Everyone wants to walk into a bar where they’re greeted with a shot on the house (Fireball and Angry Orchard hard cider on my visit) and a hearty welcome.
Lot 33 Coffee Bar and Lounge is that bar.
At first glance, you may not notice Inger — soll’s new business nestled next to Manhattan Deli, with its receded building and minimal signage.
Lot 33 — named for the title of the city plot— is a small bar perfect for regulars and newcomers alike. And the fact that the owner throws in a free shot to first-timers is reason enough to pay a visit.
When my bar buddy and I made it over, it was just after 9 p.m. on a Wednesday. Rajan Devan, 39, bartender and owner, greeted us.
We were drawn into a conversation about the drinks on the menu, and we quickly learned that this bar is all about the Fireball whiskey.
After our “welcome shots,” I ordered a dirty Shirley (a vodka twist on the traditional Shirley Temple) and my partner chose the kick stand (a mix of peach schnapps, OJ, pineapple juice, vodka and grenadine). The drinks were strong, but not overpowering.
Next on the list was Raj’s favorite creation — the Moscow mule. Traditionally served in a copper mug, the ginger beer to alcohol mix was perfect, just enough to put a kick in your step.
The lack of decoration on the outside of the building may throw you, but once inside you’ll find a worn pool table, comfortable chairs, a small bar underneath a TV, and vintage bikes hanging on the wall.
The decor is appropriate, considering the building is in view of Ingersoll Avenue’s bike lane and has become a stop for cyclists.
Take a seat, and after a while you’ll notice the background music, which is as diverse as the owner’s personal taste. (Considering he’s been a DJ for more than 20 years, it’s a good selection.)
On Monday you can catch a football game; Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays are reserved for live bands; Wednesdays are for comedians and poets; and Thursdays are the karaoke nights.
Previously home to Lunar Coffee and the Black Cat Cafe, Lot 33 is a bold addition to the Ingersoll nightlife family. Known for “tongue warmers” ( coffee drinks with an alcoholic punch), the bar hosts a long happy hour 4-8 p.m. Monday through Friday. Other specials include nightly events with $2 domestics and wells, and shot specials.
Wednesday After Class (WAC) boasts $1 beers with a student ID after 9 p.m. If it’s your birthday and you can find four friends to bring in, the first $25 of your bar tab is on the house.
“Come in your pajamas or bring your slippers,” Devan said. “It doesn’t matter. This bar is about everyone getting to know each other.”
And the regulars sharing the bar verified this — especially since the bar has been open a short six weeks.
If you’re looking for a friendly place to sit awhile and enjoy plenty of Fireball and pub mix, Lot 33 should be on your list.
It may be too early to tell if this iteration of the location has staying power, but you can’t deny the friendly patronage and impressive happy hour.
Lot 33 Coffee Bar and Lounge
WHERE: 3701 Ingersoll Ave.
HOURS: 4 p.m.-2 a.m. Monday through Friday; 7 p.m.-2 a.m. Saturday
CONTACT: Lot 33 on Facebook