Drink Here Now: The Commons Chelsea

Drink Here Now is an ongoing series highlighting hidden gem finds in NYC.

A trio of lifelong friends who used to run Organicoa at Hudson River Park came north and east a bit last year to open The Commons Chelsea. Named after the mates’ high school cafeteria, this version of The Commons is anything but institutional (even though it does have a chalkboard). A quad of wood slab tables and counter stools are somehow arranged in front of the white-tiled counter so that there’s room to relax, albeit just for a handful of folks.

More coffee shop than full-on bar, The Commons’ tiny wine and beer list is nonetheless great (beer taps were installed this February). The three handles currently pouring are Lagunitas IPA, Victory Prima Pils and Sixpoint Sweet Action, and half-pints start at just $4 (full pours are $7–$8). The cans of Butternuts Porkslap, Blue Point Toasted Lager and Sankaty Light are also good brew alternatives.

On the wine side, three whites, three reds and a rosé (all European) join a sparkling option by the glass, plus one special bottle selection — right now it’s Senorio de P. Pecinia Rioja Reserva 2001. That bottle goes for $75, but the glass pours are much more reasonable, coming in at $9–$11. House sangria is also on offer for a quick summer cooldown. The service matches the reserve bottle — it’s elegant and refined without any pretense.

Crostini by chef Sarah Wallace are the perfect accompaniment — everyone raves over the simple and delicious avocado toasts. Other snacks include chili-garlic wings, housemade pretzel bites and a cheese and charcuterie board. If you need that extra caffeine kick to get you back on track after your sips, the espresso drinks (made with La Colombe beans) are some of the most expertly-pulled around.

The beer list and the atmosphere, combined with the quality of the coffee and food, make stopping in for a quick sip totally worth your while. If you find yourself in Chelsea, drink here now.

128 7th Ave.; 212-929-9333

Open 7 AM–11 PM, Monday–Wednesday; 7 AM–2 AM, Thursday; 9 AM–2 AM, Friday–Saturday; 9 AM–10 PM, Sunday

Top photo by Danya Henninger

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