18 May 2011

New Bar/Old Bar

So, the Amsterdam Ale House. It's a kind of annoying self-conscious Yuppie beer emporium on 76th and Amsterdam on the Upper West Side. At first, and second (and third) glances, I've always thought the owners had slapped on a purposefully quaint patina of oldness. But the last time I passed by, I was struck by the sets of double doors, and the stained glass above them. They looks genuinely old, not fake old.

The building's been around at least a century. That it's been a bar for a while is also true, though I can only accurately trace its life as such to the early 1970s. Apparently there was a J.G. Melon—sister bar to the iconic Upper East Side joint—here for some years. It became the West Side Brewing Company in the 1990s, one of many brewpubs to crop up during that decade. But I'd bet good money that its life as a bar stretches back to at least the 1940s.

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