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The Pony Bar - Hell's Kitchen

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

73 Reviews
PLACE STATS
Place Score:
94
Reviews:
73
Ratings:
118
Avg:
4.23
pDev:
6.86%
 
 
Taps:
22
Bottles/Cans:
0
Cask:
Y
Beer-to-Go:
Y
The Pony Bar - Hell's KitchenThe Pony Bar - Hell's Kitchen
PLACE INFO

Type: Bar, Eatery

637 10th Ave
New York, New York, 10036-2904
United States

(212) 586-2707 | map
hk.theponybar.com

Notes:
No notes at this time.

Added by dudecandle on 05-06-2009

Grab a complimentary copy of BeerAdvocate magazine here while supplies last.
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 73 | Ratings: 118
Photo of SaisonRichBiere
4/5  rDev -5.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Solid street corner tap room with 20 or so taps, a decent amount of local stuff on. Cool beer themed vibe. Friendly staff. Very short walk from Hell's Kitchen lodging.

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Photo of qcbrewer
3.94/5  rDev -6.9%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 3

Have to make a clarification on the food rating. Ordered the pulled pork sandwich and received it very quickly (potential evidence it was just reheated). A little too smothered with BBQ sauce, which I can get over, but the sauce was pretty basic and bland. The coleslaw was the biggest "issue" and was some of the worst I've ever had. Lesson here is too not order a pulled pork sandwich and always expect something I'd get in NC. If sauce options aren't on the side, probably not going to be great.

Otherwise, nice place, great bartenders, and good line up of beers (Hill Farmstead Conduct of Life was definitely enjoyed!)

I'll totally come back, and will update the food rating when I try something else.

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Photo of CHickman
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25

Visited again last week to get some tasty Vermont beer that they had on tap. As usual it was crowded, but not packed, busy and loud yet you could still have a conversation. To me it looked like a mix of locals and a lot of beer geek types who kept their coat on so they could have one or two and then hit the road to head home. Typical NYC beer bar vibe.

Very impressive tap selection with the display board clear and showing all relevant information. The beers I had tasted fresh and clean in the 8 oz glasses they were served in. That may be the one knock on this place, it's a bit pricey. Food looked good, but I didn't have any. Will definitely go back as this place consistently gets really choice beers which always seem fresh out of clean lines.

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Photo of NizzleEGizzle
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.75

It's a box in there, but it's a pretty box. Like the layout is literally a square, with nothing to interrupt it. I guess they need the pit though for how packed this place gets. They have a really thoughtfully curated tap list, and their staff is extremely knowledgable, although hard to get to through the crowds.

their selection is impeccable.

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Photo of skriv
4.58/5  rDev +8.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75

Great variety of craft brews, cool vibe! Great when going to Broadway. Close to the crap that is Times Square but much better than anything you will find there.

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

The bar I spent the most time at in Manhattan. Twenty taps, two casks, and they do a fantastic job of diversifying the offerings while maintaining quality. Good food is not too expensive -- get the short rib sandwich with housemade chips.

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Photo of Lare453
3.4/5  rDev -19.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 3

Vibe is nothing special... Very ordinary. Quality is fair. Beer seems good. Lines clean. Service was the most impressive thing. I just wished the male hairy armpit bartenders wore shirts with sleeves. Selection is around 20 drafts. Not bottles or cans. Food was fair.

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Photo of bowzer4birdie
4.41/5  rDev +4.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Was there for the Packers Giants game in December 2011 and when the Pack won in the final minutes / seconds , decided to quell my enthusiasm greatly as I was surrounded by GMEN fans. :-)
Great place with a great vibe, walking distance from the hotel where my wife had a conference.

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Photo of MtnSoup
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4

Heard I had to visit this place. Overall, pretty good. They have some decent beers on tap, all constantly rotating. Service and knowledge of staff is great - super friendly. Nothing crazy on tap, and the vibe is sort of unmemorable, but a great spot to grab decent beers.

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Photo of James_A
4/5  rDev -5.4%

I really like the crowd at the Pony Bar HK. Nice folks, local, neighborhood. Not too touristy. Every time I've been there it has been moderately busy, but I've never had to wait long for a seat at a table or a bar stool.

The draught line up is good, but I've seen better. I was actually surprised (and somewhat disappointed) to see a bunch of Harpoon beers and the like being poured.

The food was just okay. I guess you wouldn't expect to grab a great meal in this size/type place, and I was thankful to be able to grab a little nosh at the bar, but my pulled pork was no better or worse than store-bought.

The atmosphere is warm and inviting, albeit your average beer pub look - lots of wood, beer signs, etc.

The service was friendly. I don't know how knowledgeable they are as to what they're serving, as I did not have any questions about the beers on tap that night.

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Photo of Nichols33
4.71/5  rDev +11.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5

Not a ton of taps (~20), but everything on tap was stuff you don't see at any other bar. Went on a Saturday night and it wasn't packed, but most seats were taken. Best part was all beers were $6. Great beer and it only cost $6!?! They also had two TVs playing the world cup! You wouldn't think that is all that impressive, but most "Craft beer" bars tend to ditch the TVs to promote conversation, but I enjoy my conversations with the game on in the background while I drink great beer. I'm going to make it a point to stop at the Pony Bar every time I hit the city.

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Photo of BeerTwigs
4.56/5  rDev +7.8%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4

I've been to The Pony Bar atleast once or twice a year so its probably about time I give it a review. I went yesterday for the Hudson Valley tap take over during NYC Beer Week and they had a solid lineup from Newburgh, Peekskill, Keegan Ales, Rushing Duck and Sloop. They had a great tap selection with good variation of styles and 2 casks. We grabbed some appetizers which were really good and the bar was definitely getting busier as the night went on.

Overall this is one of the better craft beers in Manhattan. They one price point which is very reasonable for NYC and they always serve in the proper glassware. Their been menu is constantly changing and is updated almost instantly on their digital board and website. I love the fact that they keep these updated because it definitely keeps them on my radar. Its always one of the first menus I check when I am heading to the city for some quality beers. The atmosphere is always casual and relaxed. Usually a good amount of beer heads with a wealth of knowledge hanging around discussing beer. They have a nice food menu and I usually grab something light. I would definitely recommend this bar when you are in the area.

Great beer lineup, great staff and always a good time. Cheers!

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Photo of BODOBEERS
4.51/5  rDev +6.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4

The Pony Bar HK (Hells Kitchen) is one of the best 'we take a lot of pride in our beer' bars in NYC I think. It's always on point with their constantly changing selection, and they focus on serving American (only) craft beers on tap.

It's a small cozy spot, a few communal picnic tables, a small amount of bar seating and a couple cask/barrel two/three tops to sit at. They are quite popular, they have a "real" happy hour (that actually lasts an hour only) which is cool. Plus its from 4:20PM to 5:20PM so go figure :P

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Photo of richj1970
4.39/5  rDev +3.8%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Been here twice in the past two weeks.

Nice bar with a good feel to it. The place is pretty small. Both of my visits were in the earl evening hours, so it was busy but not crazy cramped. I can see this being an issue on weekends, etc.

No table service. All drinks are ordered at the bar which is a bit of a pain. Staff was friendly and helpful.

Beer is all draft only, but the selection is nice. Them seem to rotate taps fairly frequently, and the current list of on electronic board above the bar.

Pricing reasonable especially for walking distance from Times Square. I had three 8 oz and one 14 oz pours for $20 including tip.

This is a place I would frequent any time I'm in the New York area.

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Photo of KindBeerIsKIng
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I've only been there twice but I am def looking forward to my next trip. My last time there they had some limited releases from Six Points. I didn't converse much with teh bartender, but based on the conversation I heard between her and the guy next to me she seemed pretty knowledgable. She was totally friendly too....Plus the shrimp torta I had was quite tasty..

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Photo of BKBassist
3.81/5  rDev -9.9%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

I know this place gets a ton of love, and I don't hate it, but there are many better places in my opinion (granted none in the neighborhood).

Tap selection is generally solid, although rarely excellent. The digital menu is a nice touch, with plenty of information. The printed menu goes even further.

Pricing at $6 a pour (formerly $5) is still excellent. I believe there is a HH pricing as well, although I've not been there for it.

Atmosphere is where this place loses it for me. It is quite small, and often super crowded with a rowdy, college kid crowd. Maybe it's the times I've been here, but to me this is not what a craft bar should be. I'm not saying it should be beer nerds quietly writing tasting notes, but this is too far in the other direction. I also am turned off when a bar has a bouncer.

Service has been fine, if nothing special. They generally deal with the crowds pretty well. I've never had a chance to talk shop with them as it has been too crazy during my visits.

Overall, a quality tap selection with excellent pricing make this a good stop if you're in the neighborhood, but the college kid atmosphere and out of the way nature make it tough to be a real destination spot.

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Photo of fulcrum
4/5  rDev -5.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Met a friend here on a late Wednesday afternoon. Weather was a very nice early May day in NY so the door and windows were open creating an especially welcoming and comfortable atmosphere. Their electronic beer board was very intuitive and exciting. We started with two terrific casks: a DIPA and their Green Tea Stout. Both were little 8 oz pours with really big tastes. I would have been satisfied with just those but wanted to try others while here so went for the other stout and IPA they had on draught which were almost as good. Went back to cask just in time as the DIPA kicked. I didn't write down the names of the draughts since they change so often but I'm quite sure they've been replaced with equally delightful choices. Plenty of range (wheats, porters, ryes, pilsners) but didn't partake. The food was the biggest surprise: excellent. Had both sliders (lamb, duck) followed by the calamari and, like the cask options, went back for more sliders. The calamari were too syrupy sweet but didn't care since more sliders were on the way. Overall, fantastic and I'll be back.

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Photo of JoeBloe
4.16/5  rDev -1.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Re-visited this place last night (a monday night) - At 9pm the bar was full but there was seating at the barrel tables running down the middle - the electronic draught list board is impressive - we had some Stone 11-11-11 Vertical Epic, Brooklyn Defender, and they even had Bud Light bottles for my non-craft drinking friend, as well as a Yankee game and a Jet game running on both ends of the bar, without a bunch of drunken college kids yelling at the screens - Beers are reasonably priced, you get a bunch of change back from a $20 bill for 2 beers - I can only imagine this place being way too crowded on a weekend, the full bar monday night crowd was just right for me -
Positive vibes all-around -

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Photo of nickmorgan11
3.95/5  rDev -6.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4

This is a great little bar in New York (emphasis on little) there is not a whole lot of room to deal with, so get to know the person next to you. There selection of beers is fantastic. They had a Vermont day on one of my visits and Stone-day another. You'll pay around $6.50 per beer depending on what you're drinking. We always have a good time there and the place is usually pretty packed. Service is the one downside, they are a bit slow with serving you, in part because there are so many people. But worth multiple visits. CHEERS!

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Photo of maximep
4.48/5  rDev +5.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

one of my favorite bars but ONLY if you hit it at the right time. don't expect to have an enjoyable time here on the weekends, no matter what time.

$5 a pour is unbeatable in NY for the craft beer scene, the food is your standard pub grub fare but really well executed (pretzels, sausages, etc.) and also well priced.

service quality fluctuates based off of how crowded it is.

again though, $5 a pour is amazing but I wouldn't even dream of having a halfway decent time at this place on the weekends. the crowd turns all bridge and tunnel and since there's no table service and generally 2 bartenders, ordering a beer can become a shouting match and an arm competition just to give the hardworking tenders your hard earned tender.

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Photo of Gratefullawyer
4.65/5  rDev +9.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Was in NY City to wander about about soak up atmosphere , eat and find beer. Read about Pony bar on beer advocate and took a walk to find it on 4.9.12 . Well worth the journey. Maybe 15 or 20 minute walk from times square.

When you walk in the electronic score board of beer on tap, the clock set at 4:20 and the old picture of Neil Young set the atmosphere. Sparse on seating, old wooden kegs for tables.

But here is where you come to sample beer & meet the neighbors.
The menu is sparse but the turkey chile and pretzels are tasty

But here is beer . Belly up to the bar ck scoreboard and order.
All beer is $5 yep every beer. The size of your glass changes but the beer is there.
The scoreboard flashes and bells ring when the beer changes
Night I was there there was Oskar blues pilsner, hills Edward a pale ale, a mix of new York beers. Overall a very good selection of beer and a knowledge staff

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.4/5  rDev +4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

It is a pretty low key place and is really a place for BAs, you do not get a lot of folks that walk in off the street looking for BMC beers. It is located a little off the beaten path in Hell's Kitchen but definitely worth the trek. A little dark on the inside, fairly small, and lots of wood in the decor.

Beers are always well poured in the proper glassware and the beers are always fresh - they usually replace anything that kicks with something completely different and have their website up to date with the current tap list.

Again, this is a place you order on your own from the bar and the bartenders are quite knowledgeable and willing to assist folks in picking out something that they will like.

With about 20 different taps and a cask, the selection is always good here.

Food is pretty good and your standard bar fare.

This is one of my favorite places in NYC and is a great deal. All beers are $5 (except at Happy Hour when they are $4) and they only feature American craft brew beers. Don't know where else you are going to find a place with the selection at such a low price.

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Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

GREAT VALUE!! All beers are $5 for a 14 oz or 8 oz for higher abv beers. It's hard to gauge this place because it's so unusual- very small, very quickly rotating taps. I really wanted to go yesterday because it said they had Founders Nemesis and a bunch of the Founders stuff that looked great but when I got there a few hours later Nemesis and most of the others I wanted were gone. I got two beers (Founders Vertigo Winter Wheat and Chelsea Strong Ale) that were reasonably good and of course very well priced. They have two casks (the strong ale was from a cask). Of course because of the pricing and the rotation I'm very interested in going back but check what they have on their website before you go and if it's something popular make sure you get there pretty damn fast.

The bartender was very responsive to all customers- good service, only two kinds of glasses unfortunately...

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Photo of KBrennan1000
3.88/5  rDev -8.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5

I have to admit being pretty disappointed with the Pony Bar. I wasn't really sure what to expect but I rather thought there would be a wider selection. Don't get me wrong, the beers they had were good beers but their list was made up almost entirely of year-round beers from Abita, Weyerbacher and Long Trail. All fine beers but nothing that special. It's possible that we came on an off day for them but I found it to be pretty unremarkable. If I was nearby I might stop in but I won't seek it out again. Friendly bartender and good prices though.

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Photo of Clembo1957
4.44/5  rDev +5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

I Loved this bar - i wish i'd spent the rest of the evening there instead of touring some of Manhattans other establishments.

A good beer list and $5 a pint a bargain compared with some Manhattan Bars. The beer list is on a board behind the bar there is also a printed menu and the bar regulary posts which new beers are available on Twitter. I had Geary's IPA which was excellent. The Bar tender was helpful and friendly. The bar was fairly quiet during my visit which was fine by me. I also liked the Neil Young photo on the wall.

An excellent bar and well worth seeking out if in Manhattan.

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The Pony Bar - Hell's Kitchen in New York, NY
94 out of 100 based on 73 ratings.