Sunday, July 3, 2011

Barfly's Beat: Ward III

The welcoming team at Ward III in Tribeca
At some saloons, one can attempt to become a regular because you think it is brightest new joint or have some sort of historical pedigree. Maybe you sat there one night and saw some regulars walk in, get the royal treatment, and said to yourself, "I wanna be that guy one day. I'll start coming here often and tipping well." Let me stop you right there.  In my opinion, you should never "try" to be a regular, you should only frequent places that make you feel at home and the rest will come. Ward III bar in the TriBeCa section of New York City's downtown is one of those bars where becoming a regular comes naturally because of the culture crafted by its owners.

Proprietors Michael Neff, Kenneth McCoy, and Abdul Tabini greet you with a smile, a handshake, and sincerity whether you are stopping by for your first drink or a nightcap. They execute quality drinks with fresh ingredients in a high volume environment and somehow make time to engage in conversation. They are true barmen and I call them friends. These guys care about their customers, the neighborhood, and take service seriously. This culture does not end with the owners,  their bar staff (I'd like to give the nod to Wes, Max, Shaun, and Danny) keep the drinks and food flowing with seamless ease and same attention to client service. And do you know what? This translates into you becoming a regular without trying.

The Baby Eveline Cocktail and a Whiskey Sour
What Ward III does right, in addition to service and top notch libations,  is provide an atmosphere that is welcoming and that lacks pretension. One can show up in a cuffs and buttons or t-shirt and jeans, in a celebratory group or solo with a book, and one can order beer on tap or a delicious signature cocktail. It is your call. Then there is the bar food menu, which is key when having a tipple or two of Ward III's potent combinations.  Our favorites include the mini-pulled pork or duck sliders ( Loungerati's  winner of Best Bar Food of 2010 ), the Moroccan Chicken Pot Pie, and Smoked Gouda and Caramelized Onion QuesedillasTop shelf booze, craft beers, come as you are attitude, and delicious bar food equates to catering to a wide audience without any compromises to quality. In true egalitarian fashion, there are no secret phone numbers or buzzers to ring. Just roll in.

Some Background:
Ward III was opened in June 2009 by three experienced barkeeps whose pedigree includes Grace Bar, Odeon, Macao Trading Company, and Ella. The back bar is constructed from vintage Singer sewing machines, the walls exposed brick, and the long hand crafted oak bar is a beauty. The liquor selection is absolutely stellar and they are known for their whiskeys. Every Monday is Whiskey Monday at Ward III, a special event that features a complimentary tasting of various distillers products that range from local producers like New York's Tuthilltown Spirits to Auchentoshan single malt scotch.

Ward III were the standout winners of Loungerati's Best Saloon of 2009  and in our humble opinion, they were robbed when it came to Time Out NY's 2010 Eat Out Awards - Most Democratic Bar. Bespoke Cocktails that you help create, what is more democratic than having it your way? On a recent night, out I suggested a friend try the bespoke list and she went with a Basil Gimlet made with Plymouth Gin, muddled basil, fresh lime, and simple syrup.  Not only was her cocktail made to order without delay but I believe the proprietors were impressed with its uniqueness. If the bespoke drink is a hit, it is added to their records for the next time you arrive. It is no wonder that that Loungerati has partnered with Ward III to hold our 3rd Annual Holiday Repeal Day party and will continue to make it a cocktail destination. 

Dress up or Dress down. Up or on the rocks. We will see you at your new regular joint.

Ward III
111 Reade Street
@ West Broadway
TriBeCa section of NYC
Phone: (212) 240-9194

1 comment:

  1. Yes, Ward III is one of the best bars not just in Manhattan, but anywhere.