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Genuine Liquorette (CLOSED)

  • Bars
  • Little Italy
  • price 1 of 4
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended
  1. Paul Wagtouicz
    Paul Wagtouicz
  2. Genuine Liquorette (Paul Wagtouicz)
    Paul Wagtouicz
  3. Mojito at Genuine Liquorette (Paul Wagtouicz)
    Paul Wagtouicz
  4. Genuine Liquorette (Paul Wagtouicz)
    Paul Wagtouicz

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

The canon of cocktail bars hidden inside fast-food joints (PDT, the Garret) got another major player with AvroKO hospitality group’s latest bar, set beneath Little Italy patty flipper Genuine Superette. Through a plastic-strip door, the 34-seat room is bathed in the warming glow of a neon-red LIQUORETTE sign hanging above the counter, with price-marked bottles in backlit glass cabinets calling up an old liquor store. Bargoers drawn in by Eben Freeman’s bulldog-style cocktails (mini liquor bottles perched atop soda cans) snap ’grams of their photogenic pours at chrome-rimmed high tops. Kitsch abounds (even the bathroom is plastered with Farrah Fawcett memorabilia), but these antics come scot-free of pretentiousness, promoting a brand of behind-the-bar novelty that favors comfort and simplicity.

ORDER THIS: Cha-Chunkers, the canned cocktails Freeman punctures using a custom hole-punching contraption while chatting amicably with guests at the bar. A garden-variety mojito ($10.56) is reimagined as a miniglug of Cruzan white rum upturned into fizzy Sprite with lime and mint, and an Insomniac ($14.70) dunks a bottle of Frangelico hazelnut liqueur into a Starbucks Doubleshot can, boosted by coffee-smacked Kahlúa and a splash of half and half.

GOOD FOR: Boozers looking to play bartender. The bar offers two DIY drinking options: Help yourself to a self-service fridge stocked with beer and wine, or opt for a pay-by-the-gram Rough Justice program that grants access to on-display spirits, weighed on a scale to calculate the amount consumed. Amateur barkeeps can register for monthly classes taught by Freeman and fellow bartenders ($75), with every graduate getting a Polaroid hung on the wall to signify certification to guest-bartend for their group any time they visit.

THE CLINCHER: Pub-grub standards dispatched from the fast-casual menu upstairs are available to offset your buzz, including a single-stack burger ($7.81) and a buttermilk-battered fried chicken sandwich that balances the bird’s crackling skin with cool, apple-celeriac slaw and a boisterous sambal-laden mayo ($9.64). On more than one recent visit, Freeman announced last call for drinks with a round of on-the-house fries for all tables present. With these charming touches from the ever-pleasant bar staff and a well-balanced lineup of boozing activities, all signs point to a genuinely good time at Genuine.

Written by
Dan Q Dao


191 Grand St
New York
Cross street:
at Mulberry St
Subway: J, Z, N, Q, R, 6 to Canal St; 6 to Spring St
Average drink: $10. AmEx, Disc, MC, V
Opening hours:
Tue, Wed 6pm-midnight; Thu-Sat 6pm-2am
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