Cyber Cafe West
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Taps: 22 / Bottles: -
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 10 | Reviews: 10
Reviews by JimFalzone:
3.38/5 rDev -13.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3 | $
My review completely contradicts some of the other posts here, but I've been to the place a dozen times and typically had the same experience.
The building once housed the coolest rock & roll bar in Binghamton, called West Side Cheers. In the spirit of other cool rock & roll establishments, the place was a dirty, filthy dive (ex: CBGBs - NY, Paradise - Boston, The Whiskey - LA)
The new owners rehabed the place into a comfortable hippy enclave. You can almost always hear a grateful dead show playing on the excellent sound system. Or there are the amateurish folk / improv bands playing on the relatively large stage.
I thought the beer selection was always pretty good. And I never had trouble with a flat or skunked brew. However, I typically looked for the NY selection when I was drinking in NY, so that could explain my good fortune.
But i was never a big fan of the food. It is a lot of that bland hippie junk like wraps and soups. You aren't going to find any delicious cheeseburgers or chicken wings here.
The service can be hit or miss. If you are regular, you will get better service than a "stranger". I've stood at the bar for a 15 minutes while the workers had a conversation about bread and ignored me. And I have seen other folks get ignored if they looked to nerdy or conservative. It's that hipper-than-though coffee house culture. (In my opinion, it is still more of a coffee house than a bar. For years they did not even serve beer.)
If you are a recovering deadhead, this is a must stop in Binghamton. They also have a nice little gift shop, and their neighbor Tom's Gifts is a quirky shop too that's worth a visit. However, if you are looking for a true beer bar or tavern, there are a lot better places to go nearby. (The Belmar, The Ale House, etc.) But hippies need beer too, and this is a good spot for that.
12-27-2006 20:14:56 | More by JimFalzone
More User Reviews:
3.99/5 rDev +2.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $$
I came in here with my girlfriend a while ago. I go to the University, and don't really go into the city often, mostly for a fairly strong dislike of places that attract hoards of my peers with cheap drinks, and partially for a lack of anywhere else to go. I had heard of this place a few times through the grapevine, heard they had some good beer on tap, and so decided to check the place out.
When we went in, there was a decent band playing in the back room, which was filled with tables and chairs with a little standing room. The Main room consisted of the bar and a few couches and chairs, to which was a adjoined a another room with tables that apparently houses a chess club one night a week.
The crowd was a mix of college kids and middle-aged folks, apparently wanting a place to drink, but also to sit around and chat or watch the band without being bombarded by hormone driven bros, scantily clad girls, or an awful sounding "boosh-boosh" of a bass drum accompanying and equally awful rap song.
They had maybe 12 taps, as well as a decent bottle selection. They tend to have a nice variety of styles, even if only example of each, which, frankly, I prefer to having 1/3 of their taps IPAs.
While they do have a decent selection, it's somewhat clear that, although they serve beer, it's not the main focus. Expect your Ommegang Chocolate Indulgence thoroughly chilled in a pint glass. I suppose it's not to expected, though, when the baristas have to keep track of making food, coffee, pouring beer, and serving tables.
They also have a few different bottles of wine, and they also serve various coffee drinks, baked goods, and, sandwiches.
While I will certainly go back here in the future, my only complaint is that the "bar" really isn't a bar at all. There's just a counter where people line up, place an order, then wait for the order, which takes quite a bit longer. There is, however, a separate "refill" line, so you can basically jump the line if you just want another.
I have no idea, however, why this place is called the Cyber Cafe West. I saw no computers, so I'm guess they just have Wi-Fi, and I'm not really sure of what they are west.
When there isn't music actually going on here, the atmosphere alone sells this place to me. I love that I can order a pint like I would a cup of coffee, and go read a book in a comfy chair.
09-06-2010 19:27:41 | More by Sneers
4.68/5 rDev +20%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $
My wife and I frequent this establishment. We enjoy the eclectic hippie atmosphere and laid back setting. They have an excellent selection of beers on tap, which is our main draw, but the food is always bangin as well. A seemingly simple wrap is sent over the top with cusabi (cucumber, wasabi) dressing and been sprouts - the Godzilla, paired with an Arogant bastard and that's fine dining at an excellent price.
This is the only place I have been able to get Old Brown Dog on tap, as well as Ragging Bitch. There is always something new to try, and I look forward to going there; we make the trek (45mins) often - its that good.
08-21-2010 12:09:39 | More by Chickenhawk9932
4.13/5 rDev +5.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
My wife and I, after living in the area for about a year now, went to this place a few weeks ago.
It's definitely a pretty cool place, and it feels like it was taken out of a different and bigger city and moved into Binghamton, which is a good thing.
I'm most impressed with their selection, as there are a good number of taps, and a lot of stuff on tap (like Arrogant Bastard) that I never thought I'd find on tap around here.
The order area is a little cramped, and it's also slightly hard to see the taps. The other thing is that there's no bar, which is odd for a place like this. There's enough seating, a cool stage (for music a lot of nights) and a comfortable atmosphere, but I have to say that if they were able to do something about a bar with at least 8 stools, I'd actually frequent this place. Because you have to order a brew and take it to a seat, that's not the worst thing in the world, but the bar atmosphere would make it that much better.
A lot of wraps and sandwiches. My wrap was fresh, tasty, and was pretty huge. I ate mine, my wife took half of hers home.
Definitely a cool place overall to check out in the area, especially if you're looking for a good wrap and a brew.
08-04-2010 17:48:17 | More by asabreed
4.1/5 rDev +5.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $
As I am sitting in the Cyber West Cafe, I can understand why a few people have called this a "Hippie Bar." It is. I personally don't think that is a bad thing, but if you are looking for a traditional pub, this is not your place. It is basically a independent coffee place that happens to have some good beer on tap (and in bottles). You actually have to go to the counter to get your beer as there is no actual bar. Once y get your beer you can sit down at a table, on the back deck, or in a comfy couch. The service is pretty good once you figure out the local custom and the staff is friendly. I guess it all depends on what you are looking for, but if you are into an eclectic coffee bar, it is pretty cool. Disclaimer: I went to about 100 Grateful Dead concerts back in the day, so maybe I'm predisposed to this place.
The beer could be a little colder, but otherwise for the Binghamton area they have a nice selection. Food wise it is mostly wraps, salads, vegetarian chili, and really huge cookies (don't say we didn't warn you that it was a hippie enclave). I've had a few things here and the food is pretty good, but it is definitely not a meat and potatoes type of place. While I must admit I felt strange ordering a salad as a meal with my beer, it was quite nice and loaded with sprouts and other goodies. I'd recommend you look at the menu online if you are planning on getting food. otherwise you might not be prepared for the selection.
06-10-2008 01:46:10 | More by ecorrado
3.93/5 rDev +0.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $$
Referred to as a hippie bar on more than one occasion here, I don't understand the negative connotation. Hippies are cool. Except for their petruli stink and that "I need a miracle" outstretched index finger trying to bum a ticket on tour (You ever wake up in a parking lot in Highgate? you either know what I'm talking about or you don't). I can still hear them calling out, "Veggie stir fry!!" "Ultimate burrito!!" "Yummy yummy grilled cheese!!" "Peanut butter, banana and huuuhmus!!" But that was a long time ago, I digress. It haunts me still. I had reservations about coming to get a beer here...
The long bar off to the right as you enter likely once had seating running it's length, but now serves as a front counter area, where you order food and drink. 17 taps on a single tower on the bar plus another 5 taps in a cluster just over there. They also pour Finger Lakes wines, and lotsa coffee and tea. A large glass display case at the end of the bar houses cakes, pies, cookies, and other dessert items. They make an extensive variety of wraps, and otherwise sandwiches, quesadillas, nachos, soups and salads and stuff. A large shelving unit to the rear of the room is filled with incense, and tie-dyes for sale on an adjacent rack. There's an area to put your dishes and glasses when you're done with them, and a place for recyclables just below. Off to the side is a little nook with a couch and chairs, and forward this is somewhat of a private party room with a small amount of seating. They seem to be doing some sort of a meeting in there just now. A display board just inside the front doors shows pictures of a recently discovered secret room unearthed below the rear parking lot, where they believe whiskey was run during prohibition. Pretty cool.
22 taps. A pretty good selection if I may say so. Roughly 2/3 of them American micro, some regional (Southern Tier IPA, Smutty Old Brown Dog, Cooperstown Pride of Milford, Wachusett Blueberry Ale, Wolavers Oatmeal Stout, Magic Hat #9, Victory Hop Devil, Cyber Speakeasy Ale made by Otter Creek, Yuengling), others not (Anchor Steam, Flying Dog Snakedog IPA, Rogue Dead Guy Ale, Stone Arrogant Bastard, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Abita Turbo Dog). The other 1/3 are the usual suspect imports and evil Bud Lite. I ordered the Smutty Old Brown Dog and then went to find out where all this music is coming from.
The rear room holds 18 small candlelit tables painted silly hippy; flowers, butterflies, lambs, stars, etc., and a stage area to the rear. Honeycomb tile floor, an ancient pressed tin ceiling, and the walls painted some dark color (I can't tell in this light) over wood lower pieces. Mounted wall lamps, paintings, pics and prints all around, ceiling fans and a small dangling disco ball. Performance lighting fixtures over the stage area, tapestries and large tie dyed wall hangings, and a framed Garcia picture (not like the one Phil has hanging in his room). An attached side room holds 3 raised bar tables alongside the soundboard, a stolen Spuytenish "42nd Street - Grand Central Station - S-4-5-6-7" subway sign, and a few video games; Galaga, Phil's Golf Game 2002, and something called The Neo-Geo MVS (Multi Video System), which I'm sure causes seizures in it's users. A small room beyond this painted yellow, blue & green holds a few small couches and cushy chairs. And wait, there's something going on in the far back around the corner behind the stage. Oh, just a little nook with six chess boards and people playing hard. (Knight to Rook 2, Rook 2!!!!) I was not warmly welcome here. I went back out front and sat down stageside.
Here's where it gets crazy. 11 people up on stage sitting in a semi circle playing mandolins, fiddles, banjos and acoustic guitars. Traditional Americana, John Prine tunes, Appalachia, Tennessee this and North Carolina that, reels, jigs, waltzes; they were just wonderful. Someone would start and then they'd all join in. They were totally amazing. I was foot tappin' a storm. Oh my god, they just played a crazy Mozart piece. This is bringing me much joy. I have a big stupid smile on my face. I'm going to stick it out here for a while, I should probably get another beer.
Seems they've also got a bottled list of about 2 dozen beers. Some good micros (Ommegang 3 Philosophers, DogFishHead 90 Minute IPA, Dales Pale Ale, Hebrew Messiah, Ithaca Apricot, Middle Ages Wit & Syracuse Pale Ale, Southern Tier Phin & Matt, Weyerbacher Blithering Idiot), a few imports (Sam Smith Oatmeal Stout, Young's Dirty Dick, Hofbrau Lager, Hobgoblin, Boddingtons), macros, maltos and cider. I looked again to the taps, grabbed a Southern Tier IPA, and went back to watch the jam.
"One more time", the woman on the end calls out, "G minor!!" They're called the Java Joe Jammers, and play here every Tuesday. Good beer selection and the music's divine.
09-20-2007 03:53:34 | More by slander
3.83/5 rDev -1.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5 | $
Compared to Boston, the prices are very reasonable. I enjoyed the "hippe" atmosphere. Why not-- its near a college. Short beers for $2.25 is a bargain.$3.50 for most all pints. The selection was decent. Rogue (dead guy), Long Trail (double bag), Brooklyn (brown) Victory (hop devil). A new Hennepin beer came on while I was there. 2 to 1 ratio taps to bottles. Close to 40 choices. Some wines available, many were local.
Food was the basic sandwiches/wraps, but the quality was good. Lots of couches and soft chairs which is better than hard stools. There was free live music in the back room [on this night it was folksy].
After a long business trip this place was a akin to comfort food--easy going. Don't forget the free wireless internet if thats your thing.
10-28-2005 19:10:06 | More by sudzz
3.03/5 rDev -22.3%
vibe: 2 | quality: 1 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
First of all I have to say that I'm not into the hippie thing so the atmosphere isn't my thing. My toast to the Commander-in-Chief didn't go over very well and I received several nasty looks.
Very nice selection of craft brews not normally seen within the city limits here in Binghamton. Unfortunately, my first pint of Rogue Dead Guy was flat and warm. Definitely a keg gone bad - most likely due to temperature. The attendant (no bar to belly up to - only bohemian couches) very generously offered me a free replacement. I chose Southern Tier's Hop Sun. Again - flat and warm. My advice - chill those kegs.
10-16-2005 20:38:41 | More by Celt44
4.2/5 rDev +7.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 3.5
A nice little hippie commune, this Cyber Cafe. Lots of psychadelic colors and beads and all sorts of stuff. The frequent live music is cool. Lots of food but I didn't try any.
17 beers on tap plus a nice bottled selection. I popped the Ommegang Witte so they replaced it with Flying Dog's In-Heat Wheat. Can't say it was very good as I don't think they properly cleared the lines, but that's no big deal. There's Dead Guy, Spaten, Yuengling, Anchor Porter, Bass, Guinness, Young's Double Chocolate, some Magic Hat, SNPA, and many more I can't remember. They had Three Philosopher bottles, Sam Smith Oatmeal Stout, and maybe 2 more I can't recall. Real nice selection for a little restaurant. It's great to kick back on the couches by the bar and enjoy a well poured pint (courtesy of my buddy Erin). One would be wise to check this place out.
04-17-2005 01:16:54 | More by Litterbean
3.75/5 rDev -3.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5
Local cafe/coffee shop that added beer on tap a couple of years ago. They offer a GOOD variety on tap including Guinness, Bass, Ommegang Whitte, Rouge Dead Guy Ale and others. They also rotate some and get new ones in. Beer prices are decent, most are around $3 a pint. They also have a special where you get 3 10oz beers for $5. Great way to get people to try new beers.
I gave the service LOW because some people dont know how to pour a pint ESPECIALLY Guinness which is a personal favorite. They are great at serving food but since this is a beer site they scored lower.
Food is VERY good; they have wraps and salads and such. Menu is on thier website.
Great place to hangout. I am there often
03-09-2005 17:24:17 | More by halo21
Cyber Cafe West in Binghamton, NY
89 out of 100 based on 10 ratings.