Midtown Happy Hour: What’s New at Subway Inn?

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.

Subway Inn (60th St. btw. Lex + 3rd), has long been heralded as the dive of Midtown’s northern realm. On my journeys with Midtown bars, I’ve tried to steer clear of those that have been covered in the past. But Subway Inn had been beckoning, waiting for me to do an update since Mamacita visited over four years ago.

The bar continues to be a dirty dive — as I stepped through the door I thought I might fall through the wood into the basement. When I tried to use the ladies’ room, I got that same sinking into rotten planks feeling, only to find that the toilet had overflowed and there was an inch of water covering the bathroom. Yet the bar was full of working class, middle aged folks perched on the wobbly stools and wedged into old, tiny booths. They didn’t seem to mind.

On top of this, I noticed there was no table service and the bartenders were inattentive and snarky. It became apparent that like the famed Honey Badger, Subway Inn don’t care. But the delight of a place like this; they don’t have to. Subway Inn attracts those who seek out its rustic vibe. The coarseness is its greatest virtue.

However, the clientele was too young to be classified as a proper dive, I’ll humbly note. When I go to a dive, I want to see some retirees that have grown roots into their barstools, dammit. I didn’t see anything that indicated the older crowd had stayed the course. Most everyone looked to be in their 30s or 40s. Of course, this could’ve been a one-off.

Prices appear to have risen slightly in the past four years, with $5 draft beers until 6:00. These were served in 20 ounce glasses, but notably not filled all the way to the top. They also had $5 high balls, $25 buckets of Corona and $20 buckets of Coors Light.

Another change since our last report — Subway Inn now serves Atomic Wings. I had to boycott because I’m not a fan of Atomic Wings since they took over at one of my favorite places in Queens and replaced the best wings in the neighborhood! But I digress. Subway Inn now has Atomic Wings rather than nothing, so this is an improvement! They serve them up in a styrofoam container.

Mamacita summed up the + and the – very well, but I would like to add a few…

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

  • Subway Inn now has food, woo hoo!
  • I love dirty dives!

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

  • Not a fan of Atomic Wings!
  • I love old people. Where did they all go???

Subway Inn, 143 E. 60th St. (btw. Lex+3rd Ave.)


  • I hung out here religiously when I was working at the GM building on 59th. I hate saying it, but this place really was so much better back then. Dollar drafts all day and night, and a short, cranky old guy managing the place who became impatient if you asked for more than 2 different kinds of drink in the same order. This was not your place for a mojito.

    And to answer the question of “where did the old people go”, they vacated with the arrival of the video games, internet jukebox, and ordering “buckets” of anything. The days of drinking all afternoon on a ten and drowning your sorrows in Patsy Cline and Johnny Cash ballads are long, long gone.

  • I swear i thought that placed closed down….

  • The old people died…

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    The reason the wings are served in a Styrofoam container is because they literally order them from down the street at The Blue Room, then have them delivered to Subway Inn. I’m 99.9% sure they don’t make those in house.

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