510 Hudson St., New York, NY, 10014
nr. Christopher St.
By darlingc on 6/17/2009
Surprised by the other reviews, but it's clearly not for everyone. And why should it be? This is NYC, the customer is not always right and not everyone should get in easily. A speakeasy created for & by the service industry, if you happen to appreciate a dimlit, lowkey but stylish atmosphere with excellent food that's not trying too hard- this is the place. With a true top shelf, mustachioed barbacks and a last call ritual that includes Tom Waits & complimentary chicken soup passed out like communion, you never know who's gracing the next barstool. The crowd is as eclectic as the city itself, and unsurprisingly- pedestrians and wannabes might have more complaints than artists and jetsetters. Like everything in this city, best enjoyed during the week. My new favorite spot.
By tommyboy72 on 9/12/2010
My wife & i were looking for something special in the West Village, and Employees Only did not dissapoint. The food service was friendly & prompt. We found the menu & quality of food excellent. Chesapeak bay oysters were totally amazing. Both dishes were very very well prepared, (i had the rainbow trout, my wife the chicken). After dinner we moved down to the bar and mingled with an upbeat & individual crowd. I would certainly go back. Dissapointed i have to leave this town.
By JoP on 9/22/2009
Well mixed inventive cocktails; funky music; friendly atmosphere. Good for dinner, better for an after dinner sharpner when you're just not ready to go home late. Can be very overcrowded.
By rte76 on 4/25/2007
EO has become more popular over the past year or so and the weekends have become somewhat of a zoo. This is a fantastic place to meet friends for a drink (some of the coolest bartenders in town and they have pretty interesting moustaches) or have brunch/dinner (great menu). I would recommend going during the week to avoid the mess and the doorman, who is probably the only downfall of the place. Surprisingly, management has not realized what he does or says to customers entering the restaurant. Frankly, he is a very mean spirited person and on several occasions has grabbed a few girls. Other than that, this place is pretty legit but you have been warned about the doorman.
By LZA on 3/9/2009
Went late on a Friday night so I guess any complaints about the rude crowd are my own fault. But most places going for a sophisticated atmosphere and that level of professionalism will limit the number of people inside, so I was dismayed to find the place fire hazard crowded, smelly and unpleasant. Watery pisco sour, overly sweet manhattan. I'll give it another try during the week to see if the cocktails improve when the crowd diminishes.
By fg22 on 6/30/2011
Ever since I bought their book, yes the owners wrote a book on cocktail building, I have wanted to visit their establishment to witness the craft in action. Their philosophy is that fresh ingredients, select liquors, and the "building" (or actual making) of the the drink is what sets them apart as premier bartenders. Unfortunately, I did not find this to be the actual case. Granted, it was cocktail week, the bar was crowded, and neither Jason or Dushan (the owners) made my drink. [Dushan was behind the bar, though.] Without telling a story, simply put, the drinks did not measure up. I watched my bartender pour Pueblo Viejo when the recipe called for Don Julio, ginger beer (sweet) when the recipe called for ginger ale; it seemed just slapped together. Of the two drinks ordered (Tequila Go-To and Quiet Storm) there was no balance, the liquor was lost, and there was no "pop", as they would describe in their book. My wife and I had two alcoholic ginger beers. Any college bartender could provide the same. Thus, my high hopes weren't met. If you go, go when you wouldn't expect it to be crowded, and have your drinks made by the owners. Maybe your experience will be different.
By anthony_vincent on 6/8/2007
I used to be a regular at EO and would frequent the place about 2-3x a week. Didn't have a problem getting past the doorman on weekdays. On the weekend if I brought more than 1 guest, then it was a different story. The place has been getting overly crowded, which makes it tougher for people to get in. On these occasions, the doorman would usually make it difficult for my guests. Tian (door man) is unprofessional, short tempered, ill-mannered, and portrays a bad image for the bar. I have spoken to Henry about this problem, but they choose to turn a blind eye. Having been in the bar business, management should understand that regulars are a bars lifeline, long after the popularity factor goes away. I understand that they are going for an air of exclusivity, but they could do much better than by having a prick regulate the door of this small joint. Other than that, the place is great. Good food, good drinks, good atmosphere inside. Chicken noodle soup at the end of the night is a good nightcap. Too many other places in NY to spend your money.
By boneville on 3/17/2012
I came here Friday March 9th with my girlfriend to celebrate her new job. We have been coming to Employees Only for years, although mostly for drinks, and we like the atmosphere. We had dinner (she had fish) and champagne to cheer at the end and paid $265. The next morning, my girlfriend woke up with food poisoning. She had to stay in bed without being able to eat absolutely nothing until Monday. This should not happen anywhere but even less in a place like this. Not good Employees Only.
By RestaurantLuvr on 8/27/2008
We went in here late one night after a few hours of heavy imbibing. We were obnoxious and the bartender/owner was obviously irritated with how loud we were (admittedly!). When the credit card bill arrived the charge was almost $200, even though we had only been there a short time. We asked the credit card company to investigate. Apparently, the bartender/owner decided to compensate himself by tacking on an additional $100 tip! Needless to say, we will not be going back.
Picnics with a view, roller-skating nostalgia, and a party for gay headbangers.