Cleopatra’s Needle

Bars, Lounges Upper West Side
  • 3 out of 5 stars
(2user reviews)
3 Love It
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Cleopatra’s Needle
Roger Lent performs with his band and special guest Laverne Williams at Cleopatra's Needle in New York City on September 27. © Jason Alcorn

The sunken dining area feels worlds apart from the raised bar, but both spaces provide good sight and sound lines for the free nightly jazz sets. Specialty martinis are enlivened by the wide variety of vodkas and gins on hand, and during happy hour—daily 4 to 7:30pm—martinis are half price, and beer and wine are reduced $3. For late-night munchers, an above-average Mediterranean menu is available until 2am on weekends.

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Cleopatra’s Needle says
Cleopatra's Needle is the word-renewed New York hot spot known for serving up food drinks and hot live jazz to the New York jazz community. Cleo's original cuisine has been featured on TV food network's "$40 a day" & in Downbeat magazine's international club guide, "100 Great Venues to Hear Jazz"
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Venue name: Cleopatra’s Needle
Address: 2485 Broadway
New York
Cross street: between 92nd and 93rd Sts
Opening hours: Mon, Tue, Sun 4pm–2am; Wed–Sat 4pm–4am
Transport: Subway: 1, 2, 3 to 96th St
Price: Average drink: $8. AmEx, MC, V
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3 / 5

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With piles of restaurants cleverly decorating seemingly every block of Manhattan, it's easy to say that you'll never starve in New York. With that in mind, you may want to take your dining experience to another level by enjoying a night at Cleopatra's Needle The Unsung Heroes of Upper West Side. The place usually caters to a much older crowd (think 30s and above) but you'll enjoy a decent Middle Eastern cuisine. The bar is located directly in the middle of the space, while most of the tables line the walls. There is also a back room for dining as well, but the real treat comes in the form of the live jazz music you can enjoy on any given night of the week. The restaurant book local acts and musicians from abroad and as the night progresses, you just see other musicians slide right in with their own instruments.

It is not often that I feel the need to write a letter of this nature, but the events surrounding our experience on New Year's Eve have left me with no alternative.

My family and I moved to 93rd street and Riverside Drive in September and found what we thought was a nice neighborhood restaurant where we could enjoy some food and entertainment.  As a result, we have now been to this restaurant on many occasions and in fact thought it would be a good place to bring in the New Year with a few of our friends.  Hence, my wife made reservations a few weeks in advance and we had people travel to join us from New Jersey, the east side and from midtown on our recommendation for the evening.

The dis-service started as soon as my wife arrived and was given mixed messages by a surly manager who did not want her to get a table in the front of the restaurant which the staff was trying to seat her at.  Instead he was rude and condescending and had her and part of our group ushered to the back room, which is not what we had signed up for, especially since there was plenty of room in the front of the restaurant.  He even had the audacity to tell her if she didn’t like it, she could leave!  Being utterly embarrassed by the chain of events and not wanting to ruin dinner and what was left of New Year’s Eve, my wife and our friends capitulated and sat in the back room where they were not able to see any of the entertainment.

I arrived at approximately 10 PM and was surprised to find my group in the back room, so I confronted the manager who did not want to be bothered explaining to me how we wound up in the back.  He kept trying to walk away from me telling me he was busy, which I could plainly see was an excuse he was trying to use as a ploy to get out of an unpleasant situation.  He could not offer a good explanation, or in fact any at all, as to why our evening was ruined and we were embarrassed in front of our friends.  In addition, he totally mishandled me and my wife with his surly attitude and is a poor representation for anyone in the hospitality industry to have as a front of the house man.

I have been in the hospitality industry for over 40 years and have never experienced the lack of unprofessionalism that I did from him. In fact, we were so turned off that we left prior to bringing in the New Year.  Additionally they will have lost at least four neighborhood good will ambassadors who could have brought them a lot of business, for something that could have been resolved very easily, because we all know that negative advertising travels a lot further and faster than positive does.  

The manager of your establishment is clearly not a hospitality professional and in fact is doing them more harm than good!

Thank you for ending 2014 on a negative note!