Reunion: A French Surf Bar Tucked inside Hell’s Kitchen
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 posts 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.
Board shorts…check. Aquarium…check. Gaudy décor…check! A place where Dory and friends would happily call home, Réunion, a French surf bar marked by, you guessed it, a surfboard, was totally on my (very) short list of themed midtown places to check out.
True to its theme, this basement bar is friendly, comfortable, and lively. Adorned with Christmas lights, surf boards, swim trunks, and photos of real surfers, Reunion is definitely not short on character.
All through the night, the bartenders remained attentive, even during the happy hour rush (5:30 pm – 8 pm Sunday to Friday). Our first drink, the Mermaid cocktail (rum, mint, and lime juice, garnished with a sugar cane swizzle stick…basically a frozen mojito) did not disappoint at $6 during happy hour. And even if it did, the bartenders would’ve fixed it. Following our initial sip, ours checked to see if our drinks were strong enough and offered extra liquor if they didn’t meet our expectations.
Additionally, Topher, Reunion’s general manager, quality checks EVERY drink that leaves his capable hands.
The crowd started off quiet and young, but quickly turned into a melting pot of personalities after 7. Tourists, locals, couples, singles, young and old seemed to all assemble here.
The happy hour specials seemed endless – from special cocktails for $5 or $6, shots for $3 and beer (Corona, Corona Light, Pacifico draft, Tona, Longboard, Session Lager, Session Black, Landshark, Full Sail Amber draftf, Full Sail IPA and Red Stripe) for $5 (with the exception of their Beach Bum house beer, reminiscent of a PBR, which was only $3) to $5 food short rib sliders and Dodo dogs (a hot dog topped with PORK BELLY!), Reunion has to chops to satisfy any happy hour-er.
Additional things to know: Tuesdays are Taco Tuesdays, featuring 2 for 1 tacos and Wednesdays are Ladies’ Night with 2 for 1 drinks for the gals.
Recommendation: Though pricey and out of the ML price range (and not on the happy hour list), you HAVE to try their spin on a Michelada for $12. Rimmed with a house-made rub of chilies and salt, the drink was made with their house Beach Bum beer mixed with homemade tomato/hot sauce.
Reunion Surf Bar, 357 West 44th Street (between 8th and 9th), (212) 582-3200