EAT+Drink: Exchange Bar & Grill


Exchange Bar & Grill
256 Third Ave
New York, NY 10010
(3rd Ave between 20th and 21st)

In a tough economy even bars and restaurants have to go the extra mile to keep the customers coming and one Gramercy newcomer has a gimmick that is reflective of the times- fluctuating prices based on demand.  The Exchange Bar & Grill located on Third Avenue between 20th and 21st Street features long LCD signs along the length of the bar that act as stock tickers giving the latest prices on drinks after 8pm and they also feature “market crashes” when drink prices suddenly drop to $2 for a period (which is enough to lure in a crowd by itself).

The bar has a nice range of drink options with a stocked upper shelf, six beers on tap with an additional fifteen bottled labels, and a few large screen televisions.  The menu is pretty varied for a local watering hole with a nice selection of burgers, themed sandwiches such as: The PHLX (aka Philly cheese steak), The Anacott Steel (aka tuna melt), and a handful of entrees such as: Penne a la Vodka, Stripped Bass, and Steak Frites which are all reasonably priced.  It’s not earth shattering flavors but better grub than your average pub and the speed and service make it worth stopping by if you’re in the neighborhood.  The biggest drawback might be the location which tends toward the quiet side when the local School of Visual Arts crowd is on break and the NYC police cadets are busy doing pushups but being a stone’s throw from Gramercy Park and Union Square means it’s a nice place to keep in the mental rolodex when you’re looking for a quick reliable bite or a place to meet for drinks.

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Tim Needles is an artist, photographer, humorist, and writer from Long Island, NY. His writing and art work has been seen in multiple exhibitions and publications around New York as well as the Photographer’s Forum, French Photo, the New York Times, and LI Pulse magazine. He is also an educator and currently teaches art and film at Smithtown, NY and as an Education Leader for Adobe. He was recently the recipient of the Robert Rauschenberg Award in Washington DC and serves as the director of Strictly Students, a non-for-profit group for media and education. His work can be seen on his website:


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