Barcade

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I’m not a gamer, by any means. But, as a kid I definitely got down with some old school Mario and Duck Hunt. And, I still find something pretty charming about arcade games. But, you can’t find a lot of places in NYC to take part in a round of Ms. Pacman. Years ago, I went to a bar in Brooklyn that brought the two worlds of bars and arcades together. Now, Barcade has a new location in Chelsea. 

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With dozens of games to choose from, there’s something for everyone, even the non-gaming type. Who would say no to some Donkey Kong? And, for bragging rights, there’s a “High Score” board on the wall. 

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Of course, they’re a bar too, but in addition to a full bar, they also have food, serving typical bar fare with a twist. As a snack, we got some of their Tater Tots “California Style”. Now, I can’t be for certain as to what California style tater tots are, but, I will say they were good. Piled high, the tater tots were golden brown and crisp on the outside. Then, a layer of a sort of special sauce, that I might describe as a cheese sauce meets gravy with a bit of tang, is poured on top. But my favorite part about the basket was the thinly sliced shreds of perfectly caramelized onions. 

The Shorts:
Name: Barcade
Location: 148 West 24th Street, NYC
The Long and Short: Would I go back? Yes, it’s a novel place for me, but there’s such a relaxed atmosphere, that, you can almost forget there are video games if you’re just into grabbing a drink or snack at the bar. 
Would I recommend it? Yes, especially for those that do enjoy the arcade atmosphere. And even more for the competitive type. Get your name on that High Score board. 

 

Apotheke

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A speakeasy, mixologist doctors, and farm-to-bar practice? Yup, you can find all of these things at Apotheke in Chinatown. 

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In the corner of a quiet street in Chinatown, you’ll see a red sign that reads “Gold Flower Restaurant”. Don’t worry, you’re in the right place. The door through this faux facade is where you’ll find Apotheke. Inside is a sleek mixology den, cozy, and lined with couches and chairs leading up to the bar. All cocktails here are made with local and organic produce from local greenmarkets or picked straight from their rooftop herb garden. Bet you didn’t expect that from a bar, huh?

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All of the cocktails are broken down into categories paying homage to the apothecary theme, like “Healthy & Beauty”, “Stress Relievers” and “Pain Killers”. I went for Kale In Comparison (Aylesbury DuckVodka, Kale Juice, Pineapple, Ginger, Sea Bean, Lime, Digestive Tincture, Agave). I like to refer to this one as a garden party, you feel like you’re having a juice pressed cocktail. It has a salted rim, but the drink itself is slightly sweet with the freshness and flavor of greens and kale. I can safely say I haven’t had a drink quite like it before, and I loved it. 

The Shorts:
Name: Apotheke
Location: 9 Doyers Street, NYC
The Long and Short: Would I go back? Well, I’ve been going since they opened a few years ago, so, yes, I’m going to continue my support.
Would I recommend it? For sure. The cocktails are on the pricy side, but, it’s well worth the experience. Insider tip: commonly mispronounced, it’s “Aah-Poe-Tek”.