The Cellar

By Dane Feldman.

Photo by Dane Feldman.

Beecher’s Handmade Cheese sits in plain site on Broadway in the Flatiron District of New York City. But downstairs, in the fully functional cheese cellar sits The Cellar, a lively and bustling, yet intimate and seemingly secret spot perfect for happy hour.

Beecher’s Handmade Cheese has one other location: the famous Pike Place Market in Seattle, Washington, but you wouldn’t know it by the looks of The Cellar, a dimly lit, rustically decorated, honest-to-goodness cellar. This place could be located anywhere, but the idea of a duplicate? Impossible. That’s because The Cellar’s only location is in New York, despite Beecher’s other location nearly 3,000 miles away.

The Cellar’s drinks menu, too, is one of a kind. In addition to offering nearly 50 different spirits, the bar also offers about 50 American wines including a brut from Domaine Carneros, a winery I visited in Napa a few years ago. I can attest to the fact that this is the good stuff.

Fear not, beer drinkers, The Cellar also offers seven beers.

As for the cocktails, the drinks menu boasts “right now cocktails,” which seem to change every so often. Right now, this section includes the Toy Fair (Four Roses bourbon, Spring44 gin, lime, Angostura bitters, and ginger brew), Teddy’s Tea (Rittenhouse rye , muddled orange, mint simple syrup, and iced tea), and the Daniel Burnham (El Dorado rum, grapefruit, Luxardo maraschino, ginger, and lime), not to mention five other “right now cocktails.” The menu also offers six “always cocktails,” which aren’t too shabby either.

If you are lucky enough to have time to take the plunge down into The Cellar from somewhere between 3-7 pm any day of the week, you’ll find yourself met by a small, yet satisfying happy hour menu. For just $5 patrons can snag a bartender’s choice cocktail. During my visit it was peach-infused vodka with cinnamon and club soda, a drink I wouldn’t ordinarily order, yet found myself ordering another round almost instantly.

The menu also offers a $6 glass of either chardonnay or cabernet sauvignon. For $7, patrons can order one of two salads or for $8, either mac and cheese or a cheese plate. Considering the fact that The Cellar is a cheese cellar and the fact that Beecher’s Handmade Cheese is award winning, I would suggest the cheese plate when the happy hour munchies come along (not to mention another round of the bartender’s choice).