Blind Tiger

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Blind TigerBlind Tiger
347 Ratings
Blind TigerBlind Tiger

Type: Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

281 Bleecker St
New York, New York, 10014-4106
United States

(212) 462-4682 | map

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Added by slander on 03-15-2007

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Ratings: 347 |  Reviews: 216
Photo of bobwallace
2.48/5  rDev -43.6%

Photo of DaveFL1976
2.7/5  rDev -38.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 1.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 2.5

Entered into the Blind Tiger at 1pm on a Friday afternoon. They were moderately-busy. Not crazy or anything, just so-so buzy.

One bartender taking every food and drink order for the entire house. Dirty dishes piled up and found their way to the windowsills and outer tables as new customers made their way in.
I trudged my way to the bar and ordered two sandwiches, a St. Bernardus Christmas Ale and a Hot Chocolate for my pregnant wife. We don't want to get the baby started on beer for at least another year, you know?
Anyways, even though it was on the menu, there was no St. Bernardus Christmas Ale, and they have no hot drinks available at all. So no Hot Cocoa for my wife and no St. Berny Xmas for me. No worries. I changed my order to an Atwater Dopplebock.
As I attempted to pay for my order, the dude that ordered previously shouldered his way back into line and mentioned to the bartender that she charged him $330 for a $33 tab on his credit card (damn decimals).
This slowed things down a bit.
I paid for my sandwiches and beer and walked down the street to the coffee shop to get my wife a hot chocolate.
Then walked back to Blind Tiger and gave my wife her Hot Chocolate.
The bartender had still not poured my Atwater Dopplebock. Eight minutes have elapsed now since this beer was ordered. I'm thirsty, ya know?
Finally got my beer. My wife enjoyed her hot chocolate from up the street, while pushing aside dirty dishes and glassware. Just as we were about to leave out of aggrivation for not receiving our food (and just as Wendy, literally had $20 in her hand, ready to take it up to the pizza joint 50 yards to the North, and give up on the Tiger's food), the bartender finally called my name and our food was up. Gee, thanks.
Average pub food. Below average service, and not the beer selection that you'd expect from a 'world class' beer bar.

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Photo of BeTheBall
3.25/5  rDev -26.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | food: 2.5

Stopped in this past Saturday afternoon for a couple of cold ones. "S" shaped bar aloong the right/back from the right corner entrance, flanked by maybe 15 tbales, some along the windows, which were open and begged for much interesting people watching in The Village.
About 20? beers on tap, with many dozens in bottles, all craft, no BMC, which is nice. The selection included many IPA's and Stouts, a little different for a warm Saturday afternoon for me. I had a Bruery Saison followed by an Unearthly, both served in proper glassware.
We split an order of the Chicken Quesadillas, which tasted OK, but were sort of greasy.
While the 2 bartenders seemed nice, serviecf at this place, well at that time was not good at all. There was zero floor service for tables, meaning that we had to pick a spot to invade the bar and yell over others for drinks or food. I hate that. It took 5-10 minutes to do this when we arrived; very, very close to my patience threshold and us walking out. Not sure if this happens at other times, as this was my first visit.
I would say, based on the service problems we had, and the sort of IPA/Stout skewed tap list, I may not return on subsequent visits to NYC (I live in MA, so am a tourist there). Other places I've been have better service, better beer and better food, but probably not better people watching if you can get a window. Still, I enjoyed my two beers and was thankful we were not in a BMC bar...

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Photo of morebeergood
3.56/5  rDev -19.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4

Third stop on my NYC pub tour. Stopped by on a Sunday evening right after dinner around 7:30pm. Cool atmosphere, lots of wood, beer decor all around. Only one bartender behind the bar on a Sunday was odd, so it took here like 6-8 minutes to get my group's 4 beers for some reason. We grabbed a small wooden table to sit around, but it was wobbly and we almost lost all out glasses. Wiped the small mess down with a bar rag, and now our whole table smelled like wet wood and week-old beer. Great. Beer wise, they have a great tap selection, but I thought the bottle prices were super high. I went with a Sly Fox stout, which was very good. This was a nice time to visit, as there was a decent crowd, but there was enough room to enjoy a group beer. This bar was my favorite of the trip.

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Photo of almostjay
3.59/5  rDev -18.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3 | selection: 4.25 | food: 3.5

Photo of srletend
3.6/5  rDev -18.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4

Photo of knightlypint
3.65/5  rDev -17%
vibe: 1 | quality: 4.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

The layout of this place is terrible, there's a chokepoint for traffic which restricts movement. The place has a certain degree of local fame attached to it, mostly earned at the original location, which draws too big a crowd for the space. As with many Village bars the customers tend to be young, rude, and boisterous so you end up with a compromised experience.

The beer quality is high at the Tiger, no doubt about it.

Service is ok.

The Tiger usually has a good selection of beers on tap, a few surprises thrown in for good measure. A good bottle selection too, even if a few are too exotic.

The food is great, usually unique sandwich combinations for a reasonable price with some standards too.

The beer and food are a good draw but be ready for a madhouse, too many people packed into a small place.

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Photo of david18
3.66/5  rDev -16.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

One of the better beer bars but not the best. The biggest problem is that it is always so crowded. SOmetimes it's impossible to get to the bar, muchless get a table or even a clear spot to stand.

The place has a great selection of tap and bottles and also has a number of local guest breweries who come and serve a selection of beers.

Beer is always cold and well taken care of. Prices are also reasonable.

Interesting neighborhood, with good fooderies all around. I would recommend but be warned that it can be very crowded.

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Photo of Nrod
3.69/5  rDev -16.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.5

Photo of JoEBoBpr
3.7/5  rDev -15.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Went in on a Sunday around 1:30 pm.

The bar tucked away in the right hand corner of the establishment an there are tables scattered around with a bench that lines the left hand wall of the place.

First of all this bar is in a pretty cool but at the same time kind off touristy neighborhood. The atmosphere itself is very relaxed and informal, homey. There was no table service which was kind of odd since there were like 4 people at the bar (including myself).

The beer selection is pretty good with all domestics on tap and then a pretty big bottle selection which includes some imports. I tried teh mini-Cubano which was really good and had a lot of meat but as the name says it was mini. The beers seemed fresh and lines were pretty clean. I tried an IPA and some Wheat beers.

They had just had a Southampton so they had about 7 or so of their beers ontap but didnt try any as I figured it was left overs fromt eh event.

Overall pretty good place that will get a return visit from myself in the future.

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Photo of jm429
3.71/5  rDev -15.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Admittedly, I went to Blind Tiger during a Rogue Festival and saw a nice 26 different types of Rogue on draft. I got to try the relatively hard to find Chipotle Ale and a couple other delicious Rogue brews. This sorta endeared me to this bar, despite a general dislike of the crowd that was present. With so many taps, they are bound to have a pretty good selection most of the time, but they aren't consistently selective about the quality of beer that they carry. Overall the space is quite nice, the service is quick and the prices are pretty standard. Therefore, I'll be back.

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Photo of Hoppington
3.73/5  rDev -15.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3

Many consider the Blind Tiger to be the best beer bar in NYC - by "many" I mean mostly entrenched regulars/locals from "The Village". Yes, when the right people are behind the bar, the Blind Tiger is truly excellent. But the Blind Tiger can be very inconsistent in service on certain days during the week -which for me is a serious drawback - though the beer quality is *always* excellent.

The venue is extremely small, so if you are coming to NYC and think you will just pop by for the Blind Tiger "experience", think again. Better come earlier - timing is everything. Anything after 6:00pm and you will be lucky to get a seat...anywhere. Otherwise, enjoy that beer....standing up.

It should be noted that at the Tiger, the regulars are king - which is a good thing in practice. However, depending on your bartender, be prepared to wait several minutes (or longer) while the bartender gabs on and on with a crusty regular while you wait patiently and politely to order your beer. The good news is the food is decent and interesting and the beers perfectly served. So if you don't mind enduring the initiation process and some attitude from certain staff, you should be fine.

Overall, the Blind Tiger is quite decent, but I can't recommend it except to people working or residing in/near The Village. If you are nearby, by all means check it out. However, it can't really compete with the larger beer bars uptown (e.g. Ginger Man and Rattle-N-Hum) because they have way better service, more room and many more beer choices. Still, the Blind Tiger has an undeniable charm - if you can find a seat and get reasonably served.

Be forewarned - as can be expected in these types of venues, it all depends on *who* you get as your bartender. I went early in the week and the bartender I had was gracious, friendly and helpful - and made it an outstanding experience.

Having had an enjoyable time prior, I went again later in the week and my bartender was rude, slow and ungracious. As a rule, I treat all servers with great respect and tip well for good service. But this bartender acted like I inconvenienced her by asking her to serve me a beer. Not too smart when you make your living on gratuity. So it really all depends on when you go and who you get as your bartender.

So the beer gets an "A". But this is a venue review and you can't judge on beer alone. Tight quarters as well as unfriendly and lethargic service by certain staff bring the experience down to just above-average. In short, this place could (and should) do better to become a truly great beer venue. Note to BTAH management: service does count - I can get great beer all over town these days.

Caveat emptor!

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Photo of Chris_Coughlin
3.75/5  rDev -14.8%

Photo of jim102864
3.75/5  rDev -14.8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 2.5

I had read several fellow BA's reviews of BTAH and being in the mood for something different other than my standard lower Manhattan pub, Hop Devil, I decided to stop in Wendesday night.

Before getting there, I had read they were having a Brooklyn Brewery event there so that was something to look forward to. I didn't make it there 'til about 8 pm and this tiny West Side pub was packed to the gills. Given that it was unusually muggy for November 5th in NYC, it made for a very uncomfortable experience. Still, Garrett Oliver was there along with one of the sales reps and I got a chance to talk to both. Because of the event, it was essentially all Brooklyn on tap. I decided to focus on stuff I'd never had/heard of before. The Grand Cru that the sales dude recommended was delish. I also tried a cask brew called Black Ops. Oliver himself recommended it because of the wood in which it was stored. I found it to be a disappointment. I got no sense of the oak and found it to be fairly flavorless for all he hyped it up to be. He also recommended this one off 750 bottled stuff called Dark Matter (mind you at $24 per bottle) which I shared with a local who I had been chatting with. A nice brown ale, but again, nothing special. The 2006 Monster was good.

As to the Tiger itself, if you're at all clostrophopic stay away. You will never see the word "roomy" in a review of BTAH. Fairly average looking bar with average atmosphere. Roughly 25 taps which I'm sure are typically pulling solid selections. Service from the pleasant barmaid was good even on this at times 3-deep-at-the-bar evening.

The food was a total bust. A meat sandwich that was mushy and flavorless along with buffalo wings that were ok if you like 'em firey.

All in all a place I would visit again. Hell, I'd even recommmend it, but I still think Hop Devil rules the day when it comes to Manhattan beer bars.

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Photo of James_A
3.75/5  rDev -14.8%

I've been there twice. Both times, way too crowded. You have to fight your way to the bar, not be seen by the bartenders as you're now behind a wooden cabinet that houses the beer taps. When you finally get your beer (after the awkward handing over the money, holding the beers, trying to scoop up the change off of the aforementioned beer tap cabinet, count it and leave a tip while holding beers) there is no where to sit, so you just stand in the middle of the room like an idiot, drinking your beer and waiting for someone to get up and free up a seat or bar stool, which never happens. You finish your beer and decide if it's worth it to repeat the whole process or move on to another bar.

The tap list is good, but if you're there during or in the first few days after an event, half the taps might be dedicated to a certain brewery, limiting your options.

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Photo of rozzom
3.75/5  rDev -14.8%

Photo of misternebbie
3.75/5  rDev -14.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.25 | food: 3.25

Photo of DGSchmitt
3.75/5  rDev -14.8%

Photo of BethanyB
3.77/5  rDev -14.3%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75

First things first: the draft selection is not so big that it's overwhelming, but always diverse and carefully chosen, with solid American craft beers being the focus. A bit pricey, but absolutely comparable to most places in the area, especially considering the quality and selection. Never had a bad pour or a glass from a bad keg here. Also a great place to find beer from the West Coast, which is a nice change-up for us New Yorkers!

Nice, clean atmosphere, but not without some character. Yes, it's by NYU, but the crowd is eclectic and usually devoid of obnoxious drunks.

The staff is knowledgeable and helpful. And bless them: they try as hard as they can to serve the HOARDS of people packed shoulder-to-shoulder, wall-to-wall.

And that is my big qualm about this place. You are damn lucky if you can get a seat anywhere, even on a half-inch of a window ledge. You can't hear yourself or whomever you're with over the clamor of people actually willing to scream to be heard. Therefore, I actually tend to avoid this place. Which isn't really their loss, since they have plenty of other people to serve!!

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Photo of Srkolodn
3.79/5  rDev -13.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75

Blind Tiger is perfectly situated in the West Village. The vibe/appearance just works for this craft beer spot in the west village, perfect for hanging out with some friends over good beer. They have a great selection and friendly staff, all beer aficionados will be able to find something to enjoy. I went late afternoon during a weekday and it was already pretty packed. Its a small space awkwardly situated inside with not much seating. Overall good experience.

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Photo of joedon
3.8/5  rDev -13.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5

I visited this place today and wanted to review while the memory was still fresh.

Like most New York places rated on BA, I think the Blind Tiger is graded higher than it would be if it was located any where else. This might be related to the huge over-priced nature of everything in New York or the desperation of reviewers to feel connected to some place that they want to feel "at home" in.

The atmosphere is sort of urban-English-Pub. Very cramped and crowded. Also very noisy and difficult to get served in. A lot of competition going on for a place to stand or sit. Also the weird experience (at least for a Midwesterner) of having a total stranger ask me to "watch their stuff" while they walked up to the bar and tried to order.

The beer I had was properly served and very tasty. I had the Old Ruffian barley-wine at $7.00 for a snifter. [I had this very same beer in Baltimore last year at $4.50 for a full pint.]

Service was very hectic. I visited on a Saturday afternoon and the place was not jammed but very full. Even so, it took a long a wait at the bar to get my order in. There were only two bartenderesses on duty for the the whole place. Forget about any samples or small talk about the beers..

Selection was very impressive. Maybe 25 beers on tap from many different brewers.

I did not try any food.

It occurs to me this would be a neat place to sip a beer and read a book if it was a quiet weekday evening. At almost any other time, I would not be too impressed.

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Photo of ferrari29
3.84/5  rDev -12.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

This place gets packed quick, so get here in a hurry and make sure you save space for your friends. It become really hard to move after a while, especially on a Friday. Atmosphere is very cozy, a very dimly lit, small and quaint. Solid wood decor lines the bar counter, walls and beams. Cask ales are available here and they have a big selection of beers available on tap. If there is one knock on this place its that everything is either served in a conical shaped pint glass or a mug. I had an imperial stout, from a cask, served in a mug. Not really the appropriate glass for this type of beer and it was very watery and warm. No head and very liquid, almost like flavored water. Not sure that a beer place like this would be serving this kind of beer, but I thought they would be gracious enough to not serve the butt-end of the cask. Especially if its been sitting there for a while. Check this place out if your in the area. Good stuff.

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Photo of punkindrublic50
3.85/5  rDev -12.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Blind Tiger is definitely one of the go to beer bars in Manhattan. Good selection of taps, decent amount of bottles and always a cask or two on tap. Ambiance in pleasant - dark stained hardwood, very restrained overall. Unfortunately it is very popular and therefore almost always fairly crowded. Expect to wait a few minutes to get a beer, and quite a few if you are looking for a seat. There is a good selection of munchies available, but this isn't a place to go to for dinner. Prices are comparable to the other main NYC beer bars.

In short: definitely worth a trip if you've never been, worth stopping by if you're in the area, but not exceptionally better than its competition (Copperfields, Rattle n Hum, Ginger Man) and expect a crowd.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.86/5  rDev -12.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

I stopped here with a friend while in town in July 2007. I knew we'd be in the Greenwich Village area, so I beerfly'd and here we were.

There were about 20-25 taps and 2-3 casks, maybe also bottles but I didn't see the bottles list. The taps included mostly USA microbrews (Smuttynose, DogFishHead, Brooklyn, etc) and the casks were Brooklyn Brown and some local IPA. The beers were generally high enough quality to satisfy anyone but weren't rare enough to make you seek the place out. Anyway it's a decent stop. If anything it's a little smallish, with seating for 40 and was totally packed on a Sunday night.

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Photo of DerekE4750
3.89/5  rDev -11.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 3.5

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Blind Tiger in New York, NY
Place rating: 4.4 out of 5 with 347 ratings