The Iron Monkey

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The Iron MonkeyThe Iron Monkey
Very Good
22 Ratings
The Iron MonkeyThe Iron Monkey

Type: Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

97 Greene St
Jersey City, New Jersey, 07302-3817
United States

(201) 435-5756 | map

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Added by auntfloyd on 12-13-2006

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 22 |  Reviews: 12
Reviews by slander:
Photo of slander
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Geographically undesirable, and I don’t mean just this bar but rather Jersey City, et al. And none of the shortest distances between points A & B actually that. Yeah, yeah, I’m on my way, I’ll see you shortly, goodbye. Parked and arounded the corner and parked barside, this Monkey on the corner...

Straightish tortoise shell marble topped bar with a hook, and then an extension, seating a dozen+ on backed chairs. Behind the bar, something of a bar back unit squozen in, with a stained glass piece inlayed over the taps on center, a large monkey piece fronting slight glassware, and boozings below the handles. Counters below mirrored panels to both sides over tired booze and a smaller mirror above with a single shelf with single malts and hwhiskeys. Glassware below shelved; pints on center, chalices & tulips to the side, weisse glasses, too, and wines on their sides in between. Shelving piece on the end with more boozings. The bar overhang holds Radeberger weisse glasses hooked above the bar the shorty length with colored pingpong ball lighting and growlers on the short end. 2 small flats on the posts to both sides of center of the bar.

Wood plank floorings, pressed tinesque ceiling with spots, white walls over wood slat lowers, and rounded front corner panel windows neoned up and displaying sampler paddles. A single 2 seat hightop up front in the windows, and 3 roundies to the rear below a horizontal mirror with a cool ass frame of diamond plating and ornateness. Something balletesque going on in that octagon framed circular print alongside, another horizontal flowing ballerina print in the stairwell, and a vertical happy hour board just inside the door.

Stainless steel bar tower of 12 in front of me and another on the bar back, plus 3 more unmarked down on the end. So that’s 27 down here, and then there are 5 more in the dining room upstairs and 7 more on the rooftop. 39 in all; 4/5 of them are American craft beer, with a near even split between local/regional (Brooklyn Blast, Weisse, & Dry Irish Stout, Keegan Joe Mama’s Milk Stout, Ithaca Dark Humor, Harpoon Munich Dark, Chocolate Stout, Leviathan Imperial Rye, & Leviathan Barleywine, Smuttynose Star Island, Allagash White, Yards General Washington’s Tavern Porter, Sly Fox Xmas 2011, Flying Dog Pearl Necklace Oyster Stout), and not regional to here (Oskar Blues Mama’s Little Yella Pils, Jolly Pumpkin Bam Biere, Left Hand God JuJu, Lost Abbey Red Barn Ale, Port F.N.G. Pale Ale, Anderson Valley Bahl Hornin’ Mowkeef, Bahl Hornin’ Boontlinger Weiss, & Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout, North Coast Pranqster, Ballast Point Tongue Buckler Imperial Red Ale, Stone Arrogant Bastard, Epic 825 State Stout, Firestone Walker Double Jack IPA & Reserve Robust Porter, Rogue Dead Guy Ale & Chocolate Stout, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale & Northern Hemisphere Harvest Wet Hop Ale). The other 1/5 are imports Belgian & German (Duvel Single, St Bernardus Abbot 12, Palm, Lindemans Framboise & Peche, Erdinger Weissbier, Ayinger Celebrator Dopplebock). I sampled some stuff, and opted for the Port F.N.G. Pale Ale, Lost Abbey Red Barn Ale, & Firestone Walker Reserve Robust Porter.

Apparently they have bottles, might I see a list, please? It’s a leather bound book of pain. 380 bottles, sorted by style, but it’s amazingly involved, I will say that. Reasonably priced all around. Jolly Pumpkin Luciernaga is $18, the La Roja $15, and lovely Orval runs $8.25. Grado Plato Chocarrubica & Drie Fonteinen Oude Geuze & Oude Kriek the priciest items at $28.

Ventured upstairs to see what I could see. Dining space with a dozen square tables angled mostly in rows up front and a small bar to the rear, with some handles sticking this way and that. There are a whole lot of empty bottles displayed (They have bottles?) Brown walls with brewery prints signed autographed for the house (Defiant, Brooklyn, Ramstein, Blue Point; they’re cool). Beige curtainings, and floors & ceilings of the same. Somewhere up here is the access to the rooftop, but it was early and they shooed me away.

We winged in the brunch to lunch transition; they being on both menus. I went mild, which was still a little hotter than I like my mild being, but I sniffled through. Solid beer selection, oh, hell yeah, and in good shape. Karen was a good tender, likes what she likes, was attentive, and doled samples as requested. I guessed the Ballast Point Tongue Buckler Imperial Red Ale to be just that when challenged (I suspect Chase was freaked watching me ‘beer in action’). Good beer & basketball Sunday.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Odysseyalien
3.23/5  rDev -15.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2 | selection: 4.25

I’m here tonight and with that, I’m reminded why I never come here. Service is awful and there’s hardly anyone here. Great beer selection but they need more attentive servers and bartenders to make coming here worthwhile.

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Photo of SebastianMandeville
4.29/5  rDev +12.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

Photo of FBGordon
3.28/5  rDev -13.9%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3 | selection: 3

Photo of mjk1979
3.16/5  rDev -17.1%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 3 | service: 2 | selection: 4.25 | food: 3.75

Photo of ArkyVaughan
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Photo of almostjay
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Photo of Cfeezy
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%

Another great watering hole in jersey city

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Photo of Toasty
5/5  rDev +31.2%

Photo of vonnerbeer
4/5  rDev +5%

Photo of dannyhead
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of EnthusedAboutBeer
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of dbrauneis
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75

This place is located in Jersey City in a more business oriented area so it is pretty quiet in the evenings/weekend. The place in rather small but has a first floor bar, a second floor dining room, and a rooftop bar as well.

Beers were poured pretty well and served in proper glassware (snifter, tulip, shaker pint, etc.). Beers were also served at a proper temperature though not always with the correct amount of head.

Our server was pleasant and attentive though did not have a lot of knowledge of the beers we were ordering. Beers that were listed at either the rooftop bar or 1st floor bar could sometimes take a while to arrive.

The place had almost 40 beers available on tap that crossed a range of styles though there were quite a few Goose Island beers available (I'm guessing they had a event shortly before we visited). There is also a rather extensive bottle list but you will need to ask to get it, it was not offered when we were seated.

Food seemed somewhat hit of miss depending on what was ordered when we arrived for brunch. The short rib hash had a really nice presentation and was quite good while the chicken and waffles was really nothing special. Omelets looked fairly average.

Relatively inexpensive and reasonable for the area.

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Photo of metter98
4.13/5  rDev +8.4%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Vibe: This place is located in a part of Jersey City that resembles Lower Manhattan in the 1990s—outside of business hours the neighborhood is dead. The Iron Monkey is a four-floor establishment consisting of the following: First Floor—long bar with stools; Second Floor—very small bar with restaurant-style seating; Third Floor—kitchen and bathrooms; Fourth Floor—rooftop bar and seating.

Quality: Beers were served at the proper temperature using a variety of glassware, including snifters for some beers.

Service: I went there on a late Sunday morning and our group practically had the entire second floor to ourselves so service was rather quick, although it took a bit longer if you ordered beers from a floor different from the one you were seated at.

Selection: With 39 taps, this bar has a very impressive selection of draft beers. They also have a rather extensive list of bottled beers in case you are looking for other beers.

Food: I tried the braised short rib hash for brunch and it was tasty and had a nice presentation.

Value: The prices of beers seemed quite reasonable compared to other places in Jersey City.

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Photo of claspada
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Went here for New Year's Eve 2011.

Small 2 floor restaurant/bar in downtown Jersey City. Also has an outdoor area which is nice for warmer months. Draft selection is fairly extensive for the area. Nothing too revolutionary but for a small bar/rest in JC, way above average.

Servers werent too knowledgeable about beers, what else is new, tried to recommend a Lindemans lambic to me; took a lot of effort not to laugh.

Food was above average. They offered their pub menu as well as the dinner menu to us even though they were supposed to only offer a pre fix meal that evening. Sandwiches to steak to soups to salads to seafood.

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Photo of GregKeith
4.08/5  rDev +7.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

I travel to Jersey City frequently and was pleasantly surprised to find a good craft beer bar so close to my office on the Jersey side. Have I found better selections? Yes. Have I had better food? Yes. Have I had more knowledgeable bartenders? Yes. But it's solid and they are always rotating new & interesting craft beers on tap. Good for a quick burger/beer at lunch and even better to try something new from the taps after work. The staff is always friendly, especially during lunch when it's a bit quieter than after work. Thursday night special events can be packed.

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Photo of renegadeburger
3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

i would probably say this was the first place that turned me on to good beer, seeing that it was only about 3 blocks from my first apartment....

the tap selection downstairs is limited, but that is only one part of the equation cuz upstairs there are more taps, and then if you go all the way to the top there is rooftop bar as well...all in all there are probably 40-50+ taps

then there are bottles as well, probably over 100 of them...the only issue i have is sometimes they don't have the one you are looking for, nonetheless they easily have the best selection in the neighborhood and the prices are good too

you can come here and usually count on getting a Brooklyn Brewery beer and usually a Dogfish and sometimes a Bear Republic and a Rogue too...lots of good staples and the first place where i found i could consistently get a good ipa on draft in new jersey

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Photo of IronGiant
2.3/5  rDev -39.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 1 | selection: 2 | food: 3

As a Jersey City resident, I make an effort to get out to any place that has craft beer. Iron Monkey is an institution in JC - with a downside.

Iron Monkey boasts a craft beer list of more than 200 beers. "Boast" is an important word. While the menu *might* have that many listings, ask a bartender and you'll find a large portion of those beers aren't available.

Then, there is the dark side. On several visits to Iron Monkey I've been given skunked, out of date or old beer. And the bar never wants to acknowledge this stuff has been sitting in a neglected case for as long as it has. That's bad.

I don't know if it's the owner or the manager, but I've seen someone in charge smoking in the kitchen and even witnessed him extinguish his cigarette in a plate of food. That's not pretty.

This bar has a great location, three floors and a roof deck. If they could keep good staff who knew something about beer, and rotated their selection a bit more often, I'd give them higher marks.

There are too many good restaurants nearby to eat at Iron Monkey - I recommend Marco & Pepe's or the Light Horse Tavern. If you are looking for a place with great beer (but alas, no food...yet), try Star Bar.

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Photo of bonbini26
3.33/5  rDev -12.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 1.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Atmosphere - Seems like an after work crowd place, given the location of it. The 1st floor is a bar, which can get cramped, the 2nd floor is a dining area, the 3rd floor is a rooftop bar with tables.

Service- Bartenders not know much about beer and the service is usually slow and rude.

Selection - Stone, Chimay, Dogfish, Allagash, Flying Dog, BMC on tap. You can tell they are trying to become more of a craft beer bar because they are starting to hold brewery themed nights here.

Food- Pretty decent food menu, varied. no complaints

Valve- Was reasonabily priced for the area.

One of the few spots in Jersey City offering craft beer, hopefully it will only improve with time.

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Photo of DawnL
3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3 | food: 4.5

$8.00 for a flight of six beers - 2oz. pours

I heard a rumor that Iron Monkey might close?? I hope that wasn't founded in reality.

I love the outdoor bar area. I also love how organized they are. I was there for an Allagash event on 7/23. When i ordered a flight of beer the beers were labeled, in the correct consuming order, and perfectly poured. I was pretty impressed.

I also overheard about the best request ever:

Customer: "Hey, what do you have from Dogfish?"

Bartender: "Nothing tonight because of the Allagash event."

Customer: "Oh, I'll have a Heineken then."

The bartenders were knowledgable. They made pretty good suggestions when it came to beers and beer styles. Obviously they wanted to push Allagash that evening - but they were appropriate about it. They gave away many tasting pours.

There food is above par for most items. I noticed that their pizza has a little too much cheese - read soggy. They have excellent wings and I really dig their sliders. Their beef satay looked pretty good too.

There beer selection is decent. You can always find something interesting to drink. Yes they have Bud, Miller, Heineken, etc - but they'll pour craft beers as well.

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Photo of SeanRedd
3.86/5  rDev +1.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

The Iron Monkey will impress those that don't expect much. The layout of the bar will probably impress most. 3 tiers with different draft selections including a roof with an awesome view create the perfect embeance to throw a few down when the sun is still up. The selection is good...not great; don't expect a Flying Saucer with 70 tap carries good craft beer. Allagash, Dogfish, Stone, and Flying Dog all make it to the list along with reputable others. The staff is friendly and the furniture, (Iron work that is unique and beyond badass), ties the place together. I definitely recommend it, but don't let your beer selection-creative imagine get out of hand; this is just a good bar, with a decent selection of craft brews, standing out amongst the remaining, obsolete beer selections all to available in Jersey City.

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Photo of auntfloyd
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

The Iron Monkey is an interesting beast... on one hand, its the go to bar for the surrounding office workers (mostly IT employees of the major investment banks); on the other hand it serves a great variety of microbrew ales from breweries both well-known and more obscure.

I've been to the Monkey a handful of times, and when I've gone for the beer, I've never been disappointed. Iron Monkey carries a great (and rotating) selection of breweries such as Stone, Dogfish Head, and Flying Fish. You will never be let down in terms of the quality of selection; something that is very surprising in this part of Jersey City.

The food, or at least what I've had of it, is ok as far as bar food goes. As a vegan, there's a limit to how much I've had, and I've heard some bad things from my omnivorous co-workers, but I don't think you'll encounter anything truly terrible here. The bar snack food is good enough, as are the entrees. It's not fancy dining by any means; but then neither is anywhere else nearby.

The service was ok; I think at one point I had to flag down our waitress, but nothing egregious has ever happened to me here.

Overall, this is a great beer bar, and an excellent part of the Exchange Place neighborhood in Jersey City. They stock great beers (like Arrogant Bastard or DFH Indian Brown Ale), so what is there to complain about? Probably not worth the trip from Manhattan, but light years beyond other area locations (e.g., 95 Green St)

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The Iron Monkey in Jersey City, NJ
Place rating: 3.81 out of 5 with 22 ratings