Jacob Hadjigeorgis gave the Upper West Side’s sleepy restaurant scene a jolt of energy when he opened Jacob’s Pickles in 2011. The gastropub became a popular destination for Southern comfort food with a menu filled with fried pickles, hot chicken biscuits and other American comfort food dishes (full disclosure: its success, and perfectly crisp fried chicken, is one reason we welcomed the eatery into our very own Time Out Market New York).
Now Hadjigeorgis’ Pickle Hospitality (which also operates Maison Pickle and Lucky Pickle Dumpling Co.) has opened Tiki Chick next door with a modern day spin on the retro tiki bar. The area isn’t exactly a hotbed for the best New York bars but the vibrant space with tropical vibes is refreshing debut filled with pineapples, greenery, bamboo, a red leather banquette and an array of fun drinking vessels. New Year's eve was the first night the bar opened.
Instead of beer and whiskey, beverage director Selina Arden and lead bartender Michael Walters have put their own touches on classic drinks. You’ll find the requisite Mai Tai ($16) and Singapore Sling ($16), but there’s also a Rum & Cola’d Fashion ($16) and large-format drinks to share such as the Mida’s Gold Punch ($29 and $55), a bowl filled with Brennivin Aquavit, Blackpool Spiced Rum, Perry’s Tot Gin, apricot, golden beets, turmeric, agave and lime. There will be at least seven frozen cocktails, too.
The limited menu plays off on the comfort food theme at Jacob’s Pickles. Chef Glenroy Brown will keep serving a fried chicken sandwich but there’s also a Spam sandwich served on sweet buns with pineapples. For brunch, expect savory and sweet breakfast sammies served on “s’Tiki doughnuts.”
Pickle Hospitality’s fourth concept in the neighborhood has had “full support,” according to Hadjigeorgis, despite a setback last year when a few community board members protested the use sign featuring a bare-chested woman in a hula skirt (she’s now covered in a lei), as reported by the West Side Rag.
“It’s a neighborhood that you could be in for 100 years,” Hadjigeorgis told Time Out New York, explaining why he originally chose the Upper West Side. A tiki bar may fit right in.
Tiki Chick is located at 517 Amsterdam Ave. (at W. 85th St.) on the Upper West Side, 10024. Hours are: Monday-Thursday 4pm-2 am, Friday 4pm-4am, Saturday 10am-4 am, Sunday 10am-2am