Last night, wincing and expecting a crush of humanity, a friend and I went to the much talked about Rusty Knot (425 West St., at 11th St.; 212-645-5668). What we found when we arrived was pleasant (granted we went fairly early and on a Monday) and accommodating. No huge crowds, no bridge and tunnel. I suspect everyone in the bar was a blogger of some sort. At least from the quantity of coverage the “dive bar” has been receiving, that would be a logical assumption. We quickly managed to score one of the wooden booths (faux wood carvings and all) and got to work on some very well made Dark N’ Stormys served in tiki glasses. The menu was limited, but very well done. Being from Cleveland, I have been in my fair share of dive bars. Places that have a happy hour at 6am (for the third shift factory people) and a good jukebox. The Rusty Knot is the Manhattan interpretation of that – like Disney World Pittsburgh – with more of a nautical theme and appealing to the upwardly mobile.
The decor of the Rusty Knot is the most fun part of the experience. My friend JP described it like this: “it’s an ironic facsimile of a working-class bar dating from the early 80s or late 70s. Judging from the RK and The Gutter in Williamsburg/Greenpoint, I’d say the Edison bulb design cliche has given way to a more camp lookâ€”the stained glass hanging lamp shade.” Whoah, and he hasn’t even been there yet!
I like to think of it more as working-class meets Threes Company. I was expecting to see Mr. Roper hanging out at the bar.
The most random of exteriors.
The food was tasty, note the Pretzel Dog. Food Styled by Aya Kanai.
Feels like a random hotel bar.
Q&A with Ken Friedman and Taavo Somer – New York Magazine.
Good Music – New York Magazine, Grub Street.
Down by the Hipster’s take. – DBTH.
Urban Daddy got there quickly – Urban Daddy.
Geniuses – Men.Style.com
Girls like nautical bars too! – Daily Candy.
Eater weighs in – Eater.