Day 333—Wednesday, December 8th, 2010
On the Rocks
Okay, I’m in a fucking hurry tonight because I have to come in to work early tomorrow. They want me here at the crack of noon, which means I have to get up around nine in the morning to put my post together. Oh the sacrifices I endure for the 365 bar crawl! So, anyway I picked this place because it’s not so far away and it sounds like kind of a simple, dark, whiskey bar from the review I read. So let’s hit the road and get this shit over with check it out.
Since I'm in a hurry, I thought we'd take a cab there.
Hate the cab TV, so off it goes.
Touch here to resume...that's what she said. (Rimshot.)
Fucking crosstown traffic. Somebody cue up Jimi Hendrix!
Okay, here we are. Nice wooden exterior and subtle sign, let's check it out.
Nice dark and cozy in here. Let's settle in.
While this place is a whiskey bar they also have 60 kinds of bottled beer. I tried one called the Kingfisher and bartender Daniel serves it up.
Like I said, this is a whiskey bar.
A shot of the bar from my perch.
The top of the bar showcases the wide selection of bottled beer.
The whiskey is displayed in the heart of the bar.
And below is the vodka, gin, tequila and likewise. It's all top-shelf liquor in here.
Gary was seated next to me at the bar and was enjoying one of the top-shelf drinks.
And here's the owner of the joint, Howard (on the left) with one of the patrons whose name I forgot to write down. Maybe Howard will chime in on the comments and help me out here. Howard...help!
Some of the specials are written on the boards up here.
There's a candle-lit wooden railing with chairs opposite the bar.
A long shot of the bar. Hey, let's go see who the couple is in the front window seats.
It's Mark and Paula. They're engaged and the wedding is in June. They neglected to tell me where the reception is, so I'll have to scour the papers to see where to crash the wedding.
Meanwhile back at the bar, Daniel's taking care of business.
Ron came in with quite an impressive hat and drinking abilities. He doesn't need no stinking glass!
Looking up I noticed something is missing in here...
There's no TV's. Howard told me he thinks a bar is for socializing and he intentionally didn't put any TV's in here. One of the few bars without TV's in Manhattan. Nice job, Howard! (Sorry, Gene!)
Bar number three, three, three. 32 to go! Goodnight, everybody!
Okay, this is the way this shit works here at 365. The introduction is usually written before I go to the bar and then the review is written in the morning. Well, I’m up two hours earlier than I usually do, so I feel like warmed over dogshit on a moldy bagel. So here’s two reviews I found online. They’re pretty accurate.
When you enter On the Rocks, walk straight ahead and grab a seat, because, well, that’s your only option. At this narrow sliver of a bar, there’s little to distract you from the ultimate goal, which is whiskey, chatting, beer and more whiskey. Those familiar with brown liquor will be happy to see old friends—Glenlivet, Macallan and Blanton’s (to name but a few of many)—and happier to learn they’re reasonably priced, with the majority in the $9-$11 range for a sizeable pour. Not as well versed as your neighbor (or just unable to read labels in dim lighting)? The knowledgeable bartender will be your friendly Sherpa through uncharted territory. For those looking for something slightly less intoxicating, there’s a wide array of bottled beer ($4-$20), though you won’t find fruity cocktails with tiny umbrellas here. The scene is sophisticated without being pretentious, but you’ll do well to keep your drinks straightforward like the rest of the bar—neat, straight up or on the rocks.
Time Out New York
Whiskey lovers have a new hang in this diminutive Hell's Kitchen bar, which features more than 80 varieties of the spirit. If heady quaffs like a Redbreast 15-year or a Ridgemont 1792 bourbon aren't quite your speed, you can choose from more than 60 bottled beers. The dim, narrow space has exposed brick, and most seating is at the concrete bar, the better to claim your bartender's ear and nerd out over obscure brown spirits.
On the Rocks
696 10th Ave. (Between 48th and 49th St.)