Food & Drink

10 NYC Bars You’re Not Allowed in Once You Turn 30

Published On 07/30/2015 Published On 07/30/2015

Joshua Tree

Murray Hill

Umm... how about you just stay out of Murray Hill?


Murray Hill

What did I just say?

Calico Jack's

Calico Jack’s Cantina

Midtown East

You used to go here all the time because someone in your office was always winning the free happy hour. (Hell, you probably still even get the text messages that the bar sends about all its weekly specials -- seriously, how do you make them stop texting you????) Back then you were 25 and wore a tie and drank cheap domestics out of the bottles that look like rocket ships. Now though? Now you’re just the guy in a sombrero hitting on a bartender who’s nine years younger than you.


Midtown East

See above. Except remove the sombrero.


Wicked Willy’s

Greenwich Village

It’s not that there’s anything necessarily WRONG with pirate-themed bars with beer pong tables and giant beergaritas. It’s just that you haven’t been old enough for spring break in like 10 years and that’s really, really okay.

Union Pool


Sure, you love taco trucks and cheap Mexican beer, but if you still really love photo booths, and chasing 22-year-old hipster tail as a sport, and listening to never-ending debates between two bearded fellows about fixed-gears versus single-speeds, you might really want to reconsider things.

Flickr/Jazz Guy

The Iron Horse

Financial District

This bar has a swing.

Central Bar

East Village

You used to love this bar for its omg amaaaaazing dance parties on Friday and Saturday nights because you knew all the songs and could just cut loose with your best betches! Now you recognize nothing the DJ plays and all the guys hitting on you have backpacks.

The 13th Step

13th Step

East Village

It’s not that we’re against 237 TVs and mountainous plates of nachos. It’s just that we’re not sure a bar whose name alludes to miserably failing AA should be part of the mature 30 you should be seeking.

Down the Hatch

West Village

It’s tough to resist this legendary West Village watering hole, where the air is perfumed with Acqua di Gio and the floor near the beer pong table is shellacked with cheap domestic beer. Sadly, you’ve reached a point in life where you just need more out of your local bar. Like, say, a floor that’s clean and a bathroom where you don’t have to put the seat down with your foot. You are, however, still permitted to attend on weekends when $23 will get you three pitchers and all the Atomic wings you can eat. You can never be too old for that.

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1. Joshua Tree East 513 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10016

This Murray Hill mainstay is a favorite of NYU students and junior hedge-funders alike (take that for what you will). We're into their seven nights a week happy hour specials, most of which are too good to pass up (three tacos and a shot for $10 is a steal).

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2. Tonic East 411 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10016

Known for their signature sugary libations and no cover karaoke nights, Tonic is another Murray Hill dive that's been around the block.

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3. Calico Jack's Cantina 802 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10017-4709

Go back to the fraternity glory days with shots on shots at this Midtown East Mexican cantina and watering hole.

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4. McFadden's Saloon NYC 800 Second Ave (At 42nd Street), New York, NY 10017

Post-work bros call this Midtown Irish saloon home for its cheap shots, late night dinner menu, and congenial atmosphere.

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5. Wicked Willy's 149 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10012

This NYU proximate late night locale is a perennial student fave for its happy hour specials, ladies nights, and cheap Mexican food.

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6. Union Pool 484 Union Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211

This spacious Williamsburg spot is almost always packed with a friendly, hip crowd. The name of the game here: tacos and tequila. A taco truck on the back patio serves delicious, cheap tacos, and gives the outdoor space a California vibe. The bartenders are quick and knowledgeable, and take care to create refreshing cocktails.

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7. Iron Horse 32 Cliff St, New York, NY 10038

You'd be hard-pressed to find a NYC joint with cheaper drinks than Iron Horse. Natty, PBR, and Rolling Rock all start at $2 and if you aren't into them, then maybe you'll enjoy their quality selection of bar grub.

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8. Central Bar , New York, NY 10003

Central Bar claims that winning is not a “sometimes” thing but an “all-the-time” thing, so if you’re looking for a small victory, head to this East Village sports bar. The two-story bar has a giant projector screen, comfy seating, and best of all, a ground-floor fireplace. It's a dedicated Seahawks spot, so just be careful who you're cheering for.

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9. The 13th Step 149 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

If you’re in the East Village and in need of a straightforward sports bar, go to The 13th Step. The sprawling space features more than 30 flat screen TVs, and it’s always packed to capacity, even if there’s nothing to watch. The beer menu is simple (think Budweiser, Coors, and Rolling Rock), and there’s a hefty selection of over-the-top bar food like chili nachos, a pizza burger, and buffalo chicken sliders.

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10. Down the Hatch 179 W 4th St, New York, NY 10014

This subterranean space specializes in super-strong drink mixes that result in raucous times for all who enter.