By Melissa Limberg
What are the chances you’re going to go to Chinatown? Slim? Maybe none? I know. I KNOW. I’m gonna give you a reason to go to China town right now. It’s called “The Whiskey Tavern.”
Deep in the heart of the smelly fish market, you’ll find Baxter St. A road less traveled, to say the least… but, (as Yoda would say) travel it – you must! Log onto the website and you’ll read an accurate description that explains a simple and effective philosophy, “well poured drinks, reasonable prices, good music, a comfortable setting, and great service.” True, true, true, true, and true! It’s like they wrote their own review! So, wait, why haven’t you been there? Accessible via the 6, N, Q, R trains – it’s practically like you’d be going out of your way not to make it there.
You’ll walk into a decent sized bar with tables, food, and a photo booth. I can’t actually imagine what else I’d want in a night time destination, so we’re off to an excellent start. The bartenders are straight up awesome. They’re not the kind that take themselves too seriously and bore you over some crap about a craft whiskey. They pour your drinks, they make you laugh, and you can tell they’re having an awesome time while doing it. In fact, these are the kinds of bartenders that make you want to tip more than is customary because you’re just plain happy to give it to them.
When they say “well poured drinks,” they actually mean it. You’re not going to get trashed off of one or anything, but you won’t be disappointed. Listen, I’m not trying to come off as a stingy alcoholic or anything, but a good pour goes a long way in the world of overpriced bar beverages and snotty service. Their musical selection is all across the board, and I’ve never been happier to report hearing “Purple Rain” and “Everlasting Light” in the same 10 minute window!
Keep in mind, they actually have good food, too. Any establishment with tater tots on the menu usually gets praise from me, but don’t let that impugn this glowing recommendation! A perfect selection of bar food bordering on comfort food, and the prices are more than fair for the quality of preparation. It’s always great to report a small bar that really just does it right. For this upper east sider, it’s worth the trek downtown to enjoy this place.
I’ll call this place a “feel good bar.” And I can’t apologize for how lame that might sound. Open daily from 11am – 4am you should take your next tourist who wants to find a fake Fendi here for lunch and some spirits. Hell, next time you want to go out on a Saturday night and don’t feel like navigating the frat daddies of Murray Hill, let this be your destination. I may be biased, but I’ve had some great times at this little gem on Baxter St.