Take a stroll up Second Avenue in the 70s and 80s and you’ll see lots of recent college grads darting in and out of the neighborhood’s pub-style bars. Head a little bit west (to Third Avenue) and north (from 88th Street to 94th streets), and you’ll find a slightly more mature clientele and diverse drinking options.
Here’s a few:
Uptown Restaurant and Lounge
1576 Third Ave., btwn 88th and 89th sts., 212-828-1388
This bar and restaurant is always hopping and, on warm nights, the party spills to the tables out front. But if you’d rather hang out inside, the large pink- and purple space features banquette, bar and table seating. In addition to a menu of pub-style fare, you’ll find more than 30 wines by the glass and a full craft beer menu. If hard liquor is your thing, Wednesday is Martini Night, with all martinis $6. There’s often live music, too.
Fetch Bar and Grill
1649 Third Ave., btwn 92nd and 93rd sts.,212-289-2700
Technically, it’s a restaurant with a large bar area, but we recommend holding court at the 15-seater bar for low-key drinks. During happy hour (Mon.-Fri. from 4:30 - 6:30 p.m.) selected draft beers are $3 and house wines are half-price. The entire comfort food-heavy menu is available at the bar, and there are always free goldfish (pretzel and cheese varieties!) available for munching. The theme here is clear — photos of pooches cover almost every inch of the walls. Drinks include Rover’s Red Sangria ($10) and Hound Dog Hurricanes ($10). Dog adoption applications are available behind the bar, and the spot features an adoption wall with photos and bios of available pups.
Brother Jimmy’s Bait Shack
1644 Third Ave., at 92nd St., 212-426-2020
This Brother Jimmy’s is not unlike the others — the objective is to drink a lot (mostly beer and punch-style concoctions), eat a lot of Southern-style barbecue and watch a game (or two, or three). The big draw is the weekly specials, which include Monday’s two-hour all-you-can-eat wings and rib tips, served with Bud or Bud Light, for $19.95. Happy hour (Mon. to Fri. from 5p.m. to 7 p.m.) brings $3 well drinks, $2 pints of Bud and Bud Light, $2 frozen margaritas and half-priced appetizers.
Kaia Wine Bar
1614 Third Ave., between 90th and 91st sts., 212-722-0490
This South African wine bar specializes in lesser-known wines from South Africa, as well as New Zealand and Australia. Almost all are available by the glass, and range from $9 to $13. The food comes in the form of shareable small plates, including pulled pork pancakes ($14) and homemade pork sausage ($8). During weekend brunch, there’s ostrich benedict, made with, yes, ostrich meat ($14).
Aza Wine & Tapas Bar
1668 Third Ave., btwn 93rd and 94th sts., 212-426-1416
Formerly home to Tequila Jack, Aza is a wine and tapas spot featuring Spanish-style bites such as cured jamon serrano ($11) and paella Valenciana ($11). You have a choice of more than 30 wines and hookahs are available for $30. On Saturdays and Sundays, Aza offers an all-you-can-eat brunch with bottomless mimosas and bloody Marys for $24.95.