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Just in time for the glorious warmth of a spring happy hour, there’s a new pop-up beer garden in Worldwide Plaza, courtesy of the team at popular nearby eatery Barking Dog.
Taking over the space that previously housed Tex-Mex and margarita standby Blockheads (which closed in January 2020, followed by its four other NYC-metro locations), Worldwide Beer Garden and Kitchen is now open through the end of October, serving up a bounty of brews along with beer-friendly bar favorites like freshly-baked pretzels, burgers and cheese curds in a casual, counter-service outdoor space.
“We’re really all about helping the neighborhood hang out,” said owner of Barking Dog Hell’s Kitchen Angelo E Janku, who will operate the new seasonal watering hole adjacent to his popular patio cafe. Angelo, who has been running Barking Dog’s Midtown outpost since February 2022, told W42ST that when the chance to occupy a temporary lease at the Blockheads building arose last spring, he jumped at it. “We’ve been so supported by the neighborhood,” he said, “and we wanted to clean up the plaza.”
Business closures like Blockheads had led the plaza to feel deserted, something that he hoped to remedy by bringing a bookend of bars and restaurants and the bustling business that comes with it to the West Side crossroads. “When we got here last year, it was really bad — the plaza was dirty and people were fighting every day,” said Angelo. “For me to have that space empty, it was bringing problems to the neighborhood. I wanted to make the whole area more livable.”
Now, the area will offer Barking Dog’s signature seven-day brunch, lunch and dinner menu along with lunch, happy hour, dinner and nightcap fare from the beer garden, where Angelo is open to planning summer events and collaborations with other local businesses if he can find the right partner. One element that’s guaranteed at both Barking Dog and the Worldwide Beer Garden? A dog-friendly hangout spot. Just like the pup-populated patio at Barking Dog, pooches “are more than welcome here” in the neighboring patio.
Asked whether he’ll consider keeping the bar open through the winter, Angelo said that while they currently don’t have plans past October, “If we see that people are supporting us, we’ll keep it open into the winter. And if not, we’ll probably come back next year!” For now, step up to the plaza for a brew in the sunshine!
Worldwide Beer Garden and Kitchen is located at 322 W50th Street (bw 8/9th Avenue) and is open from 12pm to 10pm Sunday through Thursday, and Friday/Saturday from 12pm to 11pm.
This used to be a quiet oasis in this noisy city but despite the rule of no radios or music being allowed in the plaza, the Barking Dog management pipes music out there. I assume the beer garden will do the same. It is no longer a place to relax in peace and quiet.
I’m old too, George, but it’s a managed public space, not a city-owned public space. What’s good for the business, is good for the neighborhood…times change! I personally can’t wait to grab a beer or two!
I’m doggone tickled that this pop up will give us a new outdoor experience to enjoy this spring and summer. See you there!
I know it’s a managed public space, Carlos. I have been told that the management has tried to get the Barking Dog to stop piping music out to the plaza but have not succeeded. People are not allowed to play music there but businesses are. Fair?
Was there today. It IS an oasis and beautiful. I thank the staff for making this place beautiful again.
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