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Chilling in Chelsea: One Star Bar

Photo from Yelp.com

It’s a known fact that your experience in a bar is different when you’re 21 than when you’re 31. I now view going to bars as an opportunity to bond with the few friends I have left instead of getting trashed with a bunch of acquaintances who don’t even know my last name. Some of the things I like to do with friends (while drinking, of course) include watching a game, making an art project at those drink-and-paint classes that are starting to pop up everywhere, and playing trivia or board games at the bar.

Or maybe it’s just that imbibing an entire bottle of wine while watching Jeopardy! on my couch alone borders on alcoholic behavior.

I had heard One Star Bar (147 W. 24 Street between 6 and 7 Avenues), a relatively new bar in Chelsea I had been dying to try, hosts Bad Trivia on Saturdays. I have always enjoyed, if not excelled at, quiz games like Trivial Pursuit, and the fact that the trivia night was preceded by the word “bad” gave me hope that my friend Jessica and I would actually have a shot at winning.

I arrived at the bar about an hour before Jessica and I had planned to meet up with my laptop in tow, looking to get some work done. The space is clean and attractive, with a mahogany bar, four or five flat screens, and tables in the back. And to me, nothing beats tall bar stools with cushions and backs, especially if I’m planning to stay a while.

The drink selection is no-frills but more than satisfactory for the non-pretentious, which appears to be One Star’s target audience. Try their own One Star Red Ale, which tastes similar to Sam Adams’ Irish Red, for $5 a pint. Most other pints are around $6, and they also offer 16 oz. cans of relatively unusual flavors like Tecate and Narrangansett for $5. You can also add a shot of whiskey to your can for an additional $3.

Trivia NYC launched the competition at 7:30 pm, as they do at One Star every Saturday night. It’s free to play there, which hasn’t been the case at other bar trivia competitions I’ve been in. By then I was already three Red Ales in, which you’d think would give me a disadvantage when trying to extract obscure information from the nether corners of my brain. And you’d be right, but at least being buzzed enabled me to find my wrong answers even more hilarious when the right ones were announced.

The one round we did kick ass at was “Name That Tune,” comprised of karaoke versions of 90s songs. Who knew my affinity for bad karaoke would somehow come in handy? And that was apparently the best round to win because it earned us free shots. Another round was all about things that happened in history on April 19, which was that night’s date. If you go you might want to Google “This Date In History” for whatever day you go. You’re welcome.

When the evening was over, we found ourselves in fourth place. Not bad, unless you consider the fact that there were only four teams competing. But we did win a lottery ticket for “team spirit.” Funny, I always won the team spirit trophy when I played sports as a kid too.

Another cool draw of One Star is their Name Night. Check the calendar; if it’s your name night (or initials on Saturday) you can drink One Star Ale, house mixed drinks, or wine from 6-10 for $1 total. Just make sure you bring a couple of friends and tip like a normal person. If you don’t, don’t tell them I sent you.

My experience at One Star far exceeded the expectations set by the name of the bar, a tongue-in-cheek reference to poor or sometimes misguided Yelp reviews. Check it out if you’re looking for a break from overcrowded, touristy midtown or hipster ‘hoods. It was the perfect atmosphere for a chill Saturday night in New York: friendly and attentive bar staff, cheap but tasty beer, and even an activity to make you feel like a genius while you knock back said beer.

At least until the answers are revealed.

One Star Bar
Mon-Sat 4pm-4am (Sundays by Appointment)
147 West 24th Street (between 6th & 7th Ave.)
[Chelsea]

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Elizabeth DiPietro - The Sporty Spendthrift

Elizabeth DiPietro - The Sporty Spendthrift

Liz is born and raised in Queens and dedicates her life to proving that everything you need is right here in New York. A die-hard Yankee fan, Liz spends most of her spare time frequenting bars that offer cheap craft beer and an unobstructed view of a flat screen TV. By day, she passes her admittedly rudimentary knowledge of what it means to be a writer onto her sixth grade students in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Liz now lives with her husband Dave and Siberian husky Sam in Staten Island, strictly for the property value and not the culture. She is currently seeking help for her excessive use of semicolons.