The House of Brews

I used to frequent this joint back in the day when it was B.B. Doyle’s and sat a mere two blocks from my workplace in Worldwide Plaza. That job is long gone, as is the oddball Irish joint this place used to be. Now replaced with the stunningly punny name, House of Brews, it has recast itself as a beer-lover’s paradise replete with at least like ten beers on tap. How will we ever choose?! Suffering from the same weird spatial relations problem as its predecessor, I am still perplexed about how they make an upstairs space seem so much like drinking in a basement. Split between the downstairs bar space and the upstairs “lounge/bar”, both floors manage to in fact feel somewhat stuffy and claustrophobic. The upstairs even includes a weird square lounge area that is covered with like a dirty tarp or something that makes the 10×10 area almost pitch black and almost as creepy as I’m exaggeratingly make it sound. There also seems to be some inconsistency in the service. One night we went there and the server was one of the worst I’ve seen in recent memory. She would gather an order for five beers and basically walk back with a random smattering of whatever she felt like serving to us. Terrible. The next time, the many folks in attendance (almost 100% dudes) couldn’t stop raving about the wonderful barmaid–whom I believe they knew from many prior visits. So who knows? This is definitely an afterwork joint, with its eh beer selection and finger foods, but should be avoided at all costs if you’re looking to score points with either a date or your own self-esteem. [MF]

302 W 51st St.