Drink, Monica Byers, New York — January 5, 2013 at 10:34 pm



Raccoon Lodge (photo by Monica Byers)


NEW YORK – I stumbled across Raccoon Lodge while making the trek from the Financial District to the Tribeca Whole Foods.  Based solely on the name I was dying to try this place and – when I finally visited – I was rewarded with pure dive bar joy.

Raccoon Lodge: The Raccoon watching over the bar (photo by Monica Byers)

I can’t say this is a strictly locals place as I’ve seen the occasional tourist here over the course of my now several visits, but it is pretty much patronized by New Yorkers.   It’s got all the de rigueur working man’s bar stuff – pool table, jukebox and an assortment of game machines:  Ms. PacMan (!), PowerStrike (boxing) and Big Buck Hunter (errr…hunting).  It even has a photo booth!  Raccoon Lodge also has the distinction of being one of the only businesses in this neighborhood operating just after 9/11, having re-opened just two weeks following the attack.

I like coming here on Saturday afternoons when there aren’t many people in the bar – for us, it’s almost always a stop en route to doing something productive (it’s almost inevitable that said productive activity will never come to pass after one of these detours).  My husband and I enjoy chatting with the friendly bar staff and the various regulars we meet here.  On more than one occasion, our 2 pm “quick beer” has devolved into an 11 pm stumble out the door…..such is the ability of the Raccoon Lodge to suck you in.

Raccoon Lodge: There goes another Saturday afternoon….. (photo by Monica Byers)

What is the little thing that makes it worth visiting?  It’s the diviest of dive bars…..in a good way.  Check out the various snapshots from The Honeymooners – an apparent homage to Ralph and Ed being members of the Raccoon Lodge of Brooklyn.

Where is it?  Raccoon Lodge is located at 59 Warren Street (near West Broadway) in the Battery Park/Financial District.  Some people call this neighborhood Tribeca – I feel that it’s about two blocks too far south to do so.

For more from Monica, follow her on Twitter at @MonicaJuniel.

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