Lillie’s Times Square is A Beautiful Bar, But (As Predicted) Too Expensive
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.
A few Saturdays ago, I ran into some friends I consider to be pretty awesome catching a cab in my neighborhood. They were on their way to Midtown to have brunch at Lillie’s in Times Square, which they described as “beautiful” and “pretty cool”. Although Chris was unhappy with their hidden online prices, and Sarah was somewhat disappointed with the food quality in the Union Square location, I wanted to find out if their happy hour was anything to rave about.
The most attention-catching aspect of Lillie’s is that the Victorian-style bar is indeed beautiful. The space is truly overwhelming when you walk in. The long room is well-lit by a huge stained glass window. It has an ornate, incredibly high ceiling, and the walls are filled Victorian antiques and art (which may or may not be knockoffs, but I suspect it’s a mix of both).
But unfortunately for Lillie’s, we’re not here to critique the bar’s aesthetics.
Unsurprisingly, there was no happy hour special. Beers were small and expensive, with draft pours in a baby glass. Of these, Bud was the cheapest at six bucks, but you can get some decent USA drafts like Lagunitas Lil Sumpin and Goose Island IPA for $7.
None of the entrees or appetizers on the menu were under $10, and the portobello burger I got for $15 was just OK. The sweet potato fries were good but a bit soggy as Sarah noted she had read on Yelp. I should’ve ordered them extra crispy too. The meal was filling, thankfully, so I left full for the evening.
What else? Service was fine although just a tad slow because it was quite crowded that day. And to be fair, for a place so close to Times Square and the theatre district, I was surprised the prices weren’t higher. Most things were under $20, and there were a few sides for under $10 like truffle fries and sauteed asparagus.
To sum this all up, I would certainly not call this a Midtown Happy Hour, but if you must choose a bar in Times Square and you would like to have drinks or dinner in a very nice atmosphere, this isn’t a bad pick at all. I would recommend it for an early-relationship date before the theater, for meeting friends who are on vacation in Manhattan, or for Victorian era enthusiasts.
The + (what somebody who likes this place would say)
- I’m a sucker for all things Victorian, and I’m transported back in time at Lillie’s!
- Whether you like Victorian kitsch or not, the space and the lighting is incredible.
- If you absolutely *must* go to a bar in Times Square, you could do much, worse than Lillie’s. The prices are bad, but they ain’t *that* bad.
The – (what somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)
- I don’t give a flying fuck what the “space” looks like. This is no dive and I’m not going.
- Lillie’s is out of my price range; and for mediocre food!
- Did you say Victorian kitsch? I would rather go to Guy Fieri’s than subject myself to that!
Lillie’s Victorian Bar & Restaurant, 249 W 49th St (btw. B’way+8th Ave). 212-957-4530