afternoon drink. No TV, awesome cocktails, great beers and in your area. It is a bar in a restaurant and a little upscale but so comfortable.

                              For a great pub I love Shoolbreads. They have a roaring fireplace in the back and great beers on tap. I have never gotten a cocktail there so I can't comment on that but it's a nice relaxing place. And they have two for one beers till 8:00 every day.
                              Also near your area.

                              1. shaogo Jan 7, 2010 08:26 AM

                                Gramercy Tavern is cool and upscale.

                                Some on this board will be tempted to shoot me but I don't know that I recall the television being obtrusive at Pete's Tavern on Irving Place. It's a great bar with great bartenders -- just avoid the food.

                                Gramercy Tavern
                                42 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003

                                Pete's Tavern
                                129 E 18th St, New York, NY 10003

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: shaogo
                                  princeofpork Jan 7, 2010 08:56 AM

                                  The burger is decent

                                  1. re: shaogo
                                    travpard Jan 7, 2010 09:58 AM

                                    i used to like pete's since it is a cool "old" bar. but they raised the prices and they last time i was there the bartender was a jerk.

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