Business Travelers: Do you recommend Ainsworth Park for
It’s March and I am mad for college basketball. Three of my hometown teams are in: LaSalle, Villanova and Temple. Three of Philly’s Big Five, not bad. (half of the City Six if you are a Drexel fan.) Unfortunately tonight one of these teams will disappoint but Ainsworth Park more than made up for it. Ainsworth is a great place for sports and food but the big, big plus was the crowd, they were terrific.
Ainsworth Park Experience: On Friday, March 22, 2013 at about 7:30 P.M. I am walking toward Ainsworth Park, yikes a velvet rope. No problem, no line, and a very nice guy at the door who waves me in. Ainsworth is a large multilevel place, beautifully decorated with large televisions everywhere and a couple of bars, lots of seating and multiple areas for standing and connecting with everyone. The place is packed, of course, it being Friday happy hour with several NCAA Championship Tournament games going at once. I move into the crowd surrounding the main bar, scoping out the televisions looking for the Villanova – North Carolina game. I find it and settle into the crowd. No seats but I am able to find a little space and watch, keeping my eyes open for a seat.
This crowd was wonderful. The place was full of 20 somethings through mid 30’s, well dressed after work crowd. Probably evenly distributed between men and women and amazingly super nice and polite! You see a crowded happy Hour, especially a sports bar full of basketball rivalries, and you expect some rowdy, maybe even a little obnoxious behavior, not here. Yes, it was loud with cheering rarely absent but walking through the crowd you were overwhelmed by the polite and well spoken (loudly) crowd. Ainsworth, the crowd and their parents should all be proud. Send your kids and even if you are not within the age range I described (me included), go too. You will feel very comfortable.
My lucky streak continues and a seat opens up in front of me despite the crowd and right in front of the ‘Nova game. My patience paid off. I sometimes think of leaving but never again until this lucky streak ends. Unfortunately Villanova disappointed and played a very poor game against North Carolina. I order the Park Burger and substitute the Bleu Cheese Tater Tots for the fries. The burger was great and the Tater Tots were nothing like I had had before. Not the small things I remember from my childhood but large hot pockets of potato and bleu cheese. I ate two and took the rest home, still eating them now. The staff were very attentive, engaging and working hard to keep the crowd happy. There are two bars on the first level. the bigger one faces the wall in the center and has about 11 seats facing four large televisions. The other is to the left and has less seats but a nice area for standing and mingling. Great crowd, a good place to come with friends and meet new ones. The televisions were closely managed, I really like this, so that channels were changed based on customer preference and the tournament schedule.
Business Travelers: I strongly recommend this place. Don’t let the age group I talked about above be a deterrent. All are welcome and I fit in fine. Many tables available for a group of friends, co-workers, clients or colleagues. I don’t see a bad spot where a view of a television is not available. If there is a specific game you want to see I’m sure the staff would be happy to change one of the televisions for you. There is also a second level with limited access. Ainsworth is in the center of Manhattan’s Flatiron District, right in the middle of of New York City’s burgeoning high tech Silicon Alley business area. You are close to Union Square, with many things to do and see, check out Madison Square Park and Eataly, the huge Italian Market with restaurants and a cooking school. The Gramery Park neighborhood is a great place for a stroll Close to the bars and Restaurants along Park Avenue South. A comfortable Sports Bar for women traveling on business with an extremely polite clientele.
111 East 18th Street
New York, NY 10003