Reunion Bar is a new entrant in the Hell's Kitchen bar scene. It replaced the cool and slightly chicer-than-thou Kemia Bar below Marseille Restaurant on the corner of 44th and 9th. I met up with LM there last week to check out what this new place was all about.
It's billed as a surfer bar, and you definitely do get the surfer vibe. The space is friendly and upbeat, with a bar and a few high tables sprinkled about. There are surfer scenes playing on the flat screens on the wall. The servers wear short shorts and look plucked straight from the Venice Beach boardwalk (is there a boardwalk on Venice Beach? I don't know). Everyone is kind of chilled out, or at least the Manhattan version of chilled out, which is still pretty amped up in the overall scheme of things.
Anyway, how were the drinks? Creative, and really darn good. LM and I both went for their frozen cocktails, which are their specialty, this being something of a tiki bar (kind of). LM chose the Reunion Sunrise, which is like a tequila sunrise but with a twist: tequila, mango puree, fresh lime, grand marnier, and raspberry puree. Delicious, and pretty to boot.
Mine was a twist on the pina colada: the Coco Loco. Rum, fresh lime juice, coconut cream, pineapple, cherry heering, and amaretto made up this snow-white concoction. It was scrumptious, tasty but a little bit more nuanced than your typical straight-up-coconut pina colada. While you could certainly taste the booze, this ended up not being all that strong in the end, which is good or bad, depending on your mindset (and body composition).
Reunion also offers a line of creative small plates, from fish tacos to fried cheese to riblets. We didn't partake, but the plates parading past us looked pretty good. Most of the small plates are around $12, and even the frozen cocktails were only $10-- which in this city qualifies as a gen-u-ine bargain. Reunion is a spunky addition to the neighborhood, and I like that.
Corner of 44th and 9th