Gin Palace is not what you’d expect. I found that everyone, regardless of what day you had, is welcome.
Located at the corner of 6th and Avenue A, the exterior is a glossy obsidian black with angel-wing door handles leading into a steam-punk inspired interior. There are gears, cages, lions, and wire-protected lightbulbs sprouting wings from each side. If you spend a couple hours inside, as I did, drinking their delicious potions, you will forget where you are and upon stepping outside into Alphabet City feel somewhat startled it’s still 2012. I’ve only experienced this effect when I see a movie at the theater set in a different time period and, after it’s over, I’ll walk out surprised that I’m not in the 1800’s.
Gin Palace is a reboot of the former El Cobre with a mission to reclaim the cocktail bar back from elitist snobbery. Yes, you can order delicious drinks and impress your friends when you take them. However, what Gin Palace is aiming for is the down-the-street-bar you can unwind at with some friends. They’re trying to keep cocktails around the $10 range.
No presumptions, no pretentiousness, no expectations. You want a beer? That’s fine. Want a vodka tonic? Here you go. Want a artistic gin cocktail? They have that too. Everyone, regardless of what day you had, is welcome. With Gin and Tonic on tap and adding to their 37 different gin armada, they have a wide range of flavors to paint with.
To start, I had a gin and tonic from the tap ($7). In my opinion, it’s the pizza of the cocktail world: with only two main ingredients, the gin and tonic is a hard to screw up, but also hard to make it great. Whatever gin they used was elegant enough to make it one noticeably delicious drink. I also ordered some bratwurst which shall reign king as the most gentle and tender links I’ve had. In fact, prior to Gin Palace’s bratwurst ($15), I assumed it was supposed to be rubbery to the bite and fight back from all that I’ve had. Silly me.
After I finished the tasty meal I switched to missiles and ordered an MI5 ($10) which was a combination of Plymouth Gin, Applejack, Dolin Sweet Vermouth and Cynar (pronounced M I Five not M 15). It was definitely more of a a man’s drink though by no measure gender exclusive. The MI5 was robust and informative as if it had something to prove. The only reason I wouldn’t order it again is because all the other drinks on the menu are far too seductive to settle down just yet. I’d recommend this place for anyone looking for a new bar to call your own.
95 Ave A
New York, NY 10009