By Meredith Heil
Fool’s Gold is basically the beer bar equivalent of a fantasy band. A mishmash of local craft rockstars (Idle Hands, The Jeffrey, Alewife) opened the Lower East Side haunt in 2013, combining their passion for great beer and food with an aesthetic that fits the hipper-than-hip neighborhood.
Big, open windows welcome Houston Street passersby inside, where 30 rotating taps, a vast array of high end liquors and $1 happy hour oysters make them stay for hours. An enormously long bar with plenty of seating takes up most of the dimly lit space. A row of tap handles shine at the center, set under an adorable series of shabby chic windows displaying a chalked-on beer list. The bar empties out into a decent sized dining room stashed at the back of the restaurant, decked out tastefully with tall, rugged communal tables lined with chemistry class-style stools. A cutaway window exposes a small kitchen, which gives the cavernous space a warm, comforting feel – a great match for the dinner menu, which features updated classics like shoestring truffle fries and a mean BLT. The neighborhood is mixed, as is the vibe, with a decent amount of post-work, loosened tie folks, young hipsters in cut-offs and vests and 30-somethings on candlelit dates. A diverse crowd, of course, means satisfying lots of needs, and the sports bar-quality flat screen TVs contrast a bit too harshly with the ceiling’s eclectic patchwork of pressed tin.
What’s the absolute best part about Fool’s Gold? The location, hands down. Perched on E. Houston and Eldrige, the bar is smack dab next door to my favorite NYC movie theatre, Sunshine Cinemas, making it a natural a pre- or post-movie go-to. The next time you’re catching the latest Lena Dunham/Noah Baumbach/Wes Anderson indie darling, grab a few Peekskill Simple Sours and an order of deviled eggs before the show. You won’t regret it.
Fool’s Gold is located at 145 E Houston St. in Manhattan. Closest subway is the F train at 2nd Avenue.