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d.b.a. - 41 Reviews - 41 1st Ave, New York, NY - Bars, Pubs & Clubs Reviews - Phone (212) 475-5097


41 1st Ave (at Btwn 2nd and 3rd Sts, East Village & NoHo)
New York, NY 10003
(212) 475-5097
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Bars, Pubs & Clubs , Restaurants

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Food & Dining


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When you read about d.b.a. there's the feeling it could possibly be the greatest bar in New York City. Then you walk through the door and get ignored by an inattentive staff. P...


The bar staff in this place is pretty stupid and slow but the beers are fairly unusual. Overall, it's sort of a dump but good for a dirty night out on a whim. Dont wear nice clo...

Dont Waste Your Time.... 12/8/2010

I love beer, and love beer bars. more

Avoid the tattooed bus ""boy"" 10/19/2010

I've been going here off and on since the mid-90s but it's definitely seen better days. The selection looks great on the chalkboards, but good luck hearing if it's actually in stock. But the cask ales are great. more

Don't bother 3/3/2010

I ignored the negative reviews and regret it. Went with a group of friends primed to enjoy a night of bourbon. d.b.a. was pretty empty on wednesday night, which was good, but it had that sour fraternity basement smell of beer and piss. Drinks were ordered but the manhattans were the worst we'd had; the beer was fine. We moved on and had the late arrivals meet us elsewhere. Pros: it was open Cons: everything else more

5 Stars For Selection, ZERO Stars For Service 3/6/2009

When you read about d.b.a. there's the feeling it could possibly be the greatest bar in New York City. Then you walk through the door and get ignored by an inattentive staff. Pros: Drink Selection, Location, Outdoor space Cons: Terrible, terrible, terrible service more

great selection, poor service 1/6/2009

worst service is empty and it takes 5 minutes to flag down the bar tender who is having a personal conversation with friends Pros: good tap selection Cons: POOR serivce, attitude from staff more

Beer lovers dream 10/16/2008

not quite on par with the Blind Tiger but definitely takes second place for beer geeks. gets really packed in summer, but well worth it. alot of really good bars in the lower east side and this is one of them. definitely go by here if you love beer, hop devil (i heard that may have closed tho), east village tavern if you go to the alphabet streets, stanton public, spitzers corner, great bar crawl, & since I live in the neighborhood will I be hitting these spots regularly, yeah! Pros: beers beers beers & whiskey!! Cons: packed in the summer (but thats kind of a good thing) more

AVOID AT ALLL COST!!! 7/31/2008

i generally love the LES bars for its relaxed and friendly atmosphere but THIS BAR WAS NEITHER OF THE 2, I have never met any more ruder waitresses/bartenders in my life. To get a drink by the bar you had to wait over 15 mins (and it wasn?t because the bar was overly crowded) I will never be going back to this bar again. more

Disgusted 7/27/2008

I have been reading these reviews for awhile but have never been compelled to write one until now. I went to d.b.a last week just looking for a low key place to have a drink. The bouncer at the door was beyond rude to me for no apparent reason. After I entered not saying a word in response to his comments, although now I wish I would have, he came back to find me to now humiliate me in front of my friends and complete strangers. I will never go back and even though this rant won't do much I just needed to put the word out there. What a mean, miserable person and I am beyond angry that he ruined my night. more

Excellent selection, very drunk people. 4/22/2008

My wife and I went to this place over the weekend and sat in the garden. It was extremely busy, but the service was fine. In fact, we were very impressed by how much our waitress knew about the beer selection and even more impressed by how many beers she could carry on one tray. The bad part about this place were the group of drunk men sitting at the table next to us. They were extremely loud and rude. One guy ran into the waitress, spilling an entire tray of beers on her and then not did not even apologize for his behavior. From reading other reviews on here I really wonder if it is the employees with the problem or the clientele. We probably will go back, but we will avoid the fraternity tables. Pros: Great outdoor area, knowledgeable staff. Cons: Drunk and loud people everywhere. more

Great beer and hardworking staff. 4/22/2008

I have been going to this bar for a year now and what I've noticed is that people get impatient when the weather gets warmer. This place gets ridiculously packed b/c of the outdoor garden; this means new people come by the hordes and they expect fast food style service (my way, right away). A couple of days ago I waited in the busy bar (five people deep) no longer than ten minutes for a drink and I saw people behaving terribly towards the bartenders. It's no wonder some of the staff loses their temper. I saw one drunk guy yell ""hey b***"" to a bartender after only waiting about two minutes for a drink. I know this place before the summer rush and I really like the staff and know they are doing their best. I will go back every time with patience and understanding. Pros: Great selection. Cons: Very crowded at peak hours and days so be prepared to wait. more

Meanest bartender in NY 4/17/2008

...and not in a ""NY attitude"" kind of way. THE WORST SERVICE IN NYC. The meanest bartender I have ever had in 10yrs in NYC. I like their garden and have been repeatedly. The last time I went, the skinny little bartender with the beret was not just rude, she was horribly mean. She yelled at the men next to me when they raised their hands to get her attention and told them not to tell her how to do her job. When I asked for my bill a second time (15 mins after I asked the 1st time) she screamed at me and said that everyone was yelling at her. Honey pie- we all have bad days at work. And clearly you think yours is the hardest. However, in our society most people aren't crazy enough to take it out on all of the customers. As long as they have a psychotic bartender with a nasty temper, I will not go back. more

Good luck 4/15/2008

There seems to be a theme on this page that the bartenders at DBA score consistently low marks. It's NYC, so I don't have a problem with rude, but I do have a problem with someone being inattentive and at the end of the day simply not doing their job. I'd read the review of the bar mainly to get the location and had planned to ignore the other negative reviews once getting to the bar. I remained invisible to the bartenders for at least 15 minutes which is hard to achieve for someone who's 6'4"". They passed the time by serving themselves drinks and avoiding eye contact as they walked from one end of the bar to the other while I stood clearly in the center, next to the taps, where drinks come from. It was as though the bar was being run by bitter ex-girlfriends. A paragraph already and I haven't once mentioned the drinks they serve. From what I saw they have a great selection of beers, but that means f-all if I can't buy any of them. Pros: Good beer selection Cons: Indifferent service more

bad service 3/31/2008

Yes, I must say, I agree with the reviewers about rude bartenders. I like the ambience of this place, but there's a deep contradiction between the friendly, low key, decor and the attitude of some of the bartenders. Who needs to be hassled when you are paying 6 dollars plus for a beer. I don't know if it starts with hthe bartenders or the management or what, but here's something seriously wrong with this bar somewhere. more

Rude Bartenders 3/30/2008

I have going to d.b.a. for many years now. I concur with the reviewer below that their service has completely gone down hill, for a long time now. The bartenders all seem to feel like that have to show the customers that they're ""oh so cool."" They give you attitude from the moment you walk in the door. They ignore you when you come in and you wait ten minutes for them to even acknowledge you presence. This is true even though they are not serving anyone else. They wil stand and chat to the person right next to you, while ignoring you, or just walk around, but not take your order or even look at you and say they're going to help you in a minute. Even if the bar is empty, they'll come up with a way not to take your order, for ten minutes (literally, this is not an exaggeration). Pros: Extensive beer and liquor selection (but often don't have things listed on the board) Cons: The rudest bartenders in the city, horrible service. Also very loud atmosphere. more

Impossible. 2/16/2008

Ok, I have really tried to give this place a chance. I mean, it's a cool bar with an outdoor patio and one of the most impressive selections of beer from all around the world......but honestly, anyone who has been here once or twice will agree that the staff is among the worst in the city. I suppose I believe my opinion should especially count because I myself am a bartender and have lived in the city (and dealt with the restaurant industry here) for many years. I can't figure out if they are just incapable or completely unconcerned with making money because every time I've been there it's the same story, you will wait an average of 5 to 10 minutes before any of them so much as acknowledge your presence-even when it's not busy-- at all. Then, if you order a bottle of beer advertised on the chalkboard and they'll try to give you whatever other beer will not require a trip to the basement to find. They never smile or act the least bit interested in any customers that are not part of their rock-n-roll too-cool-for-school clique. In addition, go in on any Friday or Saturday night and you'll see the bartenders disappear for 10 minutes and reappear bouncing off the walls and dancing to no music at all. Draw your own conclusions though it seems so obvious it's embarassing. Where is the owner of this place and why don't they care about their bar?? Their staff have ruined d.b.a.'s reputation and I am sad that the owner could care less. In short, only go to this place if you are genuinely into masochist mistreatment from pretentious staff. Sorry to be so harsh but really my words are deserved. Go there and you will agree. Actually, spare your self-dignity to Spuyten-Duyvil instead. Pros: beer selection if the staff feels like searching for the bottle or changing the keg. Cons: service- pretentious, apathetic, incapable service. more

D-on't B-other A-sking... for a drink 2/9/2008

It'll take you 15 minutes to pull the bartender's attention away from his friends, and another 5 to get served. If you go there with a group of friends, and don't mind waiting, they have a great selection of beer and scotch. It's always crowded so make it an early destination on one of your east village bar-crawls. That way you can order your drink and by the time your friends arrive, so will your beverage. Okay, I'm being a bit harsh. (Just a little) But just know what to expect when you go there. If you're prepared, it can be a great time. Pros: beer, well made drinks, spacious Cons: sometimes rude staff more

not justified 10/29/2007

While the drink selection looked promising enough, I couldn't justify spending any money here b/c the staff was so rude from the moment we walked in, starting with the miserable, moody bouncer who set the tone for the rest of the limited time we ended up spending here. If you've resigned yourself to working in a crowded, loud space, don't take it out on the patrons. more

WOW!!! 7/6/2007

Really bad service.... more

TONS of BEER, beautiful outside garden you can smoke at 5/6/2007

the place is really cool, diverse crowd hanging out, tons of beer, although very few on tap, u can get a bottle of pretty much anything belgium or german. the patio was kick asss. i sat out there and smoked a couple of cigs. aparently the service is bad- they did seem like a bunch of grumpy moody bitchy unfriendly ladies but they got me my beer when i asked for it, but again the place was not very busy at 2pm on a sunday, but by 3pm the garden was filling up, it was 65F outside and sunny. the garden is truly a little quiet oasis in the city. i'm coming back for sure. Pros: sunday 2pm- $5 pints Cons: unhappy bartender chicks more

Great beer; slow service 4/24/2007

I took a first date here and we had a great time over our pints. However, the time spent at the bar to get the bartender's attention could have been spent out in the garden with my date. Sit at the bar for faster service and a friendlier disposition. Pros: great beer selection Cons: slow, miserable service more
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Menu for d.b.a.

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  • Deep brown and amber hues spill across this quintessential East Village beer bar as if some of its kegs have sprung leaks. Above the heavy brick and dark wood bar hangs a daunting row of...

  • 5/22/2006 Provided by Citysearch

Additional information

  • Hours:

    1 pm-4 am
  • Payments:

    Master Card, Visa, American Express, Discover
  • Neighborhoods:

    Downtown, East Village