The original plan was to get a couple of beers at Ginger Man, but at 7p last night the Ginger Man was a loud, raucous house-party, so I decided to check out what else was in the neighborhood. There’s a bunch of bars back-to-back on W. 35th Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues that have vaguely intrigued me, in the cheesy faux-Irish bar / movie set / sort of way, but last night they, too, were various scenes of bad top 40s music, young professionals getting tipsy off well vodka martini specials, and general debauchery.
Then, on the south side of the street, there’s Brendan’s Bar and Grill. I’ve never noticed it before. I walked inside, hoping for the best as this was sort of the last resort. It was just perfect.
Everything about Brendan’s is comfort; it’s the bar you’ve been in hundreds of times in cities all over the country: A dozen beers on tap, you know them all; glasses of wine are $7; there’s a menu called “bar snacks” that includes crab cakes, potato skins, mozzarella sticks, etc.; the bartender is actually Irish (note: he’s working here, not at the fake Irish pub across the street).
Brendan’s is your anywhere bar, only set in a stunning room with vaulted ceilings, black-and-white tiled floor, tall wooden pillars, a soft, warm light. (The space must have been a bank or some type enterprise in the past.)
Next time I’m stuck near Harold’s Square and need to escape the tourist mayhem, I’m heading here.