“Here, I was immediately comfortable, and had the most amazing experiences going out in NYC.”
“Have been to some real horrible places with real d.o.u.c.h.e bouncers but this guy takes the cake.”
“James we go to Apotheke to enjoy the music, drinks and atmosphere with our friends.”
“Drinks are decent, but anything will be "yummy" if you muddle some strawberries in it.”
“Some of their soft opening menu cocktails do taste good, although I think perhaps they need to hang out at Little Branch for a few nights and take some notes!”
“Decor was nice, but the place was not that large at all.”
“However, if you have just come back from your semester abroad in Australia, if you are under 26 or if you want to celebrate your first promotion with Merrill, come on over.”
“Tried to order some stuff off the menu, and got some vodka, random fruit juice and weird bitters, which is pretty much the formula that most of the bartenders like to follow unfortunately.”
“Drinks are overpriced, staff is not responsive and it looks like they are making you a big favor by serving you.”
“It could be a great spot to swing by for one drink, but it is definitely not a place to plan a whole night around (which you would have to do, based on the location, reservationist and long line) Oh, and if you go, make sure not to wear nice shoes, as und”
Overrated!. Woah this place is a stinker. How does this place get so much press?? Drinks are decent, but anything will be "yummy" if you muddle some strawberries in it. 15 bucks per drink is a little steep considering what they are serving. The crowd is horribly cheesy. Reminds me of the crowd that Mantattana on Bowery used to draw (don't judge me, I had to go to a birthday party) I prefer the Randolph on Broome as far as loungey cocktail bars go.
Amazing Drinks, Amazing atmosphere, Great Scene. OK I read the reviews and I was so confused... Did these people go to the same place? I have been here a few time and once the doormen recognizes you its not difficult to get in. AND the british doorman is hysterical and sweet. If you are polite to him, he is very accommodating. The drinks are yummmmmy, strawberyy and fennel... mmmmmmm. HOWEVER they are REALLY pricey, but this IS new york. I've been there a half dozen times on various days of the week and never had a bad experience. GO. Have Fun. See for yourself.
Good god, what an absolute s__tshow!. I went here during it's soft opening for a fashion week party, and then another Moet sponsored party. I was very impressed with what the room looked like, and got to chat to the owner Albert about what he was hoping to do with the place as far as cocktails are concerned. Everything sounded good, homemade elixers, absinthe, etc. Fast forward a few months, and good god what happened? Dropped in on a Thursday night to see how things were coming along. There was a british bouncer who was incredibly rude, asking us if we had reservations. I explained to him that we didn't, and asked if we could be accomodated at the bar. He said the bar area was full (which it was not) and even if it wasn't, it wouldn't be in his best interest to let 3 men in with no ladies. Now that is a perfectly undertstandable policy for clubs, etc that sell a scene, rather then a product. Apotheke, however, presents itself as a cocktail bar - and the one thing every highly regarded cocktail bar in NYC shares in common is a democratic door policy. So right off the bat i was skeptical about how things were going. We eventually gained entrance by flashing the owners personal business card. As i expected, the inside was pretty much empty. One table was filled, and about 10 people at the bar. I was excited to see the new cocktail list which was supposed to be in excess of 150. Nope. Tried to order some stuff off the menu, and got some vodka, random fruit juice and weird bitters, which is pretty much the formula that most of the bartenders like to follow unfortunately. It could be a great spot to swing by for one drink, but it is definitely not a place to plan a whole night around (which you would have to do, based on the location, reservationist and long line) Oh, and if you go, make sure not to wear nice shoes, as undoubtedly a drunken fratboy idiot from the UES will spill his drink on them.
THIS PLACE IS NOT GOOD if you are looking for a good time.
I have to say after they made me wait for almost 45 minutes...the drinks were good...
BUT THE SATURDAY NIGHT CROWD is HORRIBLE!!!
They had a great dj..great drinks...and LAME PEOPLE. Boring, Lackluster and really pushy and quite rude.
Seriously...they made the beautiful and cool wait in the cold...and the doormen are just patronizing idiots...
i stepped out for a cigarette and they wouldnt let me back in.
If you want to go to a bar on a saturday night full of ugly..with great drinks to get you through..this is your place...sorry...
great location, great everything....except for the people part....horrible service....horrible doormen...horrible patrons...i can take 2 out of 3....but the whole thing? no way...i felt i was cheapened being in its presence...
there, i said it.
I am only writing this bad review because this place could have potential...really.
However, as long as you want to be around loud women who think they are the realization of satc (gag), and a bunch of douchbag men, then this place fails...fails hard. I suggest: i new door policy: let the nice people in; let the beautiful people in; let the cool in...keep the trash out.
but thats what this place seems to like. How unfortunate.
One more reason NOT to go to Chinatown. I tried REALLY hard to like this place. It is a truly beautiful place located on a very interesting block. Other then that, it's a pretentious spot with a severe identity crisis. What are you Apotheke? A serious cocktail bar or a transplanted Meatpacking District lounge? Write-ups by NyMag will lead you to believe it's a cocktail bar with a menu consisting of over 150 unique cocktails. I have yet to see this completed menu. The times I have been there, they had a menu of about 10 dull, uninspired cocktails based loosely off of classics. The bartenders are adequate, but don't expect anything up to Milk and Honey or Death and Company standards (even though they are charging $15 bucks per cocktail) When I ask for a Manhattan, it is alarming when the bartender asks if I want muddled raspberries in it (blech) Apotheke is essentially a gimmick, stocking a bunch of "homemade elixers" that the bartenders have no idea how to use. If you're lucky they might throw some saffron bitters into your Sazerac, or muddle a green pepper in something, but that's about it. Thursday - Saturday they totally cater to the upper east side/murray hill vodka tonic crowd. If you like Tin Lizzie on the UES or Bar XII in Murray Hill, but want to pay alot more for your vodka, and enjoy getting dolled up in your finest banana republic button down, this might be up your alley. It's bearable during the week, except for the terrible British bouncer "James" (or Tony Sinclair from the Tanqueray commercials, as my friends like to refer to him.) The bartender Jack is very pleasant and seems to be the only guy in there who knows what he is doing. If your lucky, you'll get to see the owner, Albert (the self proclaimed bar chef), do his little flaming absinthe show to the tune of Blue Monday. Cool at first, but gets corny after the 5th time - when you realize "za bar chef" thinks this is entertaining. Many better options close by. Better crowd and drinks @ White Star
From the Doorman to the Drinks.
I?ve got just one thing to say?
That Saturday Doorman ? Mr. Aubrey ?
I?m at a loss for words.
Of course I was excepting the out of this world cocktails
That make my mouth Salivate with Sensation (that?s nice?)
I mean, that?s why everyone goes to Apotheke
But the doorman ? Tall, Tan and Terrific
He can guard the door to this girl?s bedroom anytime
And I mean ANYTIME?
great spot. i recommend going on friday or saturday night, when the doorman who always seems to be wearing a different hat is working. the british guy who works door during the week (james?) really is horrible - he lends a faux sense of pretension to the place, when i get the impression that's exactly what they're looking to avoid. the weekend doorman tends to be much more egalitarian (so long as you don't look like you rolled down from murray thrill or march up to the door with a gaggle of guys). i really love this place - once you're inside the crowd/music/asthetics are amazing...and the flaming absinthe show is truly a work of art.
DON'T BOTHER. yes! i totally agree with thelondonmule about the idot at the door. after having a cig first before heading in and watching a couple of people walk right in. the idot stops me & my friend at the door ,doesn't say anything at first ,then i'm like you want to see i.d? he just smirks and says do you have a reservation? really a reservation on a wednesday nite and i did get a chance to see inside, it was not busy. i wouldn't have been that upset if i didn't see other people going in without tight a$$ stopping them. and really reservation for the 6 tables they have? I'M TOTALLY BANNING THIS PLACE AND TELLING EVERYONE I KNOW!!!!!!!!
Lame. Ugh where to begin. First, the annoying door policy makes no sense. Clearly they are trying to drum up mystique by not letting in paying customers. Uh, actually why not try to have a decent bar. Second, the drinks. Terrible. Tons of sugar. The "Hemingway" themed drink would have made Big Papa angry and violent. Last, the BS from the wait staff. First, there is no absinthe available, then we notice people ordering it just down the bar. Second, the credit card machine doesn't seem to be working for my party, then it suddenly is working for another party right next to us. Why are we getting BS'ed? Never go here, I'll never go again. Cheesy crowd, lame drinks, overall waste of time/money.
With a selection of aphrodisiacs and cocktails designed to promote health and beauty, this covert Chinatown lounge is just what the doctor ordered..
Find Doyers Street (an alley off the Bowery), and look for some hipsters mulling around outside a red "Gold Flower Restaurant" sign, and you'll know you're in the right spot. While this area used to be grounds for gang wars, Apotheke, a one-time opium den, feels more like an upscale Victorian brothel. Inside the candlelit lounge, a gigantic marble bar--lined with mortars and pestles, herbs and elixirs, all marinating in century-old glass jars--serves up an extensive variety of specialty cocktails. You really can't go wrong, no matter what you choose.
Hits: Unlike other hot spots, the bartenders here go the extra mile, striving for perfection. Each and every concoction is made with care and they're well worth the potential wait at the bar.
Misses: The door policy is misleading. Even though there's no velvet rope, no snooty doorman, and technically reservations are only required for tables after 10pm, don't bank on automatic entry without calling ahead.
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