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Black Keys

SPECS  old school NY style pub/restaurant – casual neighborhood feel – long bar, 2 inside dining areas, and a few outside tables – original bar furnishings from the 1800’s
GOOD FOR  local hangout – after work scene – stiff drinks – late night burger
DANCING OR CONVERSATION  conversation – background classic rock
CROWD  friendly local Tribeca crowd – many loyal patrons – every now and then a celebrity –  av age 30 and up
ENTRY  not an issue – can walk in any time for drinks, lunch or dinner
MENU DRINK  no specialty cocktails here – decent draught beer and whiskey selection –  skip the wines – bartender mixes good traditional stiff drinks
MENU FOOD  full lunch and dinner menu available – famous for their sirloin burger – kitchen open to 1AM – MENU
HOURS/LOCATION  Mon-Sun 11am-4am – kitchen open till 1am – 16 N Moore St.
(between Hudson St & Varick St) – MAP

Every now and then it’s refreshing to go to a bar with no ego, no bouncer, and no frou frou $18 drinks. Once upon a time NYC was full of local haunts with tin ceilings and friendly bartenders that knew your name… not so much any more. The Walkers building is a true piece of NYC history and the owners are very conscious of this fact. Most of the furnishings in the bar haven’t changed since the late 1800’s. Beautiful tin ceilings, original wooden flooring and ornate molding are still intact. Even the original exposed gas lines are still in place and the refrigerators under the bar have century old wooden doors.

Unlike other historic NYC bars (i.e. McSorely’s), Walkers hasn’t turned into a tourist trap and certainly isn’t featured in Lonely Planet. Rather it still serves the neighborhood regulars of Tribeca just like it did 100 years ago. Walkers has a solid group of jovial regulars that congregate at the bar nightly. The atmosphere is warm and welcoming and the bartender is a true character. They really have created the ultimate local neighborhood feel. Usually the bartender manning the late night scene is Leonard. He looks like one of those dudes that partied really hard in the 60’s and can’t believe he is still alive. Leonard is incredibly friendly and hospitable. Even if you are just stopping by you are made to feel like you belong.

The bar usually has chill atmosphere where you can chat comfortably and you don’t have to yell. The busiest the bar gets is for the after work crowd and while it fills up it still remains pretty relaxed. Walkers during the day hosts many power lunches and during the weekends welcomes families and kids. The tables even have crayons on them and you are encouraged to draw on the table top. The menu is frankly nothing special. It is a weird mix of Italian and American classics but the food is consistent and tasty. Walker’s is pretty well-known for their sirloin burger. One of the better classic style burgers in NYC.

So next time you don’t have anyone to entertain or impress, and you just want to shoot the shit over a juicy burger and a shot of whiskey… head to Walkers and say hello to Leonard.

-E

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