Village Pourhouse, Hoboken

I knew I had to check it out eventually. This mass-produced chain bar is not a bad place, really. It just has no personality to speak of.


No, seriously. Village Pourhouse (205 First St, Hoboken) is an OK place. In fact, the service is great. Prices are decent. Plenty of specials. Friendly staff. So whats the problem? The place itself has no personality. It’s ripe with that mass-produced atmosphere. Cold. Sleek. Hip. Perfect. It’s a pub in the way that The Olive Garden is an Italian restaurant.

So why am I here? Because I’d heard from a friend that there was to be some live, original music. Besides, what kind of a purveyor of nightlife would I be if I passed judgment on a place without walking thru the door? So here I am.

The former home of O’Donoghue’s is this brightly lit, open space with one big-ass bar in the middle and a ton of widescreen TVs everywhere. Off to the rear/left of the place was the stage, much in the same spot it had been. It was set up high, near a more intimate lounge area and the sound was pretty good. Not too loud, clear, crisp.

I was actually willing to forgive all the coldness of the place because of the way the band was set up. That is until I found out that this night of live music was beyond a rarity. The bartender said that they actually never have live music here.

What was so special about this night, then? Well, it turns out that I have distanced myself so much from the tourist traps of certain drinking holidays, that I had completely forgotten that it was Fat Tuesday. Tonight was the bar’s Mardi Gras party.

Even if it were not for the holiday, this place would be fine for any kind of party. There are different rooms to accommodate different celebrations. There’s a large variety of beer on tap and their Guinness is poured well (an important gauge for me). I hadn’t eaten anything, but I heard from patrons that the food is OK, typical bar/grill fare.

Like I said, it’s not a bad place. It’s just a too shopping-mall chic for my taste. However, if they keep the live, original bands as a regular feature, this place could actually become an important part of the Hoboken music scene. No, seriously.

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Village Pourhouse


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