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Searching for Sports in Hipster-Land: The East Village

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Photo from thehorseboxnyc.com

If you’re a sports fan like me, I’m sure it happens to you all the time: Your friends are dying to try that new lounge/bistro/dive in [insert newly gentrified NYC neighborhood here] but all you want to do is sit back with a cheap cold one and catch the game. As the odd one out in your group, you’re fully aware that trying to find a decent sports bar in Hipster-Land that will show something besides soccer or curling is practically impossible. “Professional sports? Such plebian corporate conglomerates interest us not.”

So I have made it one of my life’s goals to prove that no matter how hipster, how euphemistic or contrived the neighborhood name is (East Williamsburg and BoCoCa, I’m looking in your direction) there is a sports bar for the rest of us. We’ll start fairly simple: the East Village.

The East Village has been trendy for quite some time now (look for it to become un-trendy any day now) so finding one wasn’t too needle-in-a-haystack. I decided to check out the HorseBox on Ave A and E. 14.

I arrived around 6:00 and happy hour was still in full swing. It runs daily from 12-8 and the entire bar is half off. That translates into well drinks for less than $4 and craft beer pints like Goose Island, Brooklyn Seasonal, and the bar’s own HorseBox lager for $3.50. When I arrived the bar was not overly crowded; I was able to snag a seat at the bar and friends who arrived shortly afterward were able to as well. It started to get a little more crowded as happy hour was coming to a close, but by then I really didn’t care, needless to say.

Lots of times when I’ve gone out looking to watch sports I’ve had to request a channel change from the bartender or waitstaff to put on the game I want to see. And lots of times I have to make the request several times, to different people. I totally understand; bartenders are busy, and what’s on TV probably isn’t their first priority. But I didn’t have that problem at HorseBox. There were about eight to ten TVs, and Friday was a pretty action-packed sports night in NYC: the Yankees, Mets, Knicks, and Nets were all playing. Both games I wanted to watch–the Yankees and Knicks–were within my field of vision.

Congenial staff also made my HorseBox visit a pleasant experience. At one point several innings in to the Yankee game a newcomer sliding up to the bar requested that it be changed to a different channel. I promptly told the bartender that we had been watching the Yankees all along, and he promptly changed it back. And his tip for ordering Magners on draft (ice on the side, so you get the most of your pint) was so simple and genius I couldn’t believe we didn’t think of it ourselves.

HorseBox does not serve food, but if you’re looking to save money you’re probably better off. They practically encourage bringing food in, so I ran across the street to Muzzarella Pizza and grabbed a couple of slices for $5.

My first foray into sports in Hispster-Land was a huge success. I had three beers (two on happy hour price, one on regular) so I ate, drank, tipped, and watched both games (which I really wouldn’t have been able to do at home) for around $25. Nice to find a (baseball) diamond in the rough.

The HorseBox
Mon-Sun 12pm-4am
Happy Hour: 12pm-8pm 1/2 Price Drinks
Wednesdays: $3 Drinks for Ladies
218 Ave A (between 13th & 14th Street)
[East Village]

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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.