Waterfront Ale House

Waterfront Ale HouseWaterfront Ale House
Waterfront Ale HouseWaterfront Ale House
Bar, Eatery

540 2nd Ave
New York, New York, 10016-8204
United States

(212) 696-4104 | map

View: Place Reviews
Reviews: 25 | Ratings: 32 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of metter98
metter98 from New York

3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75

Vibe: This is a great neighborhood bar that I've been coming to for over a decade. The front of the place has a bar with some tables scattered around the perimeter and the back area solely consists of tables. One thing that really stands out about this bar is that they have a popcorn machine and you can go over, grab a bowl, fill it up and bring it back to where you're sitting and have something to munch on.

Quality: Beers are served in the proper glassware using a variety of glassware. I was quite happy to receive a dunkelweizen from Bavaria in a proper weizen glass.

Service: The wait staff is friendly and they usually have two waiters working the tables, which is pretty good considering that this is a small establishment. The staff was knowledgeable about the beers and was happy to offer recommendations about the beers on tap.

Selection: The bar prides itself in having 20 beers on-tap and every time I go I usually come across one or two beers that I have never tried before. If you can't find something you are interested in trying, you can always request the bottle menu since you can never go wrong with having a Bourbon County Brand Stout.

Food: The regular menu consists of regular pub fare but I like coming here for lunch and dinner because they have daily specials that are usually good. One of the daily specials always consists of a burger made with meats such as buffalo, kangaroo, ostrich or venison and is served with their homemade catsup. There's also a couple of appetizer and entrée specials.

Value: Prices for beer and food seem to be rather reasonable compared to other places in Manhattan. They always have a special "Beer of the Week" for about $5. There are also happy hour specials.

Jul 19, 2013
Photo of DoubleSimcoe
DoubleSimcoe from Pennsylvania

3.68/5  rDev -9.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

The wife and I decided to spend a Saturday out in Williamsburg, but guess what? There is no L train. So we boarded a ferry back to Manhattan and, walking on Second Avenue after landing, we decided to stop at the not-quite-Waterfront Ale House.

This is one of those beer-rich Manhattan destinations I have heard a lot about but have never actually visited. Inside, the place looks divey in a good way- neighborhoody and cozy. Not too crowded on a Saturday evening, with a crowd of locals, old couples and some young folks.

19 taps and nothing crazy. Founders Centennial, Southampton Grand Cru, Avery White Rascal, Brooklyn Brewmaster, Harpoon Leviathan... I expected more, but it isn't bad. Their bottle selection is better, divided by styles and with some gems like Brooklyn Monster, Goose Island Bourbon and some weird British ales like Skull Splitter and Heather Ebulum.

The bartender was nice, pleasant to look at and just plain good. Food is pretty mediocre (bar food, burgers and shit) with some exceptions: a great wild-boar terrine and great smoked-garlic mashed potatoes. Also some cool specials like honey-and-chili cured bacon.

Prices were a little high all around- $9 for my snifter or Harpoon Leviathan barleywine! But $12 for the terrine plate is not too bad. I should have gone for the $10 bottle of Bourbon County.

After two beers, two small dishes and a $45 bill, I can tell you I won't be back here anytime soon. But if you live in the East Side, why not...

Mar 22, 2012
Photo of dbrauneis
dbrauneis from North Carolina

4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

A very low key place, this establishment generally has an impressive draft list and excellent food. It is a moderately sized placed for Murray Hill area of New York but can get quite crowded at meal times on the weekend.

The burgers are top notch and they often have some really good specials (including a daily special burger which often features a game meat). The food selection is good - nothing too exotic - but always well prepared and delicious. The desserts are also very good.

The selection and quality of the beers served here are really good, I almost have never come here and not found at least one beer that I had been really wanting to try or have again. Beers are generally served at the proper temperature and in the proper glassware.

Servers tend to be very pleasant and attentive but never overbearing. They are knowledgeable about the beer and the food and seem to really enjoy the neighborhood feel to the place.

I have been coming here for probably close to 10 years and have never been disappointed.

Mar 04, 2012
Photo of jjboesen
jjboesen from Maryland

3.85/5  rDev -5.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

What we have in the Waterfront Ale House is an unpretentious and rather homey saloon in the Murray Hill neighborhood of Manhattan. While it is not a large place, it is not small enough to be uncomfortable: in front, on the right, there is a moderately sized bar at which you can perch yourself, or simply grab one of the tables along the windows and glance out at the street life. Unlike many of the pubs, bars and venues that currently run a swath along this portion of Second Avenue, the Waterfront attracts a good portion of thirsty regulars and hungry families, all of whom consist of actual adult-type persons. (No obnoxious Bud-swilling fratboy horndogs in backwards baseball caps here!)

The beer selection will not impress those seeking yet another “Big Beer” or the trendy beer for this month. It will please those who simply wish something fresh, well poured and palatable. Waterfront does manage to provide a decent array of the local crafts; such as Brooklyn Chocolate Stout, Sixpoint Brownstone and Chelsea Hop Angel, the latter being on cask. Not bad at all, I must say. Of course, since there is no printed beer menu, those cyber drones attached to electronic gizmos must avert their pasty faces away from texting to read the chalkboard hanging above the bar.

The food is well above pub grub; it is fresh, filling and worth the price. I settled for the Texas chili and it went down real well. Not spicy at all – though spicy chili is certainly not bad either. However, the service was not as attentive as I would have liked – and I am deducting points for the failing the Water Test. We shall not dwell on this.

All in all, Waterfront Ale House is a pleasant place to hang out should you find yourself in this part of town. (After all, you can’t spend all day at Rattle N Hum, can you?) Incidentally, there is also a sister location on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn.

Jan 27, 2012
Photo of BARFLYB
BARFLYB from Pennsylvania

3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Went here after having some beers at Rattle and Hum.

On a corner in NYC, waterfront ale house is not on the waterfront at all, it's not even near the water. The feel is of a classic pub with wood making up for alot of the decor but it's not deer hunter rustic. Classic. Some tables to the left for couples and groups and a bar area, bathrooms downstairs.

Quality was nice, this place is very clean and the beer tasted clean so no problems about dirty lines. Nice clean and proper glassware and fancy branded glasses used when you order a bottle. About 10-12 taps, did not see a handpump. Some NY locals, avery some other beers, nothing extravagent, but good enough for a pint or two. I had an Avery Pilsner that hit the spot after walking forever. I had great service from a very nice bartenderess.

Like said the selection is not killer, but the bottle list had some semi gems on it at reasonable prices for NYC i guess. A nice food selection, the mexican soup called posole was great, (im sorry I ate it all Gleason, I was hungry) All and all, I would come back here.

Apr 27, 2011
Photo of Mosstrooper
Mosstrooper from California

3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I stopped in here today for lunch with my girlfriend.

Vibe-wise, the place was pretty nice- basically a classic pub atmosphere. A bar up front, with a few tables near that, then a "back room" with only tables. They have chalkboards listing the food specials and the on-tap beer list, which changes. I was in there from about 2pm to 3:15 and it wasn't very crowded.

As far as their selection, they have a very nice list of bottles and had eighteen beers on-tap. When I went, I didn't see anything super special on-tap, but since the taps change I would expect that the beer selection changes. The bottle list has a lot of good stuff, especially a nice list of Belgian and Belgian-style brews, and most of these are very reasonably priced. The on-tap list runs for $6.50/pint unless otherwise noted- one beer on the list was $9, a few others were $7, and then they had a "beer of the week" which was $5.

As far as food, there isn't a whole lot on their menu, but what they do have is good. I ended up getting the Texas dip sandwich- being a transplant Texan, I wanted some good Texas food. While the sandwich wasn't as good as what I could have gotten in Texas, it was still very good for Manhattan, and that's saying a lot. My girlfriend bought some veggie sandwich and really liked it. Price wise, things aren't too bad, but they have lunch specials Monday through Friday where for $10.95 you can get a mug of beer, the soup of the day, and an entrée (which is what I did)- a very, very good deal considering the usual Manhattan prices. The fact that they also have free all-you-can-eat movie theater popcorn is a huge plus too (though, I would make sure your palate is cleansed well after eating this if you're having a good beer!).

I like this place, and I'll be back- to me, it's a good place to either have lunch and a beer, or to go basically whenever and have a beer. I would recommend it. As a note, the beers I had here were a mug of Ommegang Hennepin with my lunch, and a bottle of Unibroue Maudite after I finished my food.

Aug 25, 2010
Photo of morebeergood
morebeergood from Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

This was stop number two of my Wednesday NYC pub crawl. Met three friends here and sat at the bar. Nice looking place inside. Bar up front, with more table seating in the back. Huge chalkboards above the bar with food and draft list. Great selection of American craft beers. No crap on tap here. Had pints of Kelso Saison, Brooklyn Weisse, Lagunitas Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale, and the bartender hooked the last two of us up with a free pint of Butternuts Brutus DIPA. The one thing I noticed was that there were no stouts or porters on tap amongst all the tap handles. All ales, lagers, and wheats. Food was good, we all ate and liked it. I had the Cuban sandwich and my friend loved his wurst plate. Four beers and a sandwich only cost me $35, so this was a great place to hang out for a while. Side note: this place sells their own homemade hot sauce. I tried some with dinner, and it was great.

Jul 16, 2010
Photo of mltobin
mltobin from Connecticut

3.78/5  rDev -7.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Located on 2nd avenue, I had walked right past the Waterfront Alehouse on many occasions and had seen their ads in print.
The place is dark inside, a mix of regulars and tourists. The focus is on the taps, I believe they had 16. Mostly american craft beers: stoudts, brooklyn, blue point, and a couple euros. I was a little disappointed on the specific selections, but maybe that is because I had already drank nearly every one of them in the past. I did not have any food, so check the other reviews for that. The prices are a bit high for the neighborhood. But, Waterfront has been here for some time and I am sure they will continue to do well.

May 02, 2009
Photo of bonbini26
bonbini26 from New Jersey

4.55/5  rDev +11.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

On tap...Harpoon IPA, and DIPA, Guiness, Anchor Steam Libety Ale, Duvel Green, Two Brothers IPA, West. Hefe-Weiss, Rogue Imperial Red, a Wit i cant remember the name of, umm about 16 in total, very diverse selection, something for every taste. Didnt really dive into the bottle selection so i cant comment

Atmosphere, seems like a good place to hang out and a have a good beer, not overly crowded, went in during lunch time during the week, dont know what the weekend brings. On the east side of down so im guessing it doesnt get as crowded as some other beer bars in manhattan. Free popcorn too (always a plus)

Service- came in during lunch, there was only one waitress working, and it got pretty crowded, but she and the bartender where friendly. bartender offered samples without asking (always something i look for in a good bartender)

Food- Had a pulled pork sandwich, which was very good, i get into the lunch special below. Their hot sauce there is awesome and freaking hot..like tears and sweat hot.

As far as valve, the beers were a little on the pricey side (the special of the week was yuengling for $5...nothing special about that)....$11 for harpoons DIPA, $10 for rogue Imperial Red ale (both pint) $9....$6-$7 for most other tap beers, didnt see the prices for bottles. However their lunch special...a choice of 6 hot sandwiches, with soup, fires, and a mug of beer, or soda. for $10.95 i thought was a good deal

overall i would very much recommend this location if you are on the east side around midtown, and even if u arent, take a trip here

Oct 24, 2008
Photo of sleazo
sleazo from New York

3.63/5  rDev -11%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

basically this is a typical NYC bar. Nice long bar to tthe right, tables to the left and the back. Pretty much everything is wood. There is a bit more of a family feel on a sunday afternoon as I went after seeing the Simpsons movie. There was a good selection of around 15 or so beers on tap with a lot of locals, Southampton, Greenpoint, Brooklyn, blue Point. A good selection for the area. The food was decent enough, I had a buffalo burger with homemade catsup, which was much tastier than the regular stuff. The waffle fries were good too. They have a good selection of condiments at each table which was appreciated as you can doctor up the food as you wish, mustards, bbq saues, hp sauces, hot sauces vinegars. The rest of the food was the usual bar food with the occasional eclectic menu item. Service was decent not great, a good neighbourhood place, not a destination place. It is however a great spot if you are about to hit up a movie or are loooking for something afterwards.

Jul 30, 2007
Photo of rousee
rousee from Massachusetts

3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

This was a nice getaway from the afterwork crowd of suits that we could feel descending on us when we left the Ginger man at about 4:30pm on a Friday afternoon a few weeks ago.

The decor of this place is kind of your standard NYC bar feel. Feels like its quite old and has a nice long bar off to the right when you walk in with lots of wood and tile floors. Kind of has a friendly neighborhood/family type atmosphere.

They had a nice selection of taps with a bunch of good local NY beers like Southhampton, Sixpoint, Bluepoint, Ithaca, Brooklyn, etc. I believe there was a Sly Fox and Lagunitas one too. It was happy hour when we were there so the beers were nice and cheap. I think like $3.50 - $ 4 depending on which one it was.

The bartenders were friendly and attentive but the guy was pretty clueless about the beers. I am not going to downgrade the score for service as it is not a requirement of mine for the staff in an establishment to know a lot about the beer.Its a nice touch but hardly a requirement for good service. They also bought us a round as well w/o knowing whether or not we were going to give them a good tip.

We just had some appetizer of nachos and it was decent but nothing special. I believe it might have been on happy hour pricing as well. Good place to hit up on a weekday as it doesnt seem to get the tourist or suit crowd too much. Quite relaxing neighborhood tavern with good beers and pretty reasonable pricing as well.

Mar 02, 2007
Photo of travpard
travpard from New York

4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

I walked by the Waterfront Alehouse a couple times as I live near it and it is right next to the local movie theater. It definately does not have a very inviting look from the outside, so I was surprised to read the nice reviews here. It looks like a "old man" bar from the outside.

They have about 15 beers on tap, nice selection of seasonals, reasonably priced for NYC. I started with the Harpoon Octoberfest and had the pulled pork sandwich. My date had a hefeweisen and the grilled vegetable foccia. The service was good and the food came out hot and quickly. Also tried the Sierra Nevada Octoberfest which was much more tasty than the Harpoon offering.

I would recommend this place in you are in and around Kips Bay.

Oct 16, 2006
Photo of johnniemarg
johnniemarg from New York

3.73/5  rDev -8.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4 | food: 5

I took a group of 8 coworkers to Waterfront last night, Thursday, for our (late) holiday party. I've been here many times but it had been a while since my last visit.

Atmosphere is decent. The place is fairly narrow with the bar on the right as you walk in and 5 or 6 tables that seat 4 on the left hand side of the bar. There is a popcorn machine in the back left of the bar. Waitstaff will give you a basket of cajun spiced popcorn when you sit down or you can serve yourself. There's a couple of small TVs. There's about 20 taps, which are on the bar as opposed to the wall. While it's kind of cool to have the taps located prominently, it also is an obstruction between you and the bartenders, so I'd prefer if they were on the wall. The back room is the dining area. It's kind of tight back there and you need to sqeeze through to get to the bathrooms, which are through a hallway and downstairs. They don't have a paper draught beer list. Instead they have chalkboards in the front of the bar and in the back room. If you're in the bar area it is very difficult to read the chalkboards unless you are in the front 10 feet of the bar. They should get a paper list. Chalkboards worked at Blind Tiger, but just don't cut it here. Bottled beers are on a list though. All ages, diverse crowd with doctors, businessmen and construction workers side by side.

The service is below average. You would be hard pressed to catch the bartenders or waitstaff smiling. You get the sense the bartenders are working in a morgue or something. Don't know what's up with that, but I've been going there for a few years and it's always the same. The waitresses aren't on top of their game and you will have to wait for your beer at times.

The selection was good but not great and I didn't think their list was well balanced last night. They had the DFH World Wide Stout on tap, which is always a nice surprise, but they didn't have a single IPA on their 20 taps. Other beers included Lagunitas Censored Ale, Anderson Valley Winter Solstice, Jever Pilsner, Brooklyn Winter, Brooklyn Penant Ale, Brooklyn Lager, Very Bad Elf, Lagunitas Sirius Ale (which looks like something I'd like based on reviews on this site but they did a horrible job describing it to me as a "fruity cream ale"), Lagunitas Brown Shugga, Lagunitas Cappucino Stout and others. They need some hoppier beers, at least for my taste. There was probably only 30 beers in bottle and there were a few gems including Thomas Hardy and DFH WWS, but the closest thing to an IPA was Stoudt's Scarlet Lady ESB. It really seems that whoever does the ordering at this bar has something against hops. Thomas Hardy's was listed as a 2005 vintage for $10, but we got 2004 instead. I need to do some research to figure out if that was a good deal.

The food is a "5- exceptional", but I wish I could give it a 7 or 8 to bring up the score for this place's lesser qualities. They have a homemade habanero-based hot sauce they put on the wings and they're incredible. We started off sharing the wings, some nachos (they put kalamata olives on them and they're fantastic) and waffles fried topped with melted cheese and jalapenos. Each of those was out of this world. The sandwiches here are great. I had my favorite, the Texas Dip, which is a bbq version of a french dip (which they also have and which is also extraordinary, especially when you add the fried onions and melted farm house cheddar for $2 extra). The texas dip is a slow cooked, juicy beef brisket sandwich with a cup of bbq sauce to dip it in. Other sandwiches include pulled pork, smoked turkey with melted cheese and hot pepper jelly, etc. You can't go wrong. Sandwiches come with their mustard cole slaw and a big deli pickle. Burgers are good and they always have an exotic meat burger special. Last night it was an ostrich burger but they also do venison, buffalo, etc. The special board is unbelievable. There was probably 5 entree specials inlcuding for example, "tortilla crusted monkfish with mole sauce". All the specials sound as impressive. Their food is very upscale and gourmet and I can't say enough about it. Best food for a beer bar in NYC, hands down.

Value was reasonable and cheaper than Copperfield's and Ginger Man in most cases.

I just remembered something else about the food- their lunch special is a sandwich (those I described above), cup of soup (always fantastic) and a mug of beer for $9 or $10, which is about what the sandwiches cost alone at other times. I used to go there every friday for months but had to stop because I was gaining too much weight. I will take advantage of that special again though. Actually, right now I'm thinking about returning to the scene of the crime.

Go to Waterfront for the fabulous food, drink some good beers, and tell the bartenders to crack a smile every now and then and to order some friggin' IPAs. Cheers!

Jan 13, 2006
Photo of Loki
Loki from North Carolina

4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Had lunch with a client on 11-15-05

Quality: Hard to beat. Lots of local beers, all the rest very good choices and rotating taps.

Service: Definitely they area they could easily improve upon. By no means was the service bad, but it was not great or quick either. That said, there were no errors or anything that would discourage my return even in the slightest.

Selection: Good wide array of about 18 taps. The Brooklyn Smoked Porter was fantastic. (even if it did taste more like an Oyster Stout to me.)

Food: The food was very good, but the bun that the Venison Burger lunch special was served on was a little chewy. But food came out fast, hot, to order, and was very tasty.

Value: Great prices with a ton of daily specials. Good NYC prices for pints as well.

Probably the best beer bar/restaurant in that area. Maybe for many blocks as the Kip's Bay area seems a little devoid.

Nov 18, 2005
Photo of ChowHound
ChowHound from New York

4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Interesting corner spot near the movie theatre on 2nd Avenue. Not much too look at inside, and a bit grungy to tell the truth. Beer selection is pretty good though, with about 15 taps pouring a nice range including Belgians and Stone. Quality of the beer was top notch. Pretty quiet the night I was there, just a few guys sitting around the bar and me with friends at a table. Decor is a bit cheesy for NY, but corner pub OK. Service was less than stellar, as our waiter kept forgetting us while he chatted with the bartender. We got up a couple of times to get his attention. Fortunately it wasn't crowded and the hike to the bar was short. The nicest thing about the place is the cuisine. They have daily specials featuring exotic game, and even the salad was good. Definitely a worthy New York spot for great chow and good beer.

Feb 24, 2005
Photo of Billolick
Billolick from New York

4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

This is an underated beer destination IMHO. On my last visit, they were pouring 18 tap selections, including Duponts avec les bonne...Anchor OSA, Lagunits, old salty, Avery's Jubilation etc, a strong, diverse and interesting mix. They allways have a few on tap that you wont easily find in many other places. Corner location with alot of windows. The food is on the BBQ side, reasonably priced and filling, usually decent but not amazing. Gotta love a place that has free popcorn and good stuff like album/CDs of Jazz or Bob Marley playing. Seems to attract a steady biz of neighborhood locals, but no BAer would have a hard time having a good time at this place. Professional/friendly staff. A solid place for some fine brews and/or a tasty meal

Jan 02, 2005
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
TheLongBeachBum from California

3.84/5  rDev -5.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

A previous attempt to imbibe in this establishment was thwarted due to the fact that it was closed during my past Labor Day Visit.

So it was nice to get back here recently and enjoy the relative quiet of the Waterfront Alehouse whilst I waited for a fellow BA to arrive. First off, it is nowhere near the waterfront, but a few blocks in, on 2nd Avenue. A rather drab looking exterior gives it the image of a “local’s corner pub”. The entrance is located on the corner and brings you into a long roomed interior. About 5 or 6 small Tables run down the left hand side, all of which seem laid out with utensils and dedicated to the foodies that want to eat here. The right hand side has a lovely wooden bar that runs the length of the side wall, but stops short at the front end where it curves round to the wall and leaves enough room for a couple of small tall round tables near the windows. This is where I decided to sit in order to peruse the entire bar area. It was quiet when I was there, the bar tender was serving only 4 or so people when I sat down.

About 20 Taps in total, all the beers on draft were listed and chalked up on a board at the end of the bar closest to the entrance, so I had a good view of the range without having to walk the length of the bar and stare at the Taps to make up my mind.

A back room completes the interior, and it is obvious that the Waterfront is for foodie’s more than casual drinkers but it adequately caters for latter at quieter times. Lots of wood, bottles, mirrors and good visibility to the outside world through the many windows thanks to the corner location, still lend an overall Pub aura to the interior though and the Restaurant feel is played down a little which is good.

The beer range is comprised of a mixture of regular and interesting brews, interspersed with a couple of rare and special beers that I had not seen before, including some German brews. This is all complemented by a decent range of bottled beers, some of which are on display. I pitched for a Pint of the Brooklyn Saison to start with and then a reasonably priced Dogfish Head Punkin Ale at first, and before my fellow BA arrived I quietly enjoyed this spicy ale. Well I say quietly, because that was until the woman next to me started stroking my arm and told me in broken English how she liked my freckles, that’s a new one on me, but they this is Manhattan! It turned out that she was from Spain and just visiting, so as a Gentleman I engaged in polite conversation, like you do. It appeared that the she had been drinking much earlier than I had and the conversation soon moved towards her “love freckles”, hidden from view but which would be of interest to me she was at pains to convince me. I was getting somewhat nervous until reinforcements arrived. Enter stage left my good mate and drinking buddy Davo. The Evil One put his use of Spanish to good use as he sat between us and promptly chatted up the hot Spanish woman, this seemed to worsen things as her crotch became seemingly immediately itchy; it must have been because she rubbed it hard outside her trousers after she stood up. Of course myself and Davo are no strangers to women performing erotic dances, but this was free! Our astonishment was matched only by that of the bartender as he promptly decided she had had enough Martinis, but not before she began licking the edge bar with her tongue and then finally swallowing her fully opened flip-typ Mobile Phone in a very suggestive manner until she started to gag. The bartender was seriously worried by now, but I calmed his nerves by explaining that she was just taking my number. All this, and I hadn’t even got the Cask Ale Festival at the Brazen Head yet. Gotta Love New York City!!!

Recommend, just be careful if any Spanish women are in here.

Last Visit: Friday 22nd October, 2004.

Oct 31, 2004
Photo of newyawker
newyawker from New York

3.83/5  rDev -6.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

This is a rather plain looking place all the way East of midtown. Dull tile floor, and a kind of waterfront ambiance, which makes sense given the name. A lot of taps, I think 15, all pouring tasty craft beers. I had a Stone IPA and a Fullers ESB. Both were excellent condition and the temperature was fine. The food was not as good as I have been told, but there was an interesting menu. I had a Buffalo burger. It was OK. Service was what you would expect at bar/pub. Bartender was very friendly. If you are in the neighborhood, this is a good place for a beer.

Oct 19, 2004
Photo of PopeJonPaul
PopeJonPaul from Oregon

3.75/5  rDev -8.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Good food, good beer, the bar area can get really crowded but if you want dinner and can get a table it's great (unless you are stuck in one of the weird middle tables.) A must-try is the venison chili or the ostrich burger (usually a chalkboard item not on the menu.) The specials are always worth checking out.

Taps are good, I usually hit this place about once a month before going to the Loews next door and there is always something different. Bottle selection is good too (had the De Dolle Dulle Teve last time I was there.) Service is ok, depends on who you get, try to get the guy that look like a pirate.

Feb 19, 2004
Photo of winetrdr
winetrdr from England

4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Went there for the first time the other day. It was a Monday afternoon. The outside is quite unimpressive looking(not on any water in case you care), not the kind of place many would walk in to. There was a decent crowd both in the front bar and the dining area in the back. It definitely has a slightly old, homey feeling to it. Beer selection was good but their website beer list shows many beers they will have on tap soon not what they have on tap now. To mention a few they had...Bear Mtn. Hop Rod Rye, Penn Brewing St Nicks, Unibroue Maudite. They also have a bottle selection of about 30 beers.

The food was very good and tasted fresh not frozen. For those that like game they have a game burger each day(venison the day I was there). They also sell their home made BBQ sauce and hot sauce. The hot sauce was very good, I didn't try the BBQ sauce. Fresh beef jerky and assorted sausages are also available.

All in all it's a great bar when you combine the beer selection with the good food. Most beer bars(all in fact that I've been to before now) in Manhattan don't serve much food. There are a few Belgian restauants with decent beer selection though. Waterfront Alehouse is highly recommended if food is what your after. There are others if just beer is what you crave.

Dec 03, 2003
Photo of saltydog
saltydog from New York

4.33/5  rDev +6.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

An excellent Manhattan bar that also serves very good food. There are two areas, a front bar area, and then another area in back with tables for dining. The back room has a distinct resemblance to a parchesi board, but in a good way! The beer selection of about 20 drafts always includes some unusual items, and there is a fine bottle list as well. Probably the best food selection of any beer bar in NYC. All in all a wonderful place.

Oct 20, 2003
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania

4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

The Waterfront Ale house sports 20 decent taps and some very good food. There are 5 tables up front, and it operates very much as a restaurant until later in the evening. The mahogany bar is nice with about 15 seats and a mirrored back bar, but it somehow lacks charm. The space is small but it feels fairly open. The floor is marble - which is not very comfortable on the "restaurant" side of things; but there are some comfortable, home-like dining tables along the wall. The room is colorfully painted but it all seems just a little bit sewn-together - and the popcorn machine that they fire up at night just adds to that collage of atmosphere. The bathrooms could use work, but let's just leave it at that.The food is very good, although a touch expensive - but keep in mind that it is Manhattan! A bowl of Split Pea with Ham or the Crabmeat, Mushroom and Spinach Turnover go for $7.95; and a Glazed Kobe Beef Burger with East/West Catsup will run you $13.95. The Cajun Beer BBQ Shrimp is delicious, but at $17.95 it might require a second thought; and the Lamb Shank Braised in Imperial Stout nets the same. Vegetarian items are somewhat limited; and the service is just OK. But the beer selection is good. They run specials (Heavyweight Alt, for example, at $4) and there's a wide selection. They even have some hard to find beers like those from Southampton out on the island. And for those who are interested they have a decent whiskey selection with about 54 bottles.

Sep 30, 2003
Photo of ecoboy
ecoboy from Rhode Island

4.21/5  rDev +3.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

20 or so stools at the bar.
5 4-person tables.
20 or so choices on draft, many alcohol choices from the full bar beyond just beer.
Lots of open area to stand in. A really really good neighborhood bar, in essence. If you're in the neighborhood and want a true Belgian wit, a North Coast offering, or just a Brooklyn Lager from a clean tap, this is the place. I had traveled 300 miles and was still plenty impressed.
Dark inside, with TV's on. I was a touch put off by the Godsmack music and the Howard Stern show on E! on the TV. Took away some of the relaxed class of the joint.
The server answered all my questions about some things I was unfamiliar with. I liked the free popcorn with herbs (celery salt?) on it, and the impressive dedication to homemade sausage, HP sauce and spicy condiments.

Jul 21, 2003
Photo of far333
far333 from Connecticut

4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

This review is specifically for the Manhattan location. This is one of my favorite places in the city. It's not overrun with twenty-somethings looking for dollar drafts or ladies night, since the Waterfront would never offer anything like that. There is absolutely no attitude from the staff or patrons, and it's frequented by many locals from the surrounding neighborhood.

The beer selection is fantastic. Draught beers are constantly changing, and happy hour prices are great ($4.50 a pint until 7:00). There are about 20 beers on tap, and they will always give you a taster glass to try something new. I've discovered many new beers here. The bottled selection is vast, and has good international representation. The bartenders know all about the beers they're serving, and will always serve in the appropriate glassware.

The food is consistently good, and the menu specials usually include some type of game in season. Eclectic music is played from the stereo behind the bar, and there is self-serve spicy popcorn available for free all night long. This is a great place to meet friends for a casual drink or meal and hang out with no stress. And after you have several pints, the bartender will usually give you one or two on the house.

May 14, 2003
Photo of slander
slander from New York

4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

I haven't been to the Brooklyn location in some years now so I'll have to get back out there to do the comparrison between the two but I've never had a bad experience at the Manhattan site. They've got a dozen and a half beers on tap (no swill) and a decent bottled collection. I was pleasantly surprised to see the Young's Luxury Chocolate Stout there today and it was very very nice. They've got a good representation of regional breweries and fine Euro's plus a tap of the week which is always nice (they recently had the Grant's Perfect Porter holding the tap of the week slot, outstandin'!).
The food is always good there. In addition to the standard menu, they've got some excellent daily specials. Always an unusual burger to be had (ostrich, buffalo, etc).
Nice decor and a decent crowd, conveniently located just outside the midtown tunnel.

Mar 09, 2003
Waterfront Ale House in New York, NY
Place rating: 4.08 out of 5 with 32 ratings