Midtown Happy Hour: Beer Authority Has An All Day Happy Hour

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.

Just steps away from the Port Authority is a bar and gastropub aptly named Beer Authority (40th + 8th). Although the Port Authority has a reputation for being a place you should steer clear of generally, and specifically after dark, at least there is a decent bar! Open since April of 2012 and brought to us by the same folks who own Rattle N Hum, it is a relatively new establishment.

When you first walk in, you might be shocked that the bar area is small and quaint, but this is just the first floor. If you opt to stay here, you’re missing out on the incredible space upstairs. But if you stay long enough, you’ll find that the Happy Hour specials run all day in this cozy bar area.

Even so, the upstairs has a respectable happy hour from 11-7, and though beer specials are $5 for a 16 oz. pour, there are beers like Harpoon IPA, Abita Jockamo IPA, Breckenridge Christmas Ale, and Hoegarden along with the usual Bud Light and Yuengling.

And the upstairs is a completely different world. With scores of beers on tap and enough space for the place to feel both busy and airy at once, it feels like a suburban gastropub.

If it weren’t for the striking views of Times Square lighting up the room, you wouldn’t know you were in the middle of Manhattan. Although I didn’t see it, their website shows pictures of a roof deck for when the weather gets warmer.

Their Buffalo wings were fantastic — a perfect hot yet buttery sauce, eight gigantic breaded wings, and a lovely mild blue cheese sauce with little chunks of blue. Unfortunately, this will run you $12. As much as that’s becoming the norm, the price is enough to make the frugal Luncher in you cringe.

We also got some pierogies, which were decent but PIPING hot so proceed with caution!

All in all, most folks might think the area around the Port Authority should be avoided, but this bar is a good reason to make an exception.

The + (what somebody who likes this place would say)

  • This is a really great space with fantastic views.
  • I love trying new beers and there are so many to choose from!
  • I like IPAs as a happy hour choice — high ABV + delicious.
  • There’s lots of choices of good food to go with your many, many beers.
  • There’s a happy hour that last the duration of opening hours. Kinda cool.

The – (what somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)

  • The happy hour deal is $5 a beer. I know we’re getting to the point that this is standard, but it’s still disappointing.
  • How cool could a bar by the Port Authority actually be?
  • This reminds me of the suburbs.

Beer Authority, 300 W 40th St, (212) 510-8415


  • no happy hour appetizer pricing? *sigh*

  • You can’t see Times Square from 40th and 8th ave…the Times Building is in the way…

  • Considering the normal beer prices there, $5 is a steal. Hopefully they not only manage to keep the beer fresher, but also have bartenders who understand what consititutes an “off” beer, unlike their sister bar.

  • That area is very depressing…despite cool places like Times building and the stores inside of the building.

  • A good point to remember: if the food lets you down, the best $1 slice pizza on 8th is catty-corner from Beer Authority at NYC Fried Chicken. If you feel like venturing away from the tourist hellcrowds, though, you can hit up 99-cent Fresh Pizza on 9th. Troy Turkish Grill is on 9th too, also good stuff.

  • Sought shelter and refreshment there during a Sandy-mandated bus commute week. I liked the dingy little ground floor bar; the server was charming and delightful. During my visit a guy on his way out fell down the stairs from the upper level. Apparently that happens quite often.

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