209 E 5th St, New York, NY | Directions 1000340.727503 -73.990573
Mon-Fri 4 pm-4 am, Sat-Sun 11 am-4 am
Neighborhoods: Downtown, East Village
great – Great East Village bar. Good music, cold beer and zero attitude!
East Village gem – I absolutely adore this bar. It's below street level but not at all dingy, a little gem hidden away in the middle of a residential street. It's got great lighting that provides a sort of Christmas-y, sitting-by-the-fire-with-holiday-lights-twinkling-all-around ambiance, and if you've ever loved Watership Down or The Hobbit, this place is exactly what I imagine those warrens or Bilbo Baggins' house to be like. There are tables along one wall and the bar along the other, and neat little restrooms in the back. I've been here several Sunday evenings, and each time I caught a performance by a live Irish band. They are bands actually based out of Ireland - Dublin or Belfast so far, with that gorgeous Irish lilt. I've heard fiddles and guitars and quiet, idyllic voices making beautiful music about love and loss, and even a poetry reading. For me this is the kind of thoughtful place I go to with good friends to wind down the weekend, have a quiet chat over Guinness or scotch, and just enjoy being comfortably silent with people you care about while the murmur of other conversations and lovely Irish music weave their spell about you.
I'm waxing sentimental here, but this is why I love the Scratcher.
The East Village's much-beloved, somewhat-Irish bar is crowded, but worth it. – The Scene
Three stone steps lead down into a den where the weather-worn "Guinness is Good for You" sign is held as sacred truth. Popular on weekdays and packed on weekends, the bar has wooden-plank floors and workbench-like tables that are well-suited to its puzzling name. The Scratcher's logo is an old Irish hobo symbol, carved (or "scratched") into trees as a safe-haven sign of protection--a place where hard-luck wanderers could duck the law's grabbing hand.
For years still one of the best – After many years of going here, this place is still homey, comfy, full of interesting characters and has a fabulous atmosphere.
Fantastic Brunch – The Scratcher Full Irish Breakfast is one of if not the best discoveries I have ever made in New York. It is truly unbelievable. Bartenders are nice and friendly. The whole bar has an unbelievable smell to it that reminds you of someone's home, and soon to be your own as well.
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