NY: Where Not to Order Specialty Martini’s…The Holland Bar
I went to Holland Bar to verify a NY Times article. I left thinking it was like Cheers. Not cable TV, Beacon Hill, Boston Cheers. This is “HBO Special” Hell’s Kitchen Cheers. The “Open” sign on the door was hand written on a half-sheet of computer paper. The Spartan selection tucked behind the plywood bar (carpenters’ pencil notes visible) is for drinkers, not smancy mixologist followers. Draft beer: Bud or McSorley’s. Bottle: Bud or Coors. There are a few wooden liquor shelves hung into the brickwork. The other day one fell off the wall. “Top shelf” liquor: a single bottle of Hennessey and Southern Comfort.
Before 5 pm, lifetime barflies exchange stories and rehash personal dramas, while muted horse racing plays on the tele. Everyone knows everyone. The jukebox is silent. An after work crowd came in around 5 and schooled like fish near the entrance. Old DMX curb kicked the speakers.
As if it needed anything more, The Holland boasts Doctor Bill, the white-haired legend with a family physician’s bar side manner, behind the plywood. A plaque announces “The Doctor is in'”. I guarantee he couldn’t make a cosmo, which is so excellent.
Author note: I would be lying if I didn’t admit to having reservations about writing this, but I know Broke-Ass readers are a better lot than DailyCandy-ites and Frommer’s buyers. I’ll blame the NY Times if this place experiences a sudden and dramatic shift in clientele, but just remember responsible patronage. You should check out Broke-Ass Stuart’s review of it here or just buy his damn book.