The beautifully lit storefront bar comes from a longtime New Yorker and bartender Matt Webber (most recently of The Cutting Room). Because Webber isn't Chris Noth, he hasn't brought beautiful blondes behind the bar (yet) and is doing everything himself, from fresh juices to choosing the art (hint: look carefully at the provenance of the reclining nude near the front door). "Why a piano bar, though?" we asked. Because, he said, he wanted something that hipsters wouldn't be into. Okay. While his candor is refreshing, on one side of us was a cute, skinny guy showing off his star tattoo and on another a girl who looked like a Scarlett Johansson circa her mullet fascination. We wonder what these cute kids could be called disparagingly instead of hipsters.
Soft Spot is close to the Bedford L train stop but unlike many of the bars and restaurants that price drinks like they are really still in Manhattan, the cocktails here top out around $7. With fresh pomegranate juice and orange slices, the pomegranate margarita was a good choice, especially for sipping in the beautiful back garden, and strong and our friend opted for a house special, the Soft Peach. The bar was offering two options- one for $6 or 2 for $10, clearly working on a similar principle of the 4-8pm happy hour (2 for 1 on all beer, most $4). And the Soft Peach, with Absolute Peach, Triple Sec and a "secret" lemon lime sour mix does go down easy, so much that we wonder if the 2 for $10 should be changed to give us a twenty and we'll give you a pitcher, though you won't be able to walk far when it's empty. Our friend thought the special tasted like "like homemade peach ice cream but not sweet" but it just tasted like summer to us.
The place can serve a good drink under good lighting and employs a good piano player (though billing him a starving artist and actually having the tip jar foisted upon everyone at the bar is a little much). Check it out while there is still prime garden drinking time and enjoy the drinks, however they were conceived.
128 Bedford Avenue at North 10th Street