Midtown Happy Hour: Faces and Names
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.
Faces & Names draws its moniker from the many oil paint caricatures of various famous folks that adorn the walls. While amusing enough, beyond the décor what you have is basically your usual Midtown lounge. As you enter there’s a large bar that sits in a square at the center. There’s plenty of bartenders and beer taps on either side offering your usual favorites of Guinness, Yuengling, Bass, Sam Adams, Stella and Sierra Nevada to name a few. The full range of cocktails is available and this is definitely a place where you can order a fancy girl drink and not get a sideways glance.
Faces & Names is a popular after work destination for many of the local suits, and this night was no exception. The crowd leaned heavily towards large groups of corporate/office types with the occasional couple thrown in. Lonesome drinkers would probably feel more comfortable at the bar at Smith’s or Desmond’s.
We sat in the back where they have some more private booths and ordered a few martinis, beers and some bourbon. Mixed drinks are $6 for well and up to $10 for a top shelf dirty martini, bottle beer is $5 and drafts $6. The drinks came strong and our group even got a couple of free drinks, though we are not sure if they were buy-backs or the product of an overworked waitress. The noise level can be high so you sometimes end up yelling towards your pal across the table, but at the same time the atmosphere is jovial so you really don’t mind. The appetizer menu is similar to most places like this: sliders ($8), wings ($7), and dumplings ($8). The sandwiches are $9 and come with fries, onion rings or salad. I tried the calamari ($8) and the onion rings ($4) and they were pretty mediocre but still good booze ballast for a night of drinking.
In general I liked the crowd I was with and the friendly service, but aside from the wacky celebrity portraits on the walls this bar was too generic. Basically, if you work close by it’s a good bet, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to try it.
- Pretty cheap drink prices for Midtown
- Decently priced bar food
- Great fun and lively atmosphere
- Waitress and bartender service is attentive
- Food I tried was just “meh”
- Can get really loud and crowded
- It’s basically your usual midtown bar and grill
Faces and Names, 159 W. 54th Street (btw. 6+7th), 212-586-9311
Photos and post by Mamacita