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« Friday, December 10th, 2010—Bar 334 | Main | Wednesday, December 8th, 2010—Bar 332 »

Thursday, December 9th, 2010—Bar 333

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.)

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Reader Comments (24)

I can sort of live without tv's, if there's nothing on to watch :)

Dominie's Hoek doesn't have tv's ... and I loved that place --- but of course I was wondering how the college football was going when we were there to eat !

December 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGENE

@GENE: I think you'd like this place even though there's no TV's, they make up for it with their large selection of beers. A must-stop for the BBC on your next trip!

December 9, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

Hey, Howard, nice bar! I like that cane-work with the brick combo, and just the right amount of decorations. I'm not a whiskey drinker, myself (whenever I drink it, I end up wearing hats like Rons), but I could spend an afternoon/evening with your beer list! I'm for sure penciling this place in on my to-do list. Thanks for the tip, Marty!

P.S. I like that the sign resembles an "On The Air" alert - and Mark, don't look now, but Paula has carnations growing out of her head! Congratulations, you two!

December 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBiff

Looks like a nice place to cozy up with a bottle of the dark in the dark.

December 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBarfly

A good pint and a glass of scotch and no TV,,,that is my kind of place. Howard is my kind of guy,,,plenty of bars with tv's everywhere,,,sports,,,CNN,,,etc, this kinda goes back to the old days, if you went to a bar you converse (socialize) and meet people. They should also ask people to turn off the cellphones and stop texting for an hour, though that addiction is hard to break for some. I must be getting old.

December 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAl

@Al: When you get out here, we have to stop at On The Rocks, because that's exactly what Howard and I were talking about last night.

December 9, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

"Show me...the way...to the next whiskey bar...oh, don't ask why...oh,don't ask why..." The Doors..

December 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJaws the Cabbie

@Jaws: Perfect theme song for this place! I'll post it tonight.

December 9, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

Love the exterior. When I go to a bar I say I want the cheapest whiskey they have. They probably wouldn't appreciate that there.

December 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkari

Um...wait. When did they start having cab TV's? *lives under a rock* And speaking of TV's - I am a FAN of On the Rocks simply because I think its wicked cool they do NOT have any televisions in there. People will actually INTERACT with each other. And that's a refreshing change. But, Im *NOT* a fan of whiskey.

December 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermeleah rebeccah

@Meleah: The cab TV thing started about a year ago, at least you can turn them off and listen to the driver butcher the English language. And you don't have to be a whiskey fan, even though it's a whiskey bar, they've got 60 kinds of beer and a full bar of other top shelf liquor. And it's only one of a handful of bars that don't have any TV's in them.

December 9, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

Hey Marty, do you get to see how many people visit your website? I was just curios because I read it everyday but usually do not comment. It's kills a nice 5 minutes from my workday! Keep up the good work. I enjoy getting out on the "virtual" town each day to my former home in NYC. regards, Mattyanza - San Francisco

December 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermattyanza

@Mattyanza: Yeah I've got a tracker and am always amazed and pleased at the number of people who stop by from all over the world. It kind of boggles my mind sometimes, but then again, my mind is easily boggled! Thanks for stopping by everyday and I'm happy to be a pleasant diversion from your workday! Say hi and cheers to all in San Francisco!

December 9, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

It's pronounced "Kungfusher".

Kingfisher's from NZ.

December 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Brooks

@myself - no it's not you douche.

Kingfisher's from India.

December 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Brooks

@Brooksy: Where the hell have you been? Glad to see you back and having a nice conversation with yourself!

December 9, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

Holy crap. I can't believe you ended up at On The Rocks. I was there like the second night it opened with a friend who knew the owner Howard (and, btw, he told me then that he was putting in a TV somewhere, so I wonder about his story).

That is one funny little bar. Speaking of which, I could use a whisky.

December 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFat Al

@365Beers - haha, I've been here all along! Read the blog everyday, but haven't commented for a while. I believe in quality, not quantity :)

December 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Brooks

Cheer up Marty, the end is in sight! Do you have some sort of special final 5-10 bars lined up or will you wing it to the end? You need to have an epic finish!

December 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNYteacher

@Fat Al: I hope it remains sans TV.

@Brooksy: Nice to know, I thought you jumped ship!

@NYTeacher: I have the last one planned. Whether it will be epic, is something time will tell. It'll be epic for me, because then I'll finally be done with this thing!

December 9, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

oh man a comment killing t'ing...hey if you are a follower...give a shout!...damn 365 "seems" to get "hung up" here and there...knees heaving breasts tripping cripples slow sidewalk walkers three wide and there is only two...

jaws damn you did not put the little girl line in...while hell i don't think i would either...this pc world...

365...nothing about hero worship just a mention...

damn way off topic...on the rocks... .nice addition to the crawl...

boris...guess what you can edit../.

with the jaws text karaoke....

Rye whiskey, rye whiskey, rye whiskey I cry
If a tree don't fall on me, I'll live till i die
-tex ritter...KOC


December 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterraginrr

raginrr: Great Tex Ritter lyrics! I gotta look for that one on YouTube as well! And I still laugh about tripping that cripple. Trippiing the cripple fantastic!

December 9, 2010 | Registered Commenter365 Beers

TV + Cab = Smellovision.

I love the interaction aspect.
That is lacking in this day and age.
Way to go Howard!
I WAS INDEED a Whiskey Drinker back in the "daze."

December 10, 2010 | Unregistered Commenter"Boris"

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