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Entries in NYC Hotel Bars (2)


Saturday, May 22nd, 2010—Bar 132

Day 132—Friday, May 21st, 2010
The Merlin Room (in the Vincci Avalon Hotel)

Okay, every once in a while I hit a wall on this bar crawl and tonight I’ve hit it hard. I’ve had a busy week at work, I hung out with the Baltimore Bar Crawlers at the beginning of the week, hit a rooftop bar and then stayed later than I usually would last night at the Mug Lounge. And I just found out I have to work this weekend. If you recall from my whining in last Friday’s post I worked last weekend as well. That means coming up this Friday I will have worked 19 days in a row without a day off. And at night I do my bar crawl thing and tonight I am burned right the fuck out. So, I need to find some quiet little place, have my required three beers and stay my allotted hour and get the fuck out and go home and get to sleep. I am beat. I searched the internet and found a place just a few blocks from work called the Merlin Room in the Vincci Avalon Hotel. There’s only one review I found and this is it: Merlin Room Review on New York On Tap.  It says there’s not much to recommend about this place unless you’re looking for a discreet rendezvous. Well, that sounds like a nice little quiet place, so let’s go rendezvous and then I’m going to get some sleep.

Here we are, the Vincci Avalon Hotel, let's go find the Merlin Room, have three beers and go home.

This looks like the place!

It looks perfect for this burned out bar-crawler. Small, intimate and just one person at the bar on a Friday night.

Bartender Sergio pours me the first beer in this laid back joint.

Ravi was the only other person in the bar and he was a friendly fellow.

We clink our glasses and toast each other in this quiet bar. Cheers!

It's small in here, but as you can see they have a full bar with lots of booze.

There's cocktail tables opposite the bar.

The windows have a nice view of 32nd Street in all its glory.

I always say this sign should have one next to it saying: "Warning: Drinking Alcoholic Beverages Can Lead To Acts That Will Cause Pregnancy."

Off to the side is a nice little lounge area.

And a glass of matches can only lead to one thing...

...Fire! (I never get sick of doing this!)

I told you I was burned out. Goodnight everybody!

The Merlin Room is a quiet little cozy bar adjacent to the restaurant in the Vincci Avalon Hotel. The bar is small and can seat about a half a dozen and there’s cocktail tables opposite with windows giving you a view of 32nd Street in Korea Town. The patrons are mainly tourists having a quick drink before retiring to their rooms or heading on to other destinations.

There’s a full bar available and on Friday Happy Hour lasts all day and night with three dollar bottled beers.
While New York is a city that never sleeps, this place does and it closes at the early hour of 11:00 pm.

I got there at ten and just made my one hour and three beer allotment. Now it’s time to recharge for a more exciting crawl tomorrow. Stay tuned!

Merlin Room (in the Vincci Avalon Hotel)
16 E. 32nd St. (Between Madison & 5th Ave)
(212) 299-7000


Saturday, April 3rd, 2010—Bar 83

Day 83—Friday, April 2nd
12:31 Bar

Okay, I’ve written about this before, but for me, Friday and Saturday nights are the worst nights known to man and woman to go to a bar, especially in New York. It’s crowded, loud, hard to get a drink and if you’re going out late like I do, it’s filled with drunken happy hour idiots that should’ve left hours ago. I thought I had fixed the situation somewhat by going to hotel bars on Saturday nights, if I had no other plans. But that still left Friday. So now I’ve decided to shift the hotel night to Friday and I have a brand new Saturday theme to debut tomorrow. What’s the new Saturday theme? Well, you’ll have to wait and see, because we’ve got a hotel bar to go to for now.

I found a bar that’s fairly closeby where I work called the 12:31 bar in the Hotel Chandler. The name comes from its location: 12 E. 31st St. From what I read it’s a cozy little bar that doesn’t get too crowded, so it sounds perfect. Let’s go see if it is.

Here it is, the 12:31 at the Hotel Chandler.

Friday night and plenty of seats at the bar, that's what I like to see!

The friendly bartender Shimul serves up a bottle of Original Sin cider.

And here I sample the cider. Note to self: don't ever drink this cider again! I switched to Amstel Light after I drained this one, a little too sweet for my tastes.

Hey there's someone else at the end of the bar.

It's Marco and Veronika who were enjoying drinks and bar snacks. Hey, where's my snacks?

They're right here, free bar snacks! Woo and hoo!

Behind the bar are banquettes and tables to relax and enjoy your drinks.

Which is exactly what Daniel and Catalina were doing. Daniel was visiting from Columbia and Catalina is from Venezuela. Welcome to New York and cheers!

The blue lighting, dark wooden walls and paintings make for an elegant surrounding in the bar.

The bar in all its glory.

Here's LIam, who just got in from London. He smartly made a pit stop at the bar after unpacking.

Obligatory bathroom mirror shot! Goodnight everybody!


The 12:31 bar is a cozy, little hideaway located in the Hotel Chandler on E. 31st St.
It’s an intimate and elegant atmosphere with the space being about as large as two and a half New York studio apartments. The blue lighting and dark wood walls set the mood. The patrons are a fun mix of friendly tourists staying at the hotel and if you’re a local like me, it’s fun to recommend different spots and discuss the city with them. The crowd is a bit more local from six to nine when the after-work crowd stops by.

12:31 has a generous six hour Happy Hour Monday through Friday featuring three dollar beers, five buck house wines and drinks ranging from six to eight dollars. The bar features a few speciality cocktails including: a Caramel Appletini, a Pink Floyd inspired drink called, Comfortably Numb and Long Island Iced Tea. They also offer standard bar fare on the menu featuring: Mozzerlla Sticks, Chicken Fingers, Cheese Fries and a Cuban Sandwich. There’s a large screen TV and rumor has it that ocassionally belly dancers are brought in for entertainment.

The bar has a laid back atmosphere where you can usually snag a seat at the bar, even on a Friday night, which in my book is a good thing.

12:31 Bar
12 E. 31st St. (@ Madison Ave.)