My wife and I love New York City’s Greenwich Village. We think the neighborhood is charming. And the food — like many parts of New York — is fantastic.
We highly recommend Food Tours of NY’s Heart & Soul of Greenwich Village Walking Tour. (We took their Flavors of Chinatown tour during another trip and loved that, too.) That originally sparked our love for the Village. Joe’s Pizza and Murray’s Cheese on Bleeker are two must-visits whenever we have the time during NYC visits. (Quick aside: Murray’s products are or were featured on some Delta flights.)
Lo and behold, I found The Up & Up in Greenwich Village.
Where is The Up & Up in Greenwich Village?
That’s where our story begins. The Up & Up’s address is 116 MacDougal St, New York, New York, 10012.
I rode the E train from Penn Station to West 4th St – Wash Square station.
Then I started walking.
I’m pretty sure I walked past the place at least once. Or twice.
I eventually realized it’s not located on street level. It’s down below.
If The Up & Up is going for a speakeasy vibe, well, mission: accomplished.
I rang a buzzer and was greeted by a gentleman dressed to the nines.
“Do you have a reservation?” he asked. I told him I did not and asked if I could just sit at the bar for a while. “Hold on.”
After a minute, he came back and told me I could sit at the bar — but only until 7:00 PM. (This was at about 5:30.) Fine with me!
The place is rather small, quaint, and cozy.
The staff is great and I enjoyed chatting with them. (Although, none of them played me a song on the trumpet and celebrated my un-birthday with me.)
The first item I ordered was a Screen Door Slam, which I confirmed with a bartender is, indeed, an ode to Bruce Springsteen. (Those words are heard in the first few lines of “Thunder Road,” the second greatest rock and roll song ever after “Born to Run.”)
Screen Door Slam is made with Makers Mark Bourbon, Absinthe, Aperol, honey, and vanilla bean. (Yep, Absinthe.)
Very tasty — and strong. I felt pretty happy pretty quickly.
I wanted something to eat and opted for Murray’s Cheese and Charcuterie Plate.
That, too, was excellent (duh, because it’s from Murray’s!) The crackers, meat, cheese, apricots, and other goodies made for a fairly filling snack.
I sipped some water and checked the time. I could squeeze in just one more drink before the 7:00 PM boot. (Fun fact: someone with whom I once worked — and he has a fairly checkered past — once warned me that “just one more of whatever is when trouble starts.” He’s not necessarily wrong.)
I ordered a bourbon Old Fashioned (because, of course, I did). The bartender nailed it!
It was about time to venture back to the hotel. I said to myself, “I’ll walk the 35 or 40 or whatever blocks back to the hotel! I feel amazing! That’s not surprising, considering I just enjoyed bourbon, absinthe, and some Aperol.
I got about a block into my journey when I suddenly realized hoofing it back to Times Square — or anywhere — wasn’t the best idea. I ordered an Uber and make it back just fine.
I will 100% go back to The Up & Up. (Here’s their website.) I enjoyed the drinks, snacks, and service. Plus, it’s in one of my favorite neighborhoods.
If you’re looking for a fun place for drinks, give it a try next time you’re in New York City.
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