Whiskey Trader is an Excellent Stop After Some Street Eats

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.

After a recent trip to the Famous Halal Guys (formerly Shendy’s) on 52nd btw. 6+7th I ended up doing a little walking around and noticed Whiskey Trader on 55th Street. I peaked in and saw a dimly lit bar sunken a good five or more steps down into the bottom floor of the tall building. Similarly, the guys crowded at the bar were deeply down into their 5th drink. I hesitated, but went with my first instinct and shyly took a seat and feigned interest in the soccer game being shown on many flat screens. Then unexpectedly, the Sex Pistols blasted out the speakers, the conversations grew louder and things got way more interesting.

This in undoubtedly a regular’s bar and the music was being streamed from the iPod of one the guys who then played “I can’t get next to you” by the Temptations. This caused the bartender to dance, the disco light to be switched on and the bar patrons to sing in unison.

The specials include a Monday and Tuesday deal on Stolichnaya infused shots or mixed drinks for $5. There are also $3 cosmos, appletini, and $5 Patron, Jager, Jameson, and mojitos on weekdays. Plus unlimited fresh and free salty, buttery popcorn –a good replacement for the usual roasted nuts.

The makeshift DJ leaned up against me and engaged me in a distracted discussion on music tastes while queuing more songs. A new stream of people came in all greeting the bartender by name and saying hi to the person next to them at the bar. Once all the seats were filled the TV volume came off mute for the ending of the soccer game and the music was put on hold until the late night madness began.

I’ll reserve locking a +/- on Whiskey Trader until I can visit a few more times, but I will say it’s worth a trip to if you are working in the area and if the popcorn isn’t enough of a snack for you there is always the Famous Halal guys nearby to soak up those Stoli drinks.

Whiskey Trader, 71 West 55th Street (btw. 5+6th), (212) 582-2223


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