Photo from Village Pourhouse.
I think Village Pourhouse is good. I really do. The food is more than decent for a sports bar, the beers are multitudinous and acceptably priced, the drinks mixed decently. The waitstaff deal with big orders smoothly and make good recommendations.
But holy crap, is it loud and crowded.
The first time my volleyball team decided to go to the Pourhouse after a game was on a Tuesday evening at around 9 PM. We walked in, barely had room to move through to look in vain for someplace to stand, much less sit, and walked straight out into the waiting arms of our soon-to-be favorite dive, Sly Fox.
On a Tuesday.
I think the Village Pourhouse’s problem is that they got too good: They’ve been named Best Beer Bar (Blackbook, 2008), Best Sports Bar in America (Thrillist, 2011), Best Sports Bar (Metromix 2009-2011) … and even one of the Best Places to Work (Crain’s, 2008). You can check out all the awards on the left side here.
Heaping adulation atop a place tends to have the effect of making literally everyone who is alive want to go there. And it worked. The only time I managed to walk by this bar without figuratively covering my ears was when I met someone for a drink on a Monday around 6:30 PM. It was a good time to go; there weren’t too many people.
I got a rum and coke, as I usually do, and my date got a Stella. I didn’t pay too much. But as we talked it got louder and more crowded and we eventually left for somewhere quieter.
This is a place that lends itself well to watching sports and being generally jubilant. If I were a college basketball fan, I’d immediately try to get in for March Madness, relying on the energy of the crowd to make cramming in worth it. But I generally prefer calmer, quieter, less packed venues, so this is a place I’m going to avoid.
The Village Pourhouse (64 3rd Ave. at 11th St.) opens at 11 AM every day and closes at 2 AM Sunday through Wednesday and 4 AM Thursday through Saturday. They have solid specials pretty much every day and are definitely worth a trip if their ambiance is your style. But if you’re more like me and prefer to chill out, this isn’t the place for you.