Midtown Happy Hour: Blaggards is an Oldie But Goodie
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.
It seems you can’t chuck an empty bottle of Jameson in Midtown without hitting an Irish pub. In the shamrock showdowns between these bars few come out as real winners, but then again this is Midtown so we are forced to grade on the curve as it were. Sometimes around here we just need a quiet lunchtime hideaway or a convenient local bar to share drinks with coworkers and friends. That’s when Blaggards Pub steps in to smile its Irish eyes at you. Conventional in most ways, Blaggards does shine with its comfort food and, most importantly, its various happy hour specials.
I must confess I have a bit of a soft spot for this place. Back when I worked by Bryant Park I dreaded the annoying crowds at Pax or generic delis. They were like navigating a sea of administrative zombies. I was in search of a low-key spot for lunch. Not (necessarily) to grab a drink but to get out of the office to someplace more relaxed where I wouldn’t run into my bosses (they were too snobby to be caught at any ‘pub’). Blaggards was close by, frequented by local blue-collar workers during lunch, and offered a lovely anonymity. With an authentic Irish barman at the helm I could decompress ensconced in deep walnut walls, ambient lighting and bronze tined ceilings.
I recently went back to Blaggards to see what was new and I was surprised to see an entree plus a beer special that I’m not sure if I ever noticed before. For $12 dollars you get a pint with any of their rotating main courses. That makes for a good deal if you consider that a beer is considerably more expensive then a soda pop. On special was an “open roast beef” with mashed potatoes and a teriyaki chicken wrap with fries. An older sign showed they also did a bangers and mash and a garlic chicken meal.
Happy hour is from 4pm to 7pm and reaches out to larger crowds with a full jukebox, Big Buck Hunter, and a touch screen gambling game in the corner (a sure sign of a good dive). Table service is also available in both the front and back dinning areas.
Happy hour drink specials change, but a quick sample consists of Monday $4 cosmos and martinis, Tuesday $4 Killian’s Red, Goose Island IPA, and Bud Light drafts, Wednesday ladies night with ½ off drinks, and Friday $4 Guinness and $4 Jameson shots. Food follows this lead with a rotating happy hour selection of $4 wings, potato skins, or chicken fingers to name a few.
Granted it’s pub grub, but the large comfortable bar and the partitioned dinning spaces make it a nice spot to get away. Even if it’s only to grab a pint or have a nice meal by their fireplace, Blaggards offers an attractive place to escape if you are between the Bryant Park and Herald Square neighborhoods.
The + (What people who like about this place would say)
- Happy hour is a $4 drink and food deal that easily falls into the ML price range
- Lunchtime $12 drink plus meal deals might appeal to those of us who need help getting through the work week
- Handsome bar with cordial Irish bartenders and laidback patrons
- Good local place to take a large group of coworkers during lunch or happy hour as there are plenty of booths and a back seating area
The – (What people who don’t like about this place would say)
- Yes, there are a plethora of Irish pubs in midtown and this is one of them. Blaggards also has sister pubs in midtown to boot
- If you’re not into pub grub or having a drink with it, then the specials really won’t attract your fancy
Blaggards Pub, 8 West 38th Street (btw. 5+6th), 212-382-2611