The first time I went to Henry Street Ale House I went in without expectations. I knew I would order a non-alcoholic beer. I didn’t know much else. Hailing from Indianapolis, then spending three years in Des Moines for law school, and all the while always feeling a strong draw toward New York City, my taste in bars varies quite a bit. Indianapolis and Des Moines taught me about dive bars, and the classic and not so smooth taste of a great Miller High Life.
When I think of these places, I hear Pink Floyd’s Shine on You Crazy Diamond and Rush’s Time Stand Still playing in the background. There’s an innocence but also a great amount of energy and depth that’s held within these places. And thankfully, there’s probably a hundred or more great ones all throughout New York. The dive bars, the hole in the walls, for me, those felt like down-home places. Places where people who weren’t all that interested in being charismatic or precise would sit down and have a drink.