Arts & Crafts

Photo courtesy of Arts & Crafts

Photo courtesy of Arts & Crafts

1135 Amsterdam Ave at 116th St, Morningside Heights

The Place: A cozy beer bar right by Columbia.

The Great Pumpkin Ale at Arts and Crafts

The Great Pumpkin Ale at Arts and Crafts

The Time: Tuesday November 7, 7pm. I had an audition nearby, so I asked my friend at Columbia Law School for one of her favorite spots to drink. (She’s a law student, so she needs to drink.)

The Vibe: It’s a disgusting rainy day so I go down a set of stairs and enter this small(ish) homey bar. Everything is wooden. It feels like a collegiate Leaky Cauldron* but not magic and better lit. There's exposed brick, a fireplace, those weird stained glass ceiling lamps, all wooden tap handles, chalkboards. These bar stools have backs, so they’re like real chairs! There are lots of groups of friends at various tables so it’s busy but not packed. I’m the only one at the bar. I definitely feel like a college student, drinking near Columbia, with my beanie, backpack, youthful look and jaded demeanor.

The Bartender: There are two and they’re both white dudes wearing plaid. “How aggressively spiced is the pumpkin ale?” is a question I actually ask the one in blue plaid. He makes a face and says he’s not a fan, but he’ll give me a taste. I try it. “I can get down with that,” I say, and he looks genuinely surprised. Can’t agree with everyone I guess.

The Drank: The aforementioned pumpkin beer is The Great Pumpkin Ale from Elysian Brewing. Tis the season, bitches. But if pumpkin beer’s not your thing, like the blue plaid guy, they have 24 beers on tap plus many more by the bottle.

Was I Hit On? No. At one point, a guy sets up shop with his laptop smack in the middle of the bar, and I’m filled with a little dread. But nothing happens. 10 points for Gryffindor.

Should You Drink Here Alone? Sure. Arts and Crafts is a comfy spot for a pint by yourself or with friends. Sorry, it won’t be a butterbeer.

*that’s a Harry Potter reference, in case you’re a muggle