Times Square Brewery

Times Square BreweryTimes Square Brewery
Times Square BreweryTimes Square Brewery
Brewery, Eatery

210 West 42nd Street
New York, New York, 10036
United States

// CLOSED //

View: Beers | Place Reviews
Reviews by TheLongBeachBum:
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TheLongBeachBum from California

1.85/5  rDev -35.5%
vibe: 1 | quality: 1.5 | service: 2 | selection: 2.5

It was a cold, yet beautifully crisp day in NYC when I decided to tackle a handful of BA listed Beer Bars and form a mini Pub Crawl on my own. I decided to hit up the Times Square Brewery first, mainly because it would be easy to find and is located right next to the Subway exit. I walked around a bit outside to take in the area first, you know the flashing lights, Cab horns, wailing Fire Engine sirens and the hussle-bussle of the tourists, before heading back in here to some quiet.

Set in and amongst all the Shows on West 42nd Street, the exterior of Times Square Brewery fits in perfectly with its brash & loud orange neon lettered sign. The interior is large enough and rather spacious…..but wait, something is just not right here, it feels completely dead and utterly neglected, the interior is dour and boring, cold and unattractive with little in the way of character, sort of felt like all the left over broken furniture from IKEA was put to use in here. There was a rather grand looking staircase that went to an upstairs, but this seemed closed off and inaccessible to the upper floors, no surprise really as 98% of the lower floor was empty.

I decided to take one of the many empty seats at the Bar, which sits to your right as you enter, and looks like one of the mirrored cheapo Bars found in a Holiday Inn. The server was polite enough, but she seemed really bored and far from enthused. I asked for a Sampler of 5 brews (Pilsner, Pale Ale, Fire Brick Red Ale, Dunkel and Seasonal), reasonably priced at less than $10 but when she poured she forgot to tell me what was what, as I looked at the small plastic coated bar mounted menu thingy she came back and, almost as an afterthought said, “oh yeah the brews are in the order they are on the Menu”….but I had already figured that out by then, yet I still had to ask what the Special ‘Seasonal’ actually was, a Robust Porter as it turned out.

I couldn’t help but feel incredibly sad for this place, it doesn’t seem to be doing anything too wrong for a BrewPub; great location, average food menu and average staple range of brews that would typically more than appeal to the nearby thronging masses…….but somehow it isn’t working. It was packed outside, and the nearby Subway stop is ideal…..so where are the punters??? I was worried that I might not even get a seat in here when I set off in the morning, like the one & only time I visited a Hard Rock Café and had to wait for all the stupid tourists to get a T-Shirt…..I expected all that here…..boy was I surprised, gob-smacked even. I walked into a cold empty lifeless room. I counted 6 people in the whole place, two more joined later and they both asked for “something like Heineken”…maybe that’s why it’s failing.

The Beers were limpid and uninspiring, maybe the Robust Porter was passable but the Pilsner, Red and Pale were pathetically average and the Dunkel was tepid. I couldn’t wait to quaff my Sampler and get the heck out to the next planned stop, St. Andrews Tavern.

Do it if you want, but I will not be coming back, especially as I hear it could well be in financial trouble…..can’t think why.

Utterly Soulless.

Last Visit (quite literally): Tuesday 15th November, 2005.

Nov 26, 2005
More User Reviews:
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Boto from Connecticut

2.93/5  rDev +2.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 2.5 | food: 3.5

The decor of the place is actually pretty decent. It definitely has an art deco kind of feel to it. Too bad that prohibition was at the height of art deco, because the beer as like what was brewed then: near beer. In all fairness the Dunkel wasn’t bad, the others that I tried were almost BMC clones. We only had appetizers during our vist, and they were quite good. Some of the other food going by did look and smell enticing, but we didn’t have the time to sample any. Unfortunately, the kitchen was very slow when we were there (even though the place wsn’t very crowded) and ended up taking half of our order with us. You shouldn’t have to wait an hour for appetizers at 5:30 in the afternoon. The wait staff seemed nice and efficient, but the kitchen speed needs work.

Dec 07, 2005
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Jason from Massachusetts

2.28/5  rDev -20.6%
vibe: 2 | quality: 2 | service: 2 | selection: 3

Great tourist location on 42nd ST … the place is sort of drab inside. Reminds me of a run down 80's club that is a front for the mob. I ventured up to the 3rd floor and yes there is an actual brewery here. The service more or less sucked … the staff was not busy yet they felt like it was going out of their way to serve us beer. Lose the attitude and you may get a tip … they were also clueless about the beer that was served there and most patrons were drinking everything but beer.

A rounded selection beer from light to dark. Nothing was really that hopped and all of the beers seemed to lean on the sweet side. The only reason to stop here is to put a few more notches on your belt … oddly their lightest beer was their best, everything else was downhill from there.

You are better off hitting a Heartland, BXL Café or House Of Brews … this place was a waste of time and money IMO.

Nov 12, 2005
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Rumrunner from California

2.29/5  rDev -20.2%
vibe: 1 | quality: 2 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3

Sadly there are many issues with the Times Square Brewery. First it does not know what it wants to be. A trendy martini bar? A brew pub? A sports bar? What this all boils down to is it feels like a tourist trap.

We stopped in here at night. Dark dance club atmosphere. Very trendy. Hip hop blaring away made it tough to carry on a conversation. T.v.s everywhere showing sports. Some people might say this place has something for everyone. I found it distracting and disjointed. The place is not easy on the eyes.

Service was okay. One bartender seemed to know something about the beers and the other bartender who served us did not have a clue. Pretty average to say the least.

I tried two beers and I thought they were pretty good. The dunkel is a fine example of the style. It was very tasty. The oatmeal stout was good as well but I have had much better. I would definately like to drink the dunkel again.

If I ever venture in here again it will be during the day. I could not stand the feel of the place at night. I recommend the dunkel but I cannot recommend the place unless one wears a blind fold.

Oct 25, 2005
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Loki from North Carolina

2.48/5  rDev -13.6%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 2 | service: 3 | selection: 2.5

I went in with low expectations and apparently those were too high.

Atmosphere: Trendy club, martini bar, NOT a brewpub atmosphere in the least. Trying to be uber trendy and fit in with the surrounding area. Your in Times Square I get it. Didn't work for me.

Quality: Not good beer from what I had. Why do people put stouts through nitro? It is a soul robbing device. Not that there Oatmeal stout probably had much soul to begin with. They said it was brewed upstairs, but I didn't go up there.

Service: No complaints, but they weren't very busy.

Selection: Oh, all of five beers to choose from. Yippee! I bet they have about 10 martinis to choose from.

Food: Don't know if they have it, didn't ask.

Value: Well it's Times Square so if you're expecting value you're an idiot.

Overall: not worth it to go back.

Oct 06, 2005
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Kwak from New Jersey

1/5  rDev -65.2%
vibe: 1 | quality: 1 | service: 1 | selection: 1

let me say up front IM going to give it another try.
this place was one of the worst bars i have ever been in.
i think it looks like crap! the place was a mess they had a band so they were all over the place, yet i didn't see anyone playing the whole time we were their. it took a bout ten minutes to get a bartender then when i asked what kind of beer they had he was nasty and unsure. nothing was clearly marked so i asked for a pale ale but what he poured i haven't a clue. the glass wasn't washed right so my first few sips were of what ever was in the glass before. the beer had no head at all, i think that was to dish soap that was left in the glass. i couldn't even finish my beer the badd flavor was making me ill. my wife (not a beer fan) got some mixed drink that looked like a large shot glass. it was $13.00 for a bad experience i have no idea how much the beer was because their was no menu available to us. it took me 20 min. to order and get my bad drink, i wasn't waiting for a bartender to get a menu. i was surprised how bad the service was being a Monday night and all the people behind the bar and the lack of costumers. I wouldn't recommend this place to any one. Stay away their better bars in NYC!

Jan 11, 2005
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MuddyFeet from North Carolina

2.7/5  rDev -5.9%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3 | service: 2 | selection: 3 | food: 3

I went there the first time, and there were a lot of glitches so I'd figure I would give it a second shot. The decor is modern, not exactly an appealing look for a brewpub in my mind. Made me feel like I needed to dress up more. They have 4 regular brews on tap, plus one rotating seasonal. I also tried to go upstairs on both occasions. The first time I was chased after getting to the second floor by the manager who yelled at me that I was trespassing (bartender told me I could go look). The second time I was given a resounding "No!" Kind of turned me off. Just seemed like they thought I was being nosey. Also the first time the dishwasher behind the bar was busted so I could not get a clean glass for my second round. And on the second time I waited 20 minutes trying to get the bartenders attention after I finished my beer to get a second round. Lastly, the screwed up my food order. It just felt like there were a lot of "new establishment" glitches that need to be worked out. I'll probably only return to sample the rest of their beers I did not get a chance to try (it is less than a block from my apartment, which I admit is nice).

May 23, 2004
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slander from New York

3.8/5  rDev +32.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

Driving down 7th Avenue one Sunday after a late breakfast with Spesh and Heather, I spotted the Times Square Brewery signs out of the corner of my head as we crossed over 42nd Street and, "Heeey". We parked out near the Port Authority and hiked on over. We fought our way valiently through the jungle of people on line next door for The Lion King and fell upon the brewery doors, exhausted, weary, and terribly parched...
The main room is large and spacious. The bends and curves gives this place the appearance of an inverted Guggenhiem Museum. The bar is to the right and seats roughly 15 and there's seating for another 2 dozen adjacent to the bar. The backdrop to the marble bar is a strange metal mirrorish plating but gives no clear reflection. You're looking into something reflective, but your image kind of looks like the cover of the Tom Wait's Bone Machine disc (Go ahead, bring it up on Amazon.com and see what I'm talking about). Otherwise, the rest of the ground floor is broken up into 2 dining areas. There's a staircase right in the middle of the floor, but when Spesh tried to go upstairs, he got hollered at by the owner, a woman who maintained that we couldn't go upstairs as the place was under construction, even though the managers had given us the go ahead. Spesh received 0.001012010401010201010103 love (virtually, no love) and was understandably not pleased.
On another visit, we got the full tour of the upper floors. The second floor is a mezzanine that seats about 3 dozen and that's all that's there. The third floor is the other dining area, with seating for 130 (or 170 for cocktails). There's a nice rectangular bar, some wonderful views overlooking 42nd Street, and to the rear, a room wherest lives all of the brewing equipment, single and double mashers and 7 transfer tanks, visible behind a glass wall. Supposedly, very high end equipment to boot. Decent artwork here and there, and over there, too.
Meanwhile, back downstairs at the bar... they're pouring 4 regulars (Pilsner, Pale Ale, Fire Brick Red Ale, Dunkel Lager) and a seasonal (Robust Porter) off of 2 towers. My favorite 2 were the Robust Porter, which was well roasted, malty and chocolatey, and the Fire Brick Red Ale, which had a sweet toffee flavor and was nicely hopped.
Decent bar food menu, small but tight. Apps, a burger, wings, ribs, steamed mussels, clams and oysters, fried or on the 1/2 shell, fried calamari, chicken skewers, salads, etc. Service was chatty and enthusiastic as the brewery had opened just the day before. Decent to good beers, let's give them some time to get acclimated to the city scene...

Apr 11, 2004
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schteve from New Jersey

3.68/5  rDev +28.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 4.5

My wife and I had been to the old Times Square Brewery and were eager to check out this reincarnation. We finally made it here on a Sunday afternoon. The look of this place is modern and sleek. A funky space that is very different from most brewpubs, but that keeps it interesting. It was pre-dinner, so the place wasn't very crowded. We took spots at the bar and ordered a sampler of the 4 house brews ( pilsner, pale, red, dunkel) and 1 seasonal (porter). Initially, our server was a bit gruff, but she warmed as the afternoon wore on (and, after hearing her explain "we don't have 'macro brand-x', we're a brewery, here's the list" to guest after guest, we understood her initial demeanor).
As for the beers, they were all decent. The pale was a bit thin, and they were all a bit too cold, but otherwise OK. It seems like the carbonation issues mentioned in other reviews have been addressed, also. After the sampler, I stayed with the Fire Brick Red and my wife drank the Pale (she disagreed with my mouthfeel issues on this).
We ordered sandwiches at the bar. Grilled chicken sandwich with roasted red peppers and a bratwurst. Both came with beer battered fries. The food was very tasty. As for price, I didn't feel that it was too bad for Times Square. A sampler, 2 additional rounds, food and a 20% tip for $50 is not terribly unreasonable for such a touristy area. One note, though. The mugs are 0.4l capacity, which is only 13.5 oz. Not quite a pint.

Apr 05, 2004
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sublimesipping from Pennsylvania

3.28/5  rDev +14.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 2.5 | food: 3.5

recent foray in the big apple for a broadway show. hoping to get down the village and see "the blind tiger", however we(and the trains) were running late so we settled for something closer to the St. James theater. I thought that this place was quite good for the touristed area that it is located in. Only five beers on tap, they were decent at best but enjoyable given the circumstances and location. Mention must be given to the Robust Porter, which was their seasonal and I thought good, nice malt finish and good mouth feel. the Iron Brick Red struck me as quite a good session beer, and I enjoyed this as well for the early afternoon timeframe. Decor is very nice, tasteful, upscale, comfortable restaurant feel. the food was hit or miss, salads, wings and ribs being quite good for what we were served. all in all I thought quite good for the location and would merit a return trip pre-Broadway matinee.

Apr 04, 2004
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tommy78 from North Carolina

3.23/5  rDev +12.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 4

I hold fond memories of the old Times Square Brewery, sitting in the dark and getting sauced on the stout. In checking out the new version of the Brewery, it is much more trendy and modern than the original one. It does not have much of a brewery feel to the place. Vibrant colours abound the first floor, along with shiny glasses illuminated by bright lights behind the bar. The restaurant section is pretty big. It is definently set up for the attraction of tourits and the after-show Broadway crowds.

The hostesses were attractive, chic-chic ladies, and the rest of the waitstaff wore dress shirts and ties. A formal feel to the service, but still good. The bartender we had was good, though her inexperienced showed. Everytime she poured the wrong beer, she'd end up giving it to us, on the house. I didn't complain though!
As for the selection, I only recalled about five types of brews. Mad expensive though. A 16-ouncer cost over 6 dollars! The same for the food. While the food was good, I thought it was a bit extravagant to pay over 10 beans for one burger. I did leave the place feeling satisfied, but that's because of the numerous free pints we got from the bartender's mistakes. If you want to check it once, go ahead, but it isn't something to write home about.

Mar 24, 2004
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IPA17 from New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev +22%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 2.5

I knew this place was coming back since the day they signed their lease. I was psyched to see the roster of brewpubs growing again. I was going to rate this place using normal standards but then I realized that this is Times Square and things are different here. So, keeping that in mind, I find the following:
The atmosphere is fairly noisy with people coming and going. In my seat, I had a Brit to my left and a German to my right. Tourist city. But they created a fair atmosphere that will serve the masses (did you expect something like the Barrington Brewery or Krough's?). So, I find the atmosphere to be slightly above average.
The quality? The same. And for the same reasons. (Space ain't cheap in Times Square). The bartender was very nice. I was greeted with a smile and she had a decent idea of what the beers were about. Ah yes, the beer. I had a feeling that it was purposely kept mildy mundane. It wasn't bad. They were all average to slightly above average with the porter probably the best. This lack of ummph in the beer sounds a la Budweiser---keep it bland to appeal to the masses. But it doesn't have to be like that, especially given the large number of tourists. Many from places like Germany and England (like the guys who sat next to me) where they know good beer. Sure, keep a Bud-like lager on tap for those who don't "understand", but c'mon!, get adventurous with the others.

Mar 16, 2004
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TheJudge from New York

2.83/5  rDev -1.4%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 2.5 | food: 3

I was waiting for this place to re-open, and went out of my way. Sorry I did. A very modern art feel (read "cold and impersonal"), bright colors, curvey lines, etc. The first floor bar area is small, too small, although there is apparently to be another bar area upstairs. It was very crowded at 6:30 on a saturday. I was warned by other patrons from trying the Pale Ale, so went with a red instead. While it was OK, it didn't really due much for me. The dunkel was OK as well, although somewhat bland. Ended with a porter, which was a nice, basic beer. Not the sophistication or complexity that I like to see in a porter. Nothing special. All in all, the beers lacked depth, but they were drinkable.

The bar menu was short but good. I understand that you can order off the full menu at the bar as well, which was pretty extensive. Had some chicken wings, which were pretty good for NYC. Hot was not upstate hot, but was acceptable. My partner in crime thought the spinich dip had too much blue cheese, which I thought was OK but he seemed opposed to.

This is a tourist joint, aimed at the out of town broadway crowd. If in the area, I would go back in, aiming at off hours, but I wouldn't go out of my way to go here.

Mar 15, 2004
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PopeJonPaul from Oregon

3.78/5  rDev +31.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3 | food: 4

When you walk into this place you feel like you're walking into a restaurant in Vegas. Fancy, modern decor, the maitre d' seats you quickly, the table service was very good. Makes you forget it's a brewery. Originally I had a beef with the brewing equipment being hidden upstairs, but now that I've seen the upstairs (it's only open on the weekends right now) I'd say it's more "atmospheric" than the first floor, with a walkaround bar.

Someone else aptly described this place as "restaurant first, beer second" and I have to agree. The steak sandwich I had was excellent, and I'd come back again just for that. I had the beer sampler and all were good (well, except the Pilsner, but I dislike all Pilsners so I can't count that), 5 beers including the seasonal porter was a bit sparse, but they're just getting started. The porter and the dunkel were the two I'd go with. The beers were good but nothing really stood out to represent the place. It is new though, so hopefully in time they'll create something that sets them apart.

Mar 11, 2004
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Billolick from New York

2.8/5  rDev -2.4%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 2.5

Modern, fancy, tourist joint, well lit room. Stopped in to try a brew on my way to the train to take me home from Grand central station. Medium sized bar up front, large, high ceiling dining room in rear. A second floor will have a 2nd bar, more dining rm. and nice views of all the tourists in Times square. Decent porter, didnt try anything else. Extensive menu of food. They are doing 5 brews on tap, no bottles. $6.25 for a large mug (16 oz.?) which makes this joint , Expensive. May be worth a visit if you are curious, but I'd stick with the Ginger man which is about a 5 min walk away, if your looking for a quality beer experience.

Mar 05, 2004
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yen157 from New Jersey

3.58/5  rDev +24.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 4

Much to our surprise we stumbled on this place coming out of the subway on our way to catch the ferry bus to go back home. Lucky us. One of the first things we noticed on the menu was the brewer’s name, Tim Yarrington, of NJ’s Long Valley Brew Pub renown. Anyway, we were seated toward the front of this place which was nicely decorated in a colorful, contemporary manner. It’s not exactly my ideal brewpub atmosphere, but it was definitely kinda nice: expansive, great lighting, good lines. Unfortunately, we were seated against a wall that had baseboard heating. During the whole meal we were uncomfortably hot and smelled melting plastic.

The food was good, but pricey. Times Square, duh. We both had the $10 burgers which were quite good. The waitress walked by with a grilled chicken disk that also looked very well prepared. Those seem to be the keys to this place: the food and the location. Oh yeah, they happen to brew beer, too.

While Tim makes very clean, consistent beer, it seems his hands are a bit tied in this place. The owner probably doesn’t want to challenge anyone with the brews. The regulars will be the pils, pale, red, and dunkel and he will have the seasonal to play around with. One I saw his name I decided to get a glass of the porter (16oz btw). Great stuff, just like the one from Long Valley (though he says not exactly). The pils was light, clean, and good, and the dunkel was a bit on the unremarkable side.

I don’t think we’ll be back there for food, but we definitely will be for pints of Tim's latest seasonal.

Feb 21, 2004
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qbushido from Illinois

2.21/5  rDev -23%
vibe: 1.5 | quality: 2 | service: 4 | selection: 1

I remember the old times square brewery with a smile on my face, I think of the new times square brewery with a look of dissapointment.

Maybe I've just outgrown the place as an advocate, maybe my standards in beer are still high due to the EBF. No matter what the case, the night I had at the times square brewery last night was a big disappointment. The house beers were cool sounding on paper, as was the sample (5, five oz samples of the available brews), the beer itself was much more bland and boring then I would have expected. The atmosphere is tourist central, this may have bothered me more then the substandard beer, maybe not. But to go there expecting anything else is not a wise move. The bartender was knowledgeable, and fast which is probably the only reason I had more then 1. To sum it up, I miss the old days of the TSB, back to DBA I go.

Feb 19, 2004
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Imbiber from New York

3.43/5  rDev +19.5%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3 | food: 4

Modern, upmarket, multi-level brewpub-restaurant that just opened last weekend; the new incarnation of the old Times Square Brewery that got closed down by developers a couple of years ago.

The bar is on the right as you walk in, long and curved with two 5 tap fonts dispensing the home-brewed beers. Two flat-screen TVs are mounted behind the bar. Decor behind the bar is a strange, reflective surface that blurs your image, making you think you've had more than you actually have done.

The upper levels are accessed by a wide, marble-floored staircase; and also accessable by an elevator.

Beer range: Pilsner, Pale Ale, Dunkel, Fire Brick Red Ale, plus a seasonal - debuting with Robust Porter. I tried the Red and the Porter, the latter of these I liked a lot. The Red was ok but certainly nothing special, slightly hazy too.

The ground floor has a big dining area in the back in the shape of the bum end of a ship - odd. Even odder in the same part of the building is what looks like a UFO about to land if you look up. The architect must have been on DFH World Wide Stout or something...

80s-vintage Cyndi Lauper was playing in the background, I hadn't heard that for a while! Staff wear ties, black trousers, and white shirts. Very formal, but service was good.

Not too much marketing of their beers was evident, and most of the styles would benefit from a name, in my opinion. Lots of room for improvement there.

Food was good but not cheap.

I'll be back at some point when in the area to see if there are any improvements...

Feb 19, 2004
Times Square Brewery in New York, NY
Brewery rating: 0 out of 5 with 0 ratings