Midtown Happy Hour: $1 Tacos Make Wharf Bar the Perfect ‘I Just Got Laid Off’ Spot

If you like to eat, chances are you like to drink (read: a lot of you are freakin’ lushes), so I thought maybe it was time to introduce a happy hour column to the site. Every week, our Happy Hour Correspondent “Mamacita” will post about a different bar in Midtown that fits the Midtown Lunch mentality: unhealthy food, not lame (unless it’s lame in a cool way), and most importantly… cheap.

Wharf Bar

There I was, just this past week, feeling the bitter sting of another round of layoffs at my job. Most of my friends were bearing the weight of additional duties on top of suffering pay cuts (Here! Take on some more work for less money and BTW we’ve stopped our retirement contributions). The song ‘nobody knows you when you’re down and out’ rang in my ears. Yes my friends, we’ve gone from bottle service to boxed wine and if this keeps up I’ll be reviewing Franzia ‘chillable red’ from my stoop next month.

So what’s a gal to do when her purse is light and the market is low? It turns out a safe bet is Wharf bar (on 587 Third Avenue) to indulge in $3.50 beers and $1 tacos. Thank God for recession specials and Lord knows we need them!

Wharf Bar

Drink specials change daily, but on Wednesday night they had Yuengling and Sam Adams for $3.50, well-drinks for $4, and frozen drinks for $5. Also available was a strangely sweet shot special that came in a Robitussin sized plastic cap for $3. The place was surprisingly busy and the loud buzz of laughter and conversation gave the bar that comforting feeling that you were getting away from it all. Wharf is also rather spacious, with an upstairs room complete with a second fully stocked bar and a deck that is enclosed for the winter months but open air during the summer. A group of my friends and I opted for table seating with waitress service.

Wharf Bar
Required bartender hunk shot.

We set ourselves up with a round drinks and I went hog wild on the $1 taco special of the night. We got 3 beef, 3 fish, and 3 chicken. Now $1 tacos from a bar might seem dubious to most people, but here at ML we scoff in the face of Salmonella! We spit in the eye of E. Coli! Bring it, we say! I’m hell bent on torturing my stomach as well as my liver. And damn, judging from the comments on this board I can see a few of you have no qualms about wrapping your lips around a dirty fish taco.

Wharf Bar

To start, the chicken tacos were flavorful and had a nice spoonful of tangy tomatillo salsa, pico de gallo, and shredded cheese on top. The beef was good, but it was your run of the mill ground beef filling. The fish tacos were crunchy, fried and battered fish fillets diced up with the same great tomatillo salsa that came with the other tacos. This wasn’t Baja style, but they hit the spot and for $1 I think this might be the best deal in all the four boroughs.

Not afraid to give in to gluttony we also ordered gravy and cheese waffle fries (that came on a huge dinner plate, $4.95), shoestring fries with cheese ($3.95), jalapeno poppers ($7.95) and the quintessential bar snack: hot wings ($5.95). Everything was flavorful and the waitress was always there when you needed a refill and made sure to check in on us to see if everything came out like we ordered. Given the mass amount of people that were in the bar, service was surprisingly attentive and gracious. Turns out when you’re down and out there are some places that will show you love.

Now to kick it ML style:

The +

  • Food specials for economically challenging times: $1 tacos, 30 cent wing nights and a full menu of burgers, sandwiches and appetizers.
  • Great drink specials from 4 to 7pm, including an all day happy hour on weekends
  • Big space and welcoming service
  • Just got laid off? You can eat and drink for under $10 here

The -

  • I suppose some people would rather drink in a quieter, less packed bar
  • Definitely on the outskirts of midtown, so it’s not convenient for everyone
  • $1 tacos scare me. No thanks, I’d like to avoid dysentery

Wharf Bar, 587 Third Avenue (btw. 38+39th)

Photos and post by “Mamacita”


  • My view of the New Yawk City crowd:

    One day a peacock — the next day a feather duster.

    And you folks better get prepared for some HEAVY DUTY dusting. LOL!

  • Zach: how does DocChuck’s comments above in any way relate to this topic?

  • 30 cent wings on sunday nights, but on regular nights it’s still only 40 cents.
    and they have a variety of flavors. mild, hot, bbq and teriyaki.

    and their fries are awesome.
    the atmosphere is great, especially if you want to just watch some sports and have some beers.

  • I think that the brilliant DocChuck was referreing to how many people are being laid off in NYC, and will be laid off in the future according to the economists.

    I believe that the Doc is really genuinely concerned about the people losing their jobs and moving out of NYC because he is afraid that they may move to the South where he lives.

    And his redneck friends to NOT like people from NYC.

    At least that’s what I think, Fred.

  • How again is he brilliant, other than brilliantly despised or brilliantly creeppy/disgusting?

  • Well, Fred, I mean “Chiffy” (http://profiles.aim.com/chiff0nade), since you and I are both BOARD MATRONS on the SE website, you should know what I mean, especially when I am being facetous (is that a word)?

    Now, we know that he is a brilliant ass hole, just like your first FOUR husbands, right Louise?

    Even Ada Brescia knew that he was creepy, so what can we do to change it, Fred?

  • For those who are exceptionally slow on the uptake, the above was posted by the real ‘DocChuck’. You can always tell by the godawful ugliness of the posts.

  • I’m sorry, ‘NotSoAmusedNow’, I guess I missed your point. Could you be more specific, and give us a link so that we ALL know who we are talking to?

    Unless, of course, you want to stay anonymous and post stuff that makes no sense whatsoever and sounds like you are drunk as a skunk — LOL!

    And could we PLEASE stay on topic in this forum, NSAN?

    Otherwise, maybe you should go back to SE where you claim to be therealchiffonade.

  • There he is again. I’m sure Zach will be checking IP addresses any minute now.

  • I cannot understand for the life of me why Zach is willing to let this go on. Seriously.

  • For full disclosure… Fred has posted countless comments as “Sarah Hellerman” “Doc Chuck’s Hamster” “Doc Chuck’s Blowup Doll”. Just an FYI to everybody…

  • Yep. SH comments were just a rip on the original SH, as you had already noted in other comments.

  • ben will be so disappointed.

  • Nah, Ben already knew

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