A fixture in Vegas for more than 14 years, the Double Down Saloon is now firmly in the East Village, too. The outpost on Avenue A has been open for about two months and, we'll be honest, this week wasn't our first visit- when you have a negotiable day job and a new bar offers a 12 noon to 7pm happy hour, you get acquainted quickly. Especially when the house beer, the Double Down, is a really lovely India Pale Ale (more agreeable we might agrue, than our own Brooklyn's version) and $3 all the time.
Between visits the crowds have changed a bit, too, as the bar is the former home of Julep (and the dearly missed seafood Black Pearl within), which appealed to a different crowd than appreciates a mural that involves the phrase "You puke, you clean." Like in Vegas, this place is louder, and more geared towards the loud- the jukebox is filled with punk and rivals anything at the Library, also across the street. The lovely bartender, Jaime, who also works at Movida, worked at the original and came for the launch. She's happy that everything here, including a pool table, a questionable bathroom, and Monopoly pinball machine comes withut the smoking and gambling. New here is a decent sized patio, open now til 9 pm, perhaps later if we are nice, and the amazing, risque mural by Terry McElroy. Most beers are $4-5, but if you want to try something stronger, the signature Bloody Mary is made with bacon-infused vodka that makes it a full and hearty breakfast (full disclosure: the writer is kosher enough not to be able to try this so we foisted it upon a friend). Also, and dirtier, is the Bacon Martini. If you need bar food, check the candy machines by the juke -- peanuts and pistachios are available for a quarter a handful. Just don't (please don't) ask what is in the Ass Juice.
Double Down Saloon
14 Avenue A, between 1st and Second Streets