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“My favorite of the Bar & Books franchise” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hudson Bar & Books

Hudson Bar & Books
636 Hudson St, New York City, NY (West Village)
212-229-2642
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Ranked #538 of 1,633 things to do in New York City
Attraction details
New York City, New York
Top Contributor
751 reviews 751 reviews
405 attraction reviews
Reviews in 63 cities Reviews in 63 cities
441 helpful votes 441 helpful votes
“My favorite of the Bar & Books franchise”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2013

Hudson Bar & Books is a throwback in a number of ways. In a day when so many businesses bend over backwards to be inoffensive and accommodate the customer any way they can, Hudson B&B makes you meet it halfway. This is partly a reflection of the owner, who is a true character: he really sees himself as the restaurateur equivalent of James Bond.

And yes, Hudson is a cigar bar. You would be surprised how many people come having heard about the wonderful cocktails the bar serves, get there and after ordering will look around, see a couple dozen people smoking cigarettes and cigars, and say, "hey, I thought people weren't allowed to smoke in bars in NYC any more!" But that is what it is about, so if that is not your thing, there are any number of hundreds of bars to accommodate you.

And yes also, the drinks are expensive. And if you smoke and don't purchase a cigar from the bar, you will be charged a smoking cover charge - but theirs is lower than what other places charge - just $5. So if you go there and you get a couple glasses of wine and smoke your own cigar, and then your tab is high, please don't be surprised. There are many many other bars/clubs where you can pay as much or more and not have the privilege to smoke.

It does get quite crowded pretty much any night of the week. But I count that a positive: I have met and talked with some of the most interesting people I've met anywhere in NYC there. There are also snobs - regular customers who buy into their own hype of how impressive and hip they are - but with all the other people, you can easily avoid them.

Visited June 2012
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13 reviews from our community

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English first
NY
Top Contributor
178 reviews 178 reviews
68 attraction reviews
Reviews in 50 cities Reviews in 50 cities
74 helpful votes 74 helpful votes
“Whiskey and smoke”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2013

Cigar smokers in NY have fewer and fewer places to indulge. Hudson Bar and Books, one of several owned by the Bar and Books chain, is one of the better ones, small but sophisticated. It's a return to the type of oak-and-leather lounge that has all but disappeared from the city, at least where smokers are concerned. It has a variety of interesting cocktails, whiskeys, other alcoholic beverages and a small snacking menu. It's on the steep side - a glass of wine can run $13 to $17, and you can easily get a bottle of same for the same price at a liquor store. But you're paying for the ambiance and a place to smoke. This branch is not particularly well-ventilated; your clothes will probably come out smelling like smoke. But the atmosphere is worth it: low-key; jazz and gentle, older pop standards on the speakers; James Bond movies playing with the sound off on the TV. (You can actually get a Vesper here, his signature cocktail. Not many bartenders today have even heard of it.) Outdoor tables in the warmer weather, enclosed when it's cooler. Well worth it, a great way to while away an afternoon.

Visited April 2013
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Hartford, Connecticut
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
14 attraction reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“One of the best of the few (cigar bars in NYC)”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2013 via mobile

I have been to all 3 of their NYC locations and would rank this 2nd behind the Beekman location which has more seating space. There's a nice couch in the back of the Hudson location but it's always the first to go. We sat at the bar; great bartenders. Wish we had a table though, the cocktail waitresses in the little red dresses are a nice touch.

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New York City, New York
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Ridiculous price for a regular glass of Pino Grigio!”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2013

The waitress not only lacked the courtesy to tell us the glass was over $20 but she kept pouring mine half empty. After three glasses each we got a ridiculous $$$ bill and were charged for the tap water. Are you serious???

Visited August 2012
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England
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Lovely find”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2012

Cocktails were absolutely amazing, but very very expensive. Only visited once during our stay, would have gone back if a bit cheaper.

Visited September 2012
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