Subterranean Victorian living rooms are all the rage these days. Lies. But in the case of The Dove, the genre works well for it. Surrounded in lush red velvets, fireplaces, white columns and paintings of fat ladies, one could be a regal Jersey home and not in a basement in Greenwich Village. Of course no bar is going to go all out and purchase actual period pieces, so The Dove has gone the Rejuvenation route, and decked the place in decent reproductions. The only shortfall they have in recreating a true Victorian space is the space itself, which feels oddly claustrophobic with its lower-than-usual ceilings, along with a few strangely placed support beams (like the one wrapped in rope-like material next to your pool table in your childhood basement). All of this aside, it’s nice to see that the owners here really put in the effort to create a bar that’s classy, clean and well run. There’s definitely a polish to the place that you often find lacking in bars in Manhattan–especially in Greenwich Village. Even the shiny, brass taps scream quality. We actually sat at the sweet dark wood bar, leaving the many tables and banquets for some of the customers that were actually even older than us (now that’s old!) The tunes were controlled via an iPod behind the bar, and for a bar that clearly caters to a crowd outside of your typical downtown polyester beard-guy crowd, suit-dudes, or stick-figure-like club goers, the mostly hip music selection (filled with Brooklyn indie trios, five-piece Montreal bands and whatever else I happened to be shuffling through in my iTunes this month) was refreshing and surprising. In many cases I enjoy the chaos and unpredictability of a good dive bar, but occasionally I like to remember that I am, in fact, a fully-employed respectable member of the adult community who shouldn’t mind drinking my Stella in comfort and generally roach-free surroundings. The Dove is certainly wending its way into my softening yuppie heart, and making me realize that maybe my days of slumming it may have come to an end. [MF]
228 Thompson St.