Idle Hands

Whiskey Bar
Idle Hands Idle Hands in New York’s East Village is a cool bar stocked with craft beer & tons of bourbon. Enjoy a fine drink with a rock-loving NYC crowd at Party Earth. New York United States 40.722283 -73.983167
4.16 5
Idle Hands - Whiskey Bar in New York.
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Ratings:
Lucas
Adriana
Jonah
Emma

Party Earth Review Hidden below the New Orleans-themed party madness of Billy Hurricane’s – home to heart-stopping Scorpion Bowls and 96-ounce drafts – Idle Hands offers a different kind of delirium, one fueled by craft... ... read full review

  • Subway:

    F: Lower East Side-2 Avenue / Houston Street; F, J, M, Z: Delancey Street / Essex Street

  • Phone:

    917-338-7090

  • Links:

  • Hours:

    M–W 5pm–2am, Th–Su 5pm–4am
    Open at 1pm Sundays when Houston Texans play

  • Recommended as:

    • Night Spot

Party Earth Idle Hands Review

The Scene

Idle Hands in New York’s East Village is a cool bar stocked with craft beer & tons of bourbon. Enjoy a fine drink with a rock-loving NYC crowd at Party Earth.

Hidden below the New Orleans-themed party madness of Billy Hurricane’s – home to heart-stopping Scorpion Bowls and 96-ounce drafts – Idle Hands offers a different kind of delirium, one fueled by craft beer and a boat-load of premium bourbons.

The cellar space has a hint of speakeasy style, with exposed bulbs, dark wood candlelit tables, and long leather banquettes adorning a room that’s barren save for a few colorful rock art posters framed on the walls.

Unlike the riotous clamor prevailing above, the venue’s vibe is more in line with its name, attracting mellow groups interested in top-shelf spirits and suds, all of which can be enjoyed to a backdrop of conversation-friendly rock, metal, and indie.

Fifty brews and more than a hundred bourbons, whiskeys, and scotches are on hand, many of which gleam from shelves behind the bar, while those in need of some grease to go with their grog can order American comfort food like burgers and wings from upstairs.

Hip East Village kids, casual couples, and tatted rocker chicks are plentiful, and there’s usually a scattered mix of unpretentious older prepsters who probably had awesome mohawks back in the day.

A regular DJ on Saturdays usually spins a diverse mix of rock and indie, and folks can even catch a game on the TVs throughout the week, proving that Idle Hands may be relaxed, but it definitely isn’t lazy.

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Tip from Jonah:

The beer and bourbon tasting on Wednesdays is a great way to expand your palate. The selection always rotates, but you can expect at least one featured bourbon or whiskey and three to five beers to sample, as well as a full pour of your fave and even some tater tots to go with it, all for $10.

  • Crowd

    Chill post-grads, hip East Village locals, young professionals with a heavy metal past, bourbon lovers, craft beer seekers, groups of friends looking to chat and sip quality beverages, football fans on Sundays who want to catch the game in a non-sports bar environment, mid-20s to late 30s.

  • Entertainment / Music

    Rock, metal, punk, and indie dominate the playlist throughout the week. Rock DJ on Saturdays from 9pm.

    Mondays allow guests to choose the playlist via the Playmysong smartphone app.

    Several flat-screens mostly tuned to sports, with the Houston Texans house favorites.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    American comfort food like burgers, wings, and fries trucked down from Billy Hurricane’s upstairs.

    Beer and bourbon tasting on most Wednesdays.

  • Prices

    Grub $3–$11+. Beer $4–$9+, wine $8, cocktails $10–$14, bourbon and other spirits $8–$22+, beer and bourbon tasting $10.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    Casual: graphic t-shirts, jeans, band shirts, traditional office attire, cute blouses, rocker skirts, sports jerseys on Sundays.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    Saturdays for the retro rock DJ, Sundays to catch a game in a decidedly non-sports bar environment, or most Wednesdays for the bourbon and beer tasting.

  • Close By

    Parkside Lounge (317 East Houston Street) is a solid dive with arcade games, pool, regular live bands, and a juke that also favors rock.

Idle Hands User Reviews

Average rating:
Whiskey and beer. What else do you need?
Brian W. Jun 4, 2013
Anyone who knows me knows that I favor beer or gin most of the times I enjoy a drink. However, I love a good bourbon, rye, or scotch about as much. Sometimes more. At Idle Hands the bourbon is the ticket. While the draft beer selection is limited (and hit or miss as many bars with rotating taps can be) and the bottle choices are a bit above average you shouldn't have come here for the beer anyway. The huge list of every kind of whiskey is enough to get any drinker of brown liquor excited and keep them coming back for more. Yes, there is a food menu, and yes the food is good, but you do have to go upstairs to order. But don't let that climb dissuade you from making this your only stop for the evening as the sweet potato tots alone are worth climbing up and down multiple times. Service is solid too and the bartenders I've had there have known enough about their whiskeys to keep up with most drinkers' curiosity. The trek into Alphabet City is worth it for the bourbon alone. And even if I'm being picky, the beer and food options are good enough bonuses to throw this place into the must experience list.
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