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Blind Tiger

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Blind TigerBlind Tiger
344 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: 344 |  Reviews: 215
Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.45/5  rDev +1.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I love the Blind Tiger! Too bad it is impossibly crowded most always...

Living in Manhattan, this is one of the premier beer destinations for my wife and myself. Unfortunately, you ought to come here early in the afternoon to avoid the crowds- otherwise, forget about it. It is just too small of a venue, and an insanely popular one (understandably so!)

The beer list here is very, very good. Not as extensive as The Ginger Man or Rattle 'N' Hum in Midtown, but very focused and high-quality. Right now, for example, January 17, you will find Avery Czar and North Coast Old Stock- two rare beers in Manhattan (on draft). There are always a bunch of IPA's and DIPA's, at least one or two barleywines and Imperial Stouts, some Belgians... something for everyone indeed.

Also, their casks are always top-notch. And their bottle selection, with some good sale-priced items to boot.

The ambience is nice, before it gets crowded. Cozy and warm in the winter, with the fireplace and the wood and the shit. Nice in the summer, with the open windows looking out to Bleecker street. Even when it's busy, it never gets crazy loud.

Service is very good. Bartenders know their craft shit, are nice and will remember faces. I'm not a regular but they always greet me by name. Sure, you will have to wait a bit and it will be a pain having to make your way to the bar for a beer, but it's never too bad. And it's always worth!

I love the food. Some people here have said "it is just bar food". Not so. It looks like it, but it goes way beyond. No nachos and crap here. How many bars have chicken-liver-and-bacon pate?? Or a Banh Mi Vietnamese sandwich??

My two favorite food items are the simple-but-heavenly apple-bacon-cheddar melt/sandwich and the classic pimento-cheese spread. YUM!!!

Prices aren't bad. They look pricey, but then happy hour goes on, like, forever, and I have never left the Tiger feeling I paid a million bucks (unlike at The Ginger Man or Rattle).

If they had a bigger, less crowded location, I'd come here every other day, I swear.

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Photo of slander
4.58/5  rDev +4.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Usually, it's too elbow to elbow for me to be able to bust out the Pilot Precise Rolling Ball V5 Extra Fine Red and take notes, but I caught a light early Wednesday afternoon on Bleecker and got a-jotting. I figured I'd soon be drinking any one or more of the dozen plus Stone beers they've got on, so I should start writing while still being able to see in singular. Looking around, taking in the room, I can only think how an NYU prof would regard a "The Tiger in contrast" master's thesis, it being a local house and all (take note, liberal arts majors). From off the beaten path well worn Hudson old to in the thick of it Bleecker new, shiny and a year old already. Remember when events were like once a month? The bathrooms of scariness, toasting the sunset, anxiously awaiting the sunrise, prohibition, repeal, old familiar faces and the shift in clientele all at once...

Bustling corner location with perfect PM parking if you're there at 6 on a weeknight; on weekends, good luck (Oh my god! I've become that douche a-bag who talks about parking availability in beerflys). Entering off the corner, you've got a sort of "Z" shaped wood bar seating a dozen, with 2 towers of 14 each on brass banded wood boxes and a pair of handpumps down on the end. 5 stooled raised roundie bar tables sit in the forward area and a few square tables rest against the far wall. 3 sets of tall narrow windows opening out on both the front and side walls over bar counters below. Beigeee yellowee painted walls over wood paneled lowers, plank floors, wood beam posts and ceiling trim and cross beams, and a fireplace off the far corner, stone, with a mantle and gated, and a framed 3' x 3' mirror above. Ceiling fans above, a single mounted TV to the rear, sunken spots, mounted wall lamps, and drop lanterny coneish lamps run a "Z" above the bar. Glassware stacked and ready on the fat wood barback counter and cupboards below. A pair of long thick wood shelves above loaded with random empty bottles, gifted, their favorites and dead gones, plus some tiger pieces, a trophy, a globe, some signage and figurines and the like. A pair of long boards up top with tap selections listed in 2 rows of 7 per board, 28 taps in all, changing damn near daily and pacing the frequent events here.

On the rear wall, a mirrored archway with tiered wine below next to the entranceway to the kitchen in view back there. And just to the left, 3 shelves with all the books from the old Tiger, and a pair of narrow vertical boards listing Alan's pick of the day, specials, cask, gravity pour and wood pin selections.

3 large boards on the far wall, 2 of which list the food menu items and the 3rd listing bottled beer selections. Some 4 dozen beers listed, about a dozen and a half of them American micros rare and common and nearly just as many vintage bottles, pricey, but whatever, you've got to pay to play, deal with it.

Foodings. The only thing I'd ever etten here is the Rafael's 7 pepper chili (sirloin & pork shoulder, just excellent), one quiet just after opening two birthday bar crawls ago. But today, on Witzel's wecommendation, I opted for the Bloody Beast (killer pressed mini house roast beef, onion, cheddar, horseradish mayo & bloody mary dip). Holy crap was that good. Just bigger than an English muffin, I thought it'd be rare and bloody but it wasn't. Also had the Posole Rojo (savory pork stew with hominy and a beautiful pepper broth which Louise was good enough to describe in detail). I think I need to explore that food menu at length, yes.

Overall, the house is comfortable early on although it gets tight up around the bar, especially on event nights but it can't be helped. The kitchen is definitely a welcome addition. Good staff, I never seem to struggle to get a beer here and the selection is, well, you know, it is the Blind Tiger afterall. When in NYC...

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Photo of Billolick
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Yes folks it's back and thank god, I really missed it, still in my father's neighborhood, making regular visits a reality. Only about a 5 minute walk from the old place (now housing a Starbucks!) Bathrooms are much nicer, they serve food, they have many more windows looking out and opening out when weather permits onto one of the classic Village street scenes, they even have a small outdoor eating, and drinking(?) area, this location is in the middle of a bunch of great food places including Murray's fine cheese shop and John's world class pizza across the street. (No slices) Great selections of all the types of beer you have come to expect from Alan, Dave and the crew, and the special beer events we have come to love! On my most recent visit, I enjoyed fresh Rogue 10,000. They had selections from Ommegang, Sixpoint, Captain Lawrence, Southampton, Smutty, Brooklyn's Antwerpin, Stone, Victory, Stoudt's, Southern Tier, and several others. 2 casks and a gravity keg resting on the bar. Expect to find the most interesting selections in the city (along with Ginger man and Hop Devil). Lots of rotation of the taps and beers you will not find in many places. Also an extensive and highly worthy bottle list.A must hit location if in the general NYC area. Welcome back BTAH, here's to MANY visits and years of enjoyment...

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.45/5  rDev +1.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I have to say that I was initially a little disappointed with the look of the "new", "freshly painted" Tiger, but I guess that's to be expected. It just doesn't have the charm of the old place (it's got bathrooms on the first floor for Christ's sake!!!), but that's not their fault. And, apart from that it feels just like the old place. Same crowd, same servers, same great REAL pub food (pressed sandwiches!!!, soups, tacos, Murray's cheese plate!), same great selection at reasonable prices (28 out of 28 great beers on tap, and hell, some bottled beers are even a steal!). And don't forget the cask beers! Ahhhh, I love it! In addition, I think it might even be a little bit bigger space, and the open windows really help when it's crowded. Go with friends. Have fun!

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Photo of Sammy
4.44/5  rDev +0.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

This re-opened place (I do not know myself how it was before) is in a corner of Greenwich Village near some other clubs. It is a standout craft beer pub. Room to stand around or socialize around a basic table, with an alert bartender Lol, and rapidly changing taps. I think there were 20 taps and 2 useable casks. There was also a top notch bottle selection, though nothing I could not buy much cheaper at a good store. I was comfortable here, and the beer was served fresh and right. Manhaten prices.

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Photo of Gavage
4.3/5  rDev -2.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Walked in on a Friday evening after a late dinner at Buddakan and the place was packed. Luckily the wife and I were able to locate 2 stools by the window. As I gazed throughout the room, there were no other seats to be had so we were lucky. Nice view of Bleecker Street provides a great spot for people watching if you are into that. Typical dark pub atmosphere.

The place is loud with hearty conversations and music. Definitely a younger laid back crowd here. The bar is small and it was very difficult to get to it to place an order. I waited a few minutes to get my order placed. A blackboard behind the bar has the tap offerings (about 25-30). A wide variety of beers are here to satisfy any tastes.

I only had time for one beer but it was very fresh. Service was decent but a bit harried with the crowd.

A definite stop for any BA in NYC, but I seem to prefer The Ginger Man since it is a roomier place.

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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 Rifugium
4.08/5  rDev -7.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

This is a quaint little innocent-looking pub with a not-so-innocent beer list. Located in Greenwich Village in downtown Manhattan, this pub--with it's dozen-person-capacity bar and probably 50-person maximum occupancy limit--boasts 28 beers on tap (all crafts), 2 cask-conditioned brews, and often a gravity feed, along with over 50 brands of bottled beer (also mostly crafts and micros). They also have quite a selection of rare and vintage brews. The atmosphere is casual and friendly, and being right on the corner of Bleecker and Jones, it's a good place if you just like to chill out and watch people passing by. The food menu is pretty standard fare, with nothing too extravagant. Mostly sandwiches and sampler foods. It's good food, but don't go there expected to get a filling entree. Do expect to find lots of good beer though.

This place is like the sinister, underground second cousin of the sleek, uptown Ginger Man.

Recently, I've noticed this place has realllly boomed in popularity, to the point where the past couple of times I've passed by, it's been so crowded (mostly with hipsters) that I didn't even want to bother squeezing in to get even one drink. Hence the "vibe" rating has decreased. Just FYI.

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Photo of jaydoc
4.31/5  rDev -2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Photo of sholland119
4.65/5  rDev +5.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Thanks to BA reviewers for this tip. We stopped in on a visit to a friend who lives in Manhattan and liked it so much we went back again the next day.

The place sits unassumingly in a great retail area in the west Village. It is rather small (about 12 stools and table seating for 25-30 more) inside but very nicely appointed. It would be easy to walk by and not know you were missing something good. And you would be...

About 30 taps, including one hand pump, with a great selection of domestic microbrews. They had recently hosted a Southern Tier event so they had about 5 of their beers on tap (including the excellent Unearthly IPA but not, unfortunately, the Chokolate Stout). Also a very nice rye beer from Sixpoint Brewery in Brooklyn (new brewery to me, very nice), Weyerbacher Simcoe, Bear Republic Racer 5, Ommegang Witte, Lagunitas Lumpy Gravy, Great Divide Titan and other good stuff.

An excellent bottle selection too. I was excited to a bottle of Old Numbskull from Alesmith, a brewery you don't see out here.

The food is very good, from the dips to the tapenade, the pressed sandwiches to the grilled cheese. Also a very nice cheese plate from the famous Murray's cheese down the street.

Knowledgable friendly service and a nice neighborhood vibe. This would be a regular spot for us if we only lived 100 miles closer...

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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 GJ40
4.4/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

I stopped by while in NYC on business based on the BA reviews. The Blind Tiger is my kind of place. It's small but it has a nice layout and some great woods throughout. It's comfortable, authentic, well worn and unassuming. It's exactly the feel I'd want if I had a bar. I especially liked the way the windows open up to the street outside. We had a perfect day for it. And the crowd was pretty lively at only 4 PM on a Tuesday. It seemed like locals that truly appreciate good beer.

The fresh beer selection is solid with over 20 on tap and 3 on cask (including one gravity). Most were from the northeast. They must have had a recent Smuttynose event because they had several from them. They also have quite a few bottles including some vintage stuff. I went with an Ommagang BPA and a Chelsea Hop Angel (gravity).

The bartender was outgoing and helpful. She really took her time with you and seemed very genuine with her suggestions.

I really enjoyed my visit to the Blind Tiger and highly recommend it. It's all about good beer.

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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 kylehay2004
4.64/5  rDev +5.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75

Photo of Yetiman420
4/5  rDev -9.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

The weekend of July 12 – 14 2007, my wife and I visited The Ginger Man, Rebar @ The Retreat, Blind Tiger Ale House, and Hop Devil Grill (not the Belgian side). I’ve listed them in our overall ranking. We’re in our early and mid 30’s, I travel frequently and always incorporate good beer into my journey’s be it work or pleasure.

Had a major problem at the Blind Tiger because they ran out of 4 beers in my 1 hour visit. It was almost funny that every beer I ordered was out or blew during the pour. I'm giving average marks because the tables were dirty, the beer needed to be changed, and the doorman was sitting outside doing nothing (could have changed taps for the single bartender). I'll make a return visit on my next trip to NYC - they had a lot of really good beers "on tap."

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.94/5  rDev +12.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

First time in here and I have to say, hot damn! Chilling in the village before the show on Friday we walked in around 1 in the afternoon. Nice and about half full we walk up to the side. Nice double chalk board up in the front, browsing I find several rarities, a cask in front of me, gravity pours, the works. My kind of place for sure. Lots of speakeasy on tap, everything else was pretty random though I have to say, one of the most eclectic selections I have seen in quite some time. Ordered up a nice BA Porter and sat at the table and enjoyed. Food menu looked incredible though I had just eaten, wow. Went out and came back around dinner time and the place was packed but still the same, dark charm to it. Really just a fantastic place to go to, I will no doubt stop in here again on my next trip.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.65/5  rDev +5.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75

This is a fairly small location and it gets really busy - pretty much every night except maybe Mondays. This is the second (or maybe third) location they have had in the city but they have likely been the best or nearly the best beer bar in NYC since the early days of craft beer. Always tough to get a spot at the bar or a table but it is one of my favorite places to go out for beers in the city.

The beers are always properly poured in the correct glassware, at the right temperature, and with the proper amount of head. These folks really know the beers, which are always super fresh, and take care while serving one to you.

The bartenders are always professional and knowledgeable and seem happy to serve you even when the place is crazy busy...

Often one of the best selections in the city (possibly not quite as good as the newly opened Torst) and they get a ton of rare and hard to find beers. The drafts are pretty much always great and they have a ton of different special events.

Never had the food other than the cheese (from Murray's) that is complementary so not going to evaluate it.

The prices are reasonable and considering the selection this place could charge just about anything.

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Photo of seanchai
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of yemenmocha
4.09/5  rDev -7%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Tough to give an evaluation that scores the strengths and weaknesses here. On the one hand this is a small, intimate location with a lot of character. On the other hand it's one of those annoying places with nowhere to sit (or barely stand), even on a Sunday afternoon for a pint or two. There's just no room here to enjoy your beer, at least as I would prefer to enjoy it.

Amazing selection of craft beer taps. Prices were about average for NYC. Bartender was polite. Easy to locate in trendy area near NYU.

I will avoid this place on my NYC trips unless it is near the opening hours.

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Photo of orangesol
4.25/5  rDev -3.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Photo of jjboesen
4.6/5  rDev +4.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Friends and I stopped here for a New Years’ Eve lunch and found a compact but comfortable setting that reminded us of a Yorkshire pub.

Upon entry, you are in a single room with a smattering of high-tops and tables; off to the side is a fireplace, very cozy on a cold winter day; a Z-shape bar, seating about 25 people, accompanies this decor. (It does appear roomier than the previous incarnation a few blocks away on Hudson Street.)

However, unlike the previous establishment, the new and improved Blind Tiger provides hot food from a very eclectic menu. I recommend the grilled cheese sandwich or the Italian sausage. During our visit, the food was ordered at the bar, though I cannot say if this is their usual procedure.

With the preliminaries finished, let me say that the beer experience here is a worthy one indeed. The Blind Tiger offers a highly representative array of draughts (including three casks) that included Lagunitas Brewing Company of California, to Colorado’s Avery, to Pennsylvania’s Sly Fox; for those in need of some regional relief, BT offers beers from Brooklyn Brewery and Sixpoint (the latter being represented by the malty Groundskeeper Willie Scotch Ale.

For those having some extra bucks to spend, BT has put together a jaw-dropping list of bottles, such as the delicious Cinderbock, brewed by the late and lamented Heavyweight Brewing Company. Our table witnessed the demise of Aventinius Weizzenbock, Lagunitas “Lumpy Gravy,” the aforementioned Cinderbock and Groundskeeper Willie, and the extremely satisfying Captain Lawrence Imperial IPA. (“Oh Captain, my Captain.”)

The Blind Tiger is a superb venue for any Beer Advocates in search of a pleasant afternoon in that perfect pub. Pop Quiz: Did you know that the term “blind tiger” refers to any establishment that sold illicit alcohol in 19th Century New York? Keeping this in mind, let us raise a glass to Bill the Butcher, Monk Eastman and Dead Rabbits everywhere.

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Photo of akorsak
4.45/5  rDev +1.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

A business trip to NYC necessitated a trip to the Blind Tiger. My visit just happened to coincide with the Allagash promo night, so I had a chance to visit and rub elbows with one of my favorite breweries.

Atmosphere: The place is s amall corner bar, with one long bar and limited table seating. The walls are nicely decorated and the place has a nice vibe.

Quality: I was pleased with the overall experience. They know their beers at this joint and the sheer breadth of offerings was impressive.

Service: There was no wait service but the barkeeps were friendly and prompt and managed, despite the throng of people, to get my orders and final tab right.

Selection: It was Allagash night, so there were over 10 of their offerings on tap along with several other taps and an extensive bottle list. This place is beer heaven.

Food: My second visit included lunch during the Stone 12/12/12/12 day. My open-faced buffalo chicken sandwich was delicious, a perfect accompaniment to Stone 10th.

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Photo of BillRoth
4.39/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75

My favorite beer oasis when I hit the City. First time was on a rainy night after the Cream reunion concert... such a perfect spot to chill, relax with a dazzling variety of taps and bottles. Unpretentious, and open hearted place and people. I enjoy a better than typical selection of sours and other esoteric brews. Don't get it wrong...they have the big beers and the small beers from across town and across the globe. But there's a throwback to contemplative beer drinking that can really be appreciated. Maybe its the Village or maybe its the comfortable feel of the place (when not crazy busy)...but it's hard to picture a place where you can just pause and sip world class beer and drift away from the crazy world outside. Hmmm...think it's time for another trip back.

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Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.33/5  rDev -1.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

After a year of numerous visits to The Blind Tiger, it has easily become my favorite bar. I think to really appreciate the depth of The Tiger, it takes multiple visits.

The space is a bit cramped, but I like to go early and not during the busy times. That's the best way to avoid any packed house hassle.

Service is always good here. Easy going and on top of it.

I have seen so many unique beers here, I can't even remember them all anymore. With so many taps on and so many bottles, there is plenty of stuff to dig on. I have found that sometimes the selection is not as interesting on a regular old day as opposed to a special event. But no matter. There are so many events held at the Tiger that your chances of running into one are high.

Food is above average. I love the Bloody Beast.

If you are visiting and pass on The Blind Tiger, I think you are really missing out.

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Blind Tiger in New York, NY
Place rating: 4.4 out of 5 with 344 ratings
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