In this city, restaurants come and go faster than you can say "sustainable locavore burger." And even though there are great new additions to the culinary landscape popping up every week, you've gotta give kudos to anyone who can stick it out for over a year. With that in mind, we bring you Still Got It, our tribute to establishments that continue to serve mouthwatering meals and drinks long after the buzz has faded—or where the lingering hype is still justified.
Stepping inside 169 Bar brings on instant ADD. Do you focus on the kitschy decor of mermaid statues, disco balls and T-Rex heads? The classic films playing silently on the televisions? Whatever's happening on the bar's mini stage? It's hard to not have your head on constant swivel—and after multiple Happy Hour $3 shot-and-beer combos it gets even harder.
If boilermakers aren't your thing, slurp down frozen fruit daiquiris in peach, banana, strawberry or pina colada or inch closer to a blackout with a classic Hurricane made with passion fruit and oodles of rum. Even when they're not $1 off during Happy Hour, beers are super cheap, ranging from a $4 can of Narragansett "Jaws" Lager to a $7 pint of the bar's four Sixpoint brews on tap including Sweet Action and The Crisp. Or keep it classy with a 40 of Colt 45 ($8) served in a bucket of ice, naturally.
The New Orleans-inspired dive slings more than just cheap beers, specializing in seafood eats like Louisiana Crawfish, Coconut Shrimp and oysters. Lots and lots of oysters. You can get the briny bivalves on the half shell, broiled Rockefeller-style or topped with one of the bar's special sauces and served literally on fire at the table. Po' Boys stuffed with fried shrimp, oysters or crawfish channel the Big Easy, while a container of Fried Dumplings pays homage to the bar's home in Chinatown.
Cheap booze and tasty food are great, but it's the bar's quirks that really make it a special place. They're the only bar (that we know of) to offer ordering via text, so you're never more than a few clicks on your smart phone away from a refill or crock of mac and cheese delivered to your table. We also appreciate the bar's commitment to recycling, using sriracha bottles for everything from their original purpose, to dumpling sauce to soap dispensers in the bathroom.
169 Bar is located at 169 East Broadway between Rutgers and Jefferson Streets; website