The Immigrant. Walking home one evening (same route for the past 8 months), I spotted a well-dressed couple having beer in the dimly lit, exposed brick, rich wood interior of the bar. Before that moment, I have NEVER seen the bar and had to do a double-take to make sure I was seeing right. It was like Hogsmead from Harry Potter, a make-believe bar in a make-believe place.
Opened about three months ago by Jason (who actually used to live in the building above the bar), The Immigrant is exactly what East Village needs--a quiet, musky, East London-reminiscent, The Smiths-playing relaxing spot to grab a pint or glass anytime after 5 until 4 a.m. The Immigrant is extremely understated inside and out. You probably would miss it on the street if it wasn't for the giant glass window, and the inside fits about 30 people comfortably. In the back are intimate candle-lit booths and the front is a high bar with stools. Feels rich minus the snootiness.
I don't drink much wine, but the red I ordered was delicious ($9/glass). There are two beers on tap, Rare Vos and a Six Point ($6). Jason plans to change the taps seasonally and kindly let us try his next considerations Brooklyn Summer and some Belgian beer which I preferred more. Bottles include Schneider Weisse, Three Philosophers, Amstel Light, Guiness and Harp. Its a tight selection but everything on it is AWESOME. My most memorable part about The Immigrant is the modest selection of finger foods like dried fruit, assorted bruschetta and anchovies and toast which goes perfectly with the wine and beer.
Jason now lives in Williamsburg and told us he misses the East Village. Now with his gem of a bar, there is more to love about this neighborhood. I have been to The Immigrant three times in the last month and that is a lot to say about any NYC bar.
341 East 9th Street