Really surprised to find such a cool beer bar in this part of Manhattan. Hit this up after Beer Culture, and this place was far superior in my experience. Walked into undisclosed (online) HF Edward on the board, so got set up with a pint of that and immediately became friends with the bartenders and locals. Chris and Sarah were attentive but not overbearing - really friendly and helpful and didn't mind us hanging out for quite a while. Ended up staying for about 4-5 hours and felt like I had been coming there for years by the time I left. Highly recommended - hard to do much better in Manhattan in terms of a down-to-earth beer bar.
Pony Bar has been my go-to spot in Hell's Kitchen for years. Relaxed vibe inside but it fills up quickly on weekdays once work gets out. The selection is not the largest, but it always contains quality options. On this particular trip I had an Allagash 16 Counties, J Wakefield El Hefe, and an Other Half 007 Imperial IPA. All beers come either in an 8 oz or 16 oz serving, depending on ABV, and are listed electronically on a screen behind the bar. Bartenders are attentive and very friendly. Oh yeah, the fried pickles we ordered were pretty phenomenal as well. Great spot, just go when you can beat the crowd.
Have to make a clarification on the food rating. Ordered the pulled pork sandwich and received it very quickly (potential evidence it was just reheated). A little too smothered with BBQ sauce, which I can get over, but the sauce was pretty basic and bland. The coleslaw was the biggest "issue" and was some of the worst I've ever had. Lesson here is too not order a pulled pork sandwich and always expect something I'd get in NC. If sauce options aren't on the side, probably not going to be great.
Otherwise, nice place, great bartenders, and good line up of beers (Hill Farmstead Conduct of Life was definitely enjoyed!)
I'll totally come back, and will update the food rating when I try something else.
Visited again last week to get some tasty Vermont beer that they had on tap. As usual it was crowded, but not packed, busy and loud yet you could still have a conversation. To me it looked like a mix of locals and a lot of beer geek types who kept their coat on so they could have one or two and then hit the road to head home. Typical NYC beer bar vibe.
Very impressive tap selection with the display board clear and showing all relevant information. The beers I had tasted fresh and clean in the 8 oz glasses they were served in. That may be the one knock on this place, it's a bit pricey. Food looked good, but I didn't have any. Will definitely go back as this place consistently gets really choice beers which always seem fresh out of clean lines.
It's a box in there, but it's a pretty box. Like the layout is literally a square, with nothing to interrupt it. I guess they need the pit though for how packed this place gets. They have a really thoughtfully curated tap list, and their staff is extremely knowledgable, although hard to get to through the crowds.
The bar I spent the most time at in Manhattan. Twenty taps, two casks, and they do a fantastic job of diversifying the offerings while maintaining quality. Good food is not too expensive -- get the short rib sandwich with housemade chips.
Vibe is nothing special... Very ordinary. Quality is fair. Beer seems good. Lines clean. Service was the most impressive thing. I just wished the male hairy armpit bartenders wore shirts with sleeves. Selection is around 20 drafts. Not bottles or cans. Food was fair.
Was there for the Packers Giants game in December 2011 and when the Pack won in the final minutes / seconds , decided to quell my enthusiasm greatly as I was surrounded by GMEN fans. :-)
Great place with a great vibe, walking distance from the hotel where my wife had a conference.
Heard I had to visit this place. Overall, pretty good. They have some decent beers on tap, all constantly rotating. Service and knowledge of staff is great - super friendly. Nothing crazy on tap, and the vibe is sort of unmemorable, but a great spot to grab decent beers.
I really like the crowd at the Pony Bar HK. Nice folks, local, neighborhood. Not too touristy. Every time I've been there it has been moderately busy, but I've never had to wait long for a seat at a table or a bar stool.
The draught line up is good, but I've seen better. I was actually surprised (and somewhat disappointed) to see a bunch of Harpoon beers and the like being poured.
The food was just okay. I guess you wouldn't expect to grab a great meal in this size/type place, and I was thankful to be able to grab a little nosh at the bar, but my pulled pork was no better or worse than store-bought.
The atmosphere is warm and inviting, albeit your average beer pub look - lots of wood, beer signs, etc.
The service was friendly. I don't know how knowledgeable they are as to what they're serving, as I did not have any questions about the beers on tap that night.