The West Village’s Otheroom is a neighborhood bar for a neighborhood that has become, block-for-block, the poshest in Manhattan. (Even the most aristocratic stretches of the Upper East Side can’t compete with the West Village’s celebrity baby-strolling and Bleecker Street blitz of designer boutiques.) Hidden on pretty, residential Perry Street and serving only wine and beer—no liquor, per owner Craig Weiss’s frat-free vision of “casual”—the Otheroom has quietly become popular with locals over the past seven years, attracting both small groups of friends and third dates that seem destined for make-out sessions. Exposed brick walls, mood lighting, and a back room ringed in plush banquettes create Weiss’s hybrid classy-cozy atmosphere. The vast beer list helps too—there are 10 beers on tap, including Hefeweizen ($6) and Chimay ($8), and up to 35 different bottled varieties. No PBR cans. No Jaeger shots. No snack mix. Personable bartenders and a gentle indie-rock soundtrack complete the picture. And it’s coming soon to a luxe neighborhood near you: Weiss has built a miniature empire of three “Rooms” in New York, one in Miami, and an L.A. outpost that opened just a few weeks ago, so loyalists can sip Chardonnay to the Shins on either coast.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on March 1, 2005