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Hop Devil Grill & Belgian Room
Taps: - / Bottles: -
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]
129 St. Marks Place
phone: (212) 533-4467
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vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $
I've been to Hop Devil a couple of times but only now have I come around to review it.
This joint sure is dark! A little overwhelming, total cave. Cheap looking but not in a bad way, like a ratty sports bar in, say, Scranton, PA. They do have lots of cool breweriana around.
Noisy at 4:30 pm when I visited, even though place was pretty empty (only the bar was filled up, with what seemed to be regulars). I guess they have poor noise-proofing, hence the loudness? Music was real loud too, but hey, maybe I'm a bit too old for this kind of youth-oriented sports tavern of sorts...
Gotta love the homely feel, though, so different from the corporate vibe of many bars in Manhattan. It really feels like a small town in here, what with the friendly drunken regulars perched at the bar since opening time. A bit of an East Village feel indeed!
Nice friendly bartender was quick, super polite and not missing a beat. But the real draw here is the prices! Regular prices are not bad, but during happy hour... everything is HALF OFF!! Wow. Believe it. I thought no place in New York City had a real happy hour like that. Reminds me of Ohio...
So I got a Stone Belgo Old Guardian snifter for only four dollars. Sweet!
Didn't try food this time so I won't rate it, but I have in the past. Nothing exciting, they serve a competent mixture of Mexican fare (tacos, burritos) and American pub grub (wings, salads burgers) at good prices. I'm not here for the food, though, so no worries.
Selection is alright, not great but serviceable. This is the kind of place that does not amaze you on a daily basis but will shock you from time to time with rare shit like Dogfish World Wide Stout or Founders KBS. On my last visit, they had 20 American taps, 1 cider, 2 Germans and Guinness. Hop Rod Rye, Brooklyn Lager, Harpoon IPA, Ithaca Apricot, Kona Porter, Sam Noble Pils, Rogue Chocolate Stout, Smuttynose Porter... plus that Stone Belgo Old Guardian that was the only rarity, really. Maybe Stevens Point Belgian Wit too, since I have never since this brewery around NYC.
But I feel like at Rattle N' Hum: not exactly excited.
One thing that bothered me a bit was that I saw no sign of "credit card minimum", and when I went to tab out, the friendly bartender told me they had a $10 so I would have to have another beer. I was in a hurry and didn't want another brew, but hey, I *had* too. Not a huge deal, but I wish they had some signs advertising their credit minimum (I could have asked too, it is true).
(I have not been to The Belgian Room, but the taps didn't exactly give me a hard-on either: Delirium, Ommegang, Sly Fox...).
All in all, this is a fine spot for the East Village nation. It might not stand out tremendously in Manhattan, but there is a lot of competition anyway. Too many good bars, with better beer lists and (in some cases) food.
If you live nearby, though, or are visiting or strolling around the Village... heck yeah, check it out!
04-03-2011 06:47:16 |
More by DoubleSimcoe
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$$
The Hop Devil Grill & Belgian Room are places I wished I visited more when I lived in Stuy Town years ago when they first opened.
The Hop Devil Grill has decent food and insane wings that are so hot they will make you cry, but it's the great beer selection that keeps me coming back time after time; over the years, every time I went in for a beer I was able to try something new and have a good conversation with the bartender about beer each time I've entered this place, and over the years that's a lot of visits. The atmosphere has always been casual and laid back, which is perfect for a beer bar.
The selection and quality have always been impressive to me, and the bartenders have always been willing to provide a sample and some guidance, which is all you can ask for when goingto a place like this. The prcies are OK and some would say reasonable for NYC, but be prepared to drop some cash for quality beers when you come here.
04-02-2011 05:08:11 |
More by CHickman
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
The place is a must try if you are in the East Village area.
I visited the Hop Devil a few times during my visit to NYC and the East village area. The Hop Devil bar side is a casual bar feel with 24 taps, about 20 bar seats, and 15 or so tables. The bartender was friendly and made good conversation with my wife and I during our visits. The patrons were friendly and seemed like a laid back but beer knowledgeable crowd. Sat next to a beer geek from Oregon and he always comes to this bar during his visits to NYC.
I had several good IPAs during my session (Flower Power, Capn Lawerence, Brooklyn Detonation IIPA). My wife had a Victory Weizenbock and Rochfert 8. The lines seemed clean and the prcies were very reasonable for NYC.
The Belgian Room next store has more of a lounge type feel with a bit more character. The bottle offerings seemed a bit more expensive in price than the draft options. We skipped over the Belgian Room, opted for the Hop Devil twice, and had dinner down at The Bourgeois Pig which also has some nice Belgian selections.
12-03-2010 22:03:09 |
More by unclejimbay
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $$$
This review is for the Belgian Room only.
I went here last night after playing a show nearby. Walked into a dark room with a more traditional bar side and a side with table seating. Granted it was a Tuesday, the place was nice a relatively quiet; I love places like this because (aside from the beer), they don't attract loud groups of people out on the town. We had a very friendly waitress who took good care of us, but apparently there were issues at the bar which kept each round from getting to our table with any rush.
Although they do serve food, we were there for the beer (which I slightly regret, because apparently their pomme frites are great). As we were seated, we got menus, the entire back page of which was their sizable bottle selection of, as expected, almost entirely Belgian imports. Not for getting bottles at bars, we turned sights to the taps, and each got a Tremens, a River Horse Double Wit, and a Jolly Pumpkin Bam Saison. The place also takes care to serve all beers in appropriate glassware.
Definitely going to make the trip back here next time I'm in the city.
07-28-2010 15:23:39 |
More by Sneers
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
After dinner at Resto then beers at Vertigo and Pete's Tavern, my friend and I made it into here for last call this past Tuesday night. When we walked into the Hop Devil side, the bartender was cleaning up and there was no one at the bar. He didn't seem to mind if he served a few last pints to us. Cool looking place, but hard to judge when the lights were off and the place was empty. Great selection of American craft beers. I went with the Lake Placid Honey Rye, which was crisp. Bartender was nice, as he jumped in and told us the cross street for a restaurant my friend and I were trying to remember. It was too late to head into the Belgian Room by that point, but this seemed like a cool place. American brews on one side and Belgian on the other. Enough to satisfy me at least.
07-16-2010 17:35:44 |
More by morebeergood
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$$
Hit up both Hop Devil and the Belgian Room on the 4th of July in NYC with my friend Becky after her brother's wedding the previous day. HD first--about 15 taps and twice as many bottles. Service was great, but we were two of 6 patrons, so I wouldn't have expected anything less. I had a Brooklyn Blast Pale Ale; she ordered a Boulder Flashback. No problems with the tap lines or anything else. Prices were steep, but not overly pricey for New York.
The Belgian Room had a more laid back "opium den" type of vibe. Less taps, but I was excited to see JP's Luciérnaga pouring. Plus the bottled list was pretty extensive with some gems, including Cascade Apricot Ale ($30 for a 750ml bottle!), Kuhnhenn Mayhem ($8.50 per 12oz bottle), Cantillon Gueze 100% Lambic, Cantillon 1900 Grand Cru, Rochefort, and several others. Bartender was friendly and knew his beer fairly well. Good experiences at both, and would gladly revisit.
07-06-2010 05:51:43 |
More by wagenvolks
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5 | $$
Was in town last night strolling the Village with some of my New York City colleagues. They told me if I like beer this is the place to go, and boy they were not kidding. 30 taps I think, with a Green Flash thing going on last night. I had a Hop Head Red for the first time and that was a great experience, and their West Coast IPA was equally delicious. Selection rates a 5 for Green Flash alone, but they also had Stone Old Guardian on tap and Great Divide Old Ruffian! This place is tight with the strong ales. Rogue Shakespeare Stout, Delirium Tremens on their "Belgian Room" side and a locally made ale on cask really rounds out for a great selection.
Rooms are quite spacious and not too crowded. Music was conversation level, with good Blues kickin' it as background. Had some pomme frites which were good with the spicy mayonnaise sauce. Service was solid. Pretty knowledgeable bartender to chat up with, but no beer genius. I could easily spend a few more nights getting to know this place and the East Village, but it'll have to wait until I am back in town. Too bad!
06-23-2010 18:19:20 |
More by rosybottom
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$
Note: i have since spoken to the folks at this bar by their initiative and since I had no time to go back this time around, but I still feel they deserve an upgrade in rating terms of service, but haven't altered the review itself.
So the famous hop devil on the corner of st-mark's and avenue A. by no means a fancy looking place and a rather discrete one, although i liked the wide-open doors approach.
Inside, a ramble, noisy in spite of there not being too many people. disorderly looking and dim lit. Some bare wooden tables all over the place. seems a bit un-cozy for the most part but hey, this is a bar. get over it. i didn't pay much attention to the music because it wasn't loud enough to occlude others' conversations. which seems ok because this should be background music.
We got either the trainee or the lousiest waitress in the history of mankind. she screwed up the next table guy's order on BEER and only told him after he'd already drank it. then their next round she couldn't tell which was which (hey, there were 2 TWO people on the table and one apparently ordered what looked like a porter so one beer was distinctively dark!). I had to basically hunt her down a couple of times to get an order through. and one of the times she apparently supposed we were asking for the bill (halfway through our meal) or she randomly just popped with this leather looking booklet. either way, disgraceful.
Selection is decent, international and random, and solidified by their expanding local brands. however, i don't rate them higher because i'm rather disappointed their beer menu was more of a plain-paper 3-side brochure on which the back was the tequila and wine choices. they seem to love their beers and then they seem to not love their beers. go figure.
food was not bad at all. i had the pork sliders and tried the quesadilla, both of which were very nice and affordable.
indeed a good place but NYC has many, many, many, many better things to offer.
03-23-2010 05:30:55 |
More by Andreji
vibe: 1 | quality: 3 | service: 2 | selection: 2 | food: 1 | $$
Dropped in the Belgian Room for two reasons: 1)A friend said the vibe was good and the barstaff could keep up with the party. 2)The bars next store were crowded and I was in a beer mood without the hassels of being two deep at the bar. WRONG on both accounts.
Very small bar to start. 6 beers on tap and not all are Belgian???? The bottle selection looks good but be prepared for a second and third possibility as the ordering manager is asleep at the wheel. The staples are there-Duvel, Chimay and Stella.
The Drafts and the menu for that matter are more Canadian. Seems to have a small identity crisis. Delirium Tremens on tap is the highlight of the 6 possible taps but the lines seem mucked up as the pouring seems a bit foamy. Nice glassware tho.
The atmosphere was not quite the vibe I was told of. Maybe they had better staff before my arrival. The general feel was lack of interest bordering on stupidity. Not quite sure what the problem was but the feel was lackluster.
The highlight of the stay was the chalkboard on the sidewalk. Creative. The location wasn't bad as the wine bar next door was packed. With Women. Can't say I'll be back with better establishments in the city.
03-20-2010 01:32:34 |
More by DiggityDankster
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
Price: Don't remember specifics, but quite normal for high quality craft brews.
Location: East part of St. Mark's Place in East Village. If nothing else, this neighborhood is great, with all kinds of amazing food. The hot dogs next door are excellent, and there the two beers are Dale's Pale Ale and PBR. Trendy.
Atmosphere: Came here twice, Thursday and Friday.
Thursday: Less crowded. Older crowd. Better music - 90s hard rock at a reasonable volume. Waiter was extra-nice guy who sat w/ us and discussed beer selection, made suggestions, and brought samples. Had an excellent time on Thursday.
Friday: Crowded. Seemed fratty, or something. Maybe they let the NYU kids out on Fridays or something. The music was crap - Kid Rock, Creed, etc. and much louder than it was Thursday.
Both times, the place looks like a sports bar, and TVs everywhere showing sports. Seems to clash with the taste of a serious barley wine or oaked stout, but on Thursday, I was able to ignore the TVs.
Beer: Excellent selection of local and far away craft brews. Only the most interesting. Some of the names are hard to decipher (as they often are), but the waiter/bartender on both nights was able to give me lots of information. Appropriate glassware. Remember specifically they had two really nice barley wines (Speakeasy, and something else), a great Boulder (obvoid?) stout, an excellent imperial IPA, and a wide selection of other styles. Quite impressive selection.
Overall: I highly suggest coming here on Sunday-Thursday, as I think the atmosphere caters to a much younger crowd (who don't need my review to convince them whether to roll out of their apartments to this bar). The service was excellent and knowledgeable, and the beers were a great selection from a variety of reputable (mostly?) American brewers. There's a nice hookah bar down the street too (to the west), which doesn't hurt the evening for me, either.
11-26-2009 07:01:23 |
More by FretlessC
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Hop Devil Grill & Belgian Room in New York, NY