This tiny drinking alcove remains a favorite of both Post-reading daytime drinkers and fresh-from-auditions night people (including Gwynnie and Ben, in happier times). The kooky mix of brick, stucco, rec-room-reject wood paneling and vinyl floor covering evokes a sleepy Bar Americaine in Pigalle more than a West Village tavernette. Bumper stickers adorn the tacky wood-veneer back bar as if it were a college dorm desk, and a gallery of film-truck parking permits testifies to Johnny's popularity with folk from both sides of the camera. The female bartenders harmlessly flirt with male regulars or bluster at the odd stray weirdo lured in by the cozy-looking view from outside.
The red neon sign that announces its presence on a relatively quiet street, simply stating “BAR,” was the first indication. The second was a chalkboard out front advertising “Good & Cheap.” Then came the strands of colored Christmas lights that seemed like the only illumination in the closet-size space, followed by $3 beer and a friendly bartender. Yup, it’s official: This is a great, classic, neighborhood hole in the wall. Happy hour starts at noon and you’ll need to have a few beers in you to appreciate the wood paneling and bumper sticker décor, which should be relegated to teens’ basement rec rooms, in daylight. But you gotta love a place that has a shot of the day.
At these prices, you can afford to buy a total stranger a beer and see to what absurd heights the conversation leads.
Quintessential neighborhood bar. Awesome bartenders. Cheap booze. Unsung dive gem. Mostly locals of all ages and situations.
Pros: Its like Cheers but Awesome!
90 Greenwich Ave
(at 12th Street)
New York. NY 10011
Dirty Girl Scout:
Vodka • Creme de Menthe • Coffee Liqueur • Irish Cream
A Little Green Man From Mars:
Jaegermeister • Creme de Menthe
SoCo • Black Berry Brandy
Tequila • V8 • Lemon
"YOU GOTTA LOVE A PLACE THAT HAS A SHOT OF THE DAY"
West Village Bar With Jukebox
“At a bar like this, what could disappoint you?” a man asked the other night, at Johnny’s, in the West Village. There might be one or two things, but it depends on your expectations: earlier in the evening, a slick of yuppies, perhaps attracted by the exposed brick, had walked into the narrow room looking confused, and walked out, noses pointing upward to the chess set that’s glued to the ceiling. But those with an appreciation for a good dive bar stuck around, unlike a couple of the ceiling’s knights and bishops, which have fallen in a battle against gravity. Happily, the drinks are priced for a pawn: Rolling Rock on draft is $3.50, refreshing in a city overflowing with precious beer. Also appealing to the boozing bargain hunter is the Shot of the Day, at the same price, which is often reminiscent of a concoction that you might have drunk in college on a dare. At Johnny’s, you can draw Burt Reynolds on a napkin for the Burt Reynolds wall, or admire a Yoda doll driving a small blue Thunderbird. But it’s not so hip that you fear being throttled by a man bun. One guy told a story about how he used an antique shotgun to ward off a burglar in his apartment. A wincing group knocked back shots of tequila mixed with milk. The report: “Not as bad as you’d think.”