Editor's note: We're back with another Happy Hour report from our happy hour bureau chief, Linnea Covington. On tap this week, the Rudy's in Hell's Kitchen.
Rudy's Bar and Grill has been a Hell's Kitchen staple since 1933. Just look for the smiling, waving pig out front, which marks one of the best, oldest, and cheapest bars in Manhattan. Even Steely Dan mentions Rudy's in the song Black Cow, and, according to Danny, the longtime manager, numerous old-school politicians have been known to haunt the long, dark bar back in the day.
Now, walking past the pig and through the door, the counter is littered with old men—already slurring their words at 5 p.m. on a Monday—bright-eyed tourists snapping pictures, and business men downing pints of cheap beer. The jukebox blasts anything, from Iggy and the Stooges, Black Sabbath, U2, and Michael Jackson. Across from the bar, worn red leather banquettes are held together with duct tape, a prize spot if you can manage to get one. Rudy's also has a nice porch in the back for smokers and summer drinking. They show sports projected on the wall outside and on the TV inside.
The Happy Deal: Rudy's beer is already cheap. You can get pints like Yuengling, Bud, Guinness, Corona, and cans of Pork Slap Ale from $2.50 to $4.50. But, until 8 p.m., you can get pitchers of Rudy's Red or Blonde for $5. Seriously, that's like a dollar a pint. Even better, they serve free hot dogs all day and night long. If you don't like hot dogs or are vegetarian, take advantage of the BYOF policy—there are a ton of options in the area.
In Conclusion: If we were giving out prizes for true, classic Manhattan bars, Rudy's would win, hands-down. The rich history and laid back atmosphere makes drinking at Rudy's more then just the regular fun. Plus, this bar is so cheap anyway, the happy hour is almost inconsequential. After happy hour ends you can still get $7 to $15 pitchers. So follow the pig and dive into history.
Rudy's Bar and Grill
627 Ninth Avenue, New York NY 10036, (b/n 44th and 45th Streets; map) 212-974-9169