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.
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