West End Hall (CLOSED)
Time Out says
We’re not on the Upper West Side anymore, Toto. Or at least it feels that way—at first glance, the gargantuan suds depot looks more apropos of beer-swilling Murray Hill than a subdued, tree-lined strip of the Upper West Side. It’s no surprise, then, that the Lure Group (Clinton Hall in FiDi, Governors Club on Governors Island) is behind the rustic, brick-walled project, yet another trumped-up booze temple brought to a dried-out nabe in need. Flannel-clad servers stroll about the 250-seat space—a sidewalk café flows seamlessly into the bar area, main dining room and backyard—providing brief but helpful guidance on a 50-strong beer bill, which spotlights cask- and keg-conditioned brews culled from all corners of the globe.
ORDER THIS: Select beers are tapped through the bar’s on-site flux capacitor (not the time traveling kind). Geek out over a hanging wall of gauges and gadgets that manually control the compression and gas ratio for each of the 20 draft options, including hard-to-come-by offerings like the Belgian-style Brugse Zot ($8)—a refreshingly crisp, golden-hued ale notable for being the only beer brewed and lagered entirely in the medieval town of Bruges. For hops hounds, a Hopfish IPA ($8) from New Jersey’s Flying Fish balances a mouthful of floral bitterness with a malty sweet finish, while libatious lightweights can easily down the faintly boozy Schofferhofer Grapefruit ($6), which sips as sweet as the red-orange fruit nectar itself.
GOOD FOR: Jim Botsacos (Molyvos) offers up enhanced biergarten bites—the Bavarian touchstones are accounted for (schnitzel, kolbase), but the menu expands to include globally accented plates like Thai coconut mussels and sriracha-chorizo fries, ready to soak up every malt, saison and mead on offer. A not-to-miss house burger blankets a meaty Angus patty with velvety cheddar and crisps of maple-glazed bacon ($14), while a Cubano sandwich is remixed with sauerkraut, mustard and German-style pork sausage in place of the usual ham ($12).
THE CLINCHER: Admittedly, service swaps downtown urgency for a more laid-back modus operandi, but what the watering hole lacks in expediency, it easily makes up for in comfort. Ample communal tables and an expansive, ivy-covered backyard boasting canopy-topped alfresco seating means you won’t be evicted by a hurried host or slapped with the bill before your last sip. So sit back, relax and feel free to pour one out for all your brew-loving brethren crammed in a closet-size bar near 42nd Street.
|Cross street:||at Duke Ellington Blvd|
|Transport:||Subway: 1 to 103rd St|
|Price:||Average drink: $16. AmEx, MC, V|
|Opening hours:||Sun-Tue 4pm-1am; Wed–Fri 4pm-3am; Sat 10am–3am; Sun 10am-4pm|
|Do you own this business?|