Friday, November 28, 2008

Bar Spotlight (Football Season Edition): Slainte

Slainte Bar & Lounge
304 Bowery (between Bleecker & Houston)
Tel: 212 253 7030

The EV and the LES aren't really the first nabes to consider when going to watch games; it's not really inherent as much as other areas are of Manhattan. I think that's a pretty agreeable statement, but correct me if I'm wrong. I would like to write up Phebe's and Blue Seats but I do have a soft spot for Slainte, a spacious affair also on Bowery but a little farther south, close to Houston.

I don't think Slainte is even the first bar to consider; they don't really have food and drink specials when it comes to games (although it's advertised). They do have the Ticket, and plenty of TVs by the bar as well as the large projection screen in the back by the tables. More of a place to watch European football (they play Irish sessions every Sunday other than NFL season), their menu is fairly tasty with the usual Irish specials like bangers and mash along with other savory dishes and pub fare. The brunch special is just for food - you're not going to be doing all you can drink here, but whether it's English or Irish it feels satisfying like a real meal during the 1 o'clock. The beer tends to hover around 6 bucks a pint which feels expensive after a couple so you might fare better with a similarly priced mixed drink.

With the cider on tap, there's plenty of room to walk about here, and the bar is long and slightly winding. It's a wide space and that's what I always enjoyed about the place, it gives a sense of "room to breathe" and the vibe is decidedly (unless it's soccer time) no bullshit. I enjoy going here on a Saturday night as well, so I would recommend this bar for those intentions on top of going to a game on Sunday afternoon. The brick walls and Gaelic writing add to the flavor and the TVs are large and well placed along the bar (even though the front high tables get no love really in terms of the view).

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