It’s hard not to feel conflicted about hanging out at a bar like Croxley Ales. On one hand, it’s a mini-chain (with two other locations on Long Island) whose East Village spot looks like it was designed by the folks at Disney. The dark-wood-walled, “authentic” English-pub interior, with high-backed benches and gothic-style chandeliers, could probably be torn apart as quickly as it seems to have been put together. Customers, predominately young, upwardly mobile professionals, just love their sports, and the bar accommodates with a TV in almost every corner. If a place like this can be packed on a Sunday evening—it was game three of the Yankees–Red Sox series—on Avenue B, how long will it be before a T.G.I. Friday’s pops up across the street? On the other hand (while boasting that they don’t carry Bud, Miller, or Coors), they do offer 30 international ales and lagers on draft, 75 unusual selections by the bottle, and a decent assortment of wines, whiskeys, and Scotches. The Hacker Pschorr ($6), a German wheat beer served in a tall glass with lemon, tastes especially refreshing on the gigantic, three-tiered outdoor deck, where you can lean back in a comfy wooden chair and gaze up at the wide-open sky. And then there’s the wings—slathered in barbecue sauce, spicy, delicious, and just 20 cents apiece all day on Sundays, 10 cents from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays. How guilty should you feel about indulging in all of this? Think of it as a summer fling—something you can put behind you once Labor Day arrives.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 27, 2004