New York City-Lower East Manhattan
May 11, 2018
Inspired by the colours and flavours of colonial Jamaica, Kingston Hall is deliciously retro space. Located above the 13th Step (don’t be confused by the residential style entrance from the street), this friendly venue has a stylish, stripped back look to the décor: the high-ceilinged interior is peppered with palms, warm wood and kitsch artwork. There’s a mid-sized front bar and a pool room at the back, and a small patio upstairs. The cocktail list leans heavy on the rum: the Bond inspired Skyfall blends gin and crßme de banane with grapefruit (there’s also a Pussy Galore on the menu, should you be able to order it with a straight face), while the Drunken Coconut mixes rum with coconut liqueur (and comes served in a coconut half for good measure). The Port Royal Sunset meanwhile is a mix of tequila and amaretto. There’s a great beer selection that includes but isn’t limited to Caribbean beers (Purple Haze, Hoegaarden and Guinness are all available on draught, though for authenticity you might want to try Mad River Jamaica Red Ale or the bottled Dragon Stout). The meat heavy bar food also has a Jamaican twist, with Jerk Fries, Jerk Chicken and Jamaican Beef Patties all on the menu (vegetarians will be a little limited, but there are veggie skewers and plantain chips on offer, with house made pineapple salsa). Only large groups (six or more) can make reservations and the place can get packed, so at peak times it’s not the place for a quiet night out. Purists might question the authenticity there’s a definite feel of Jamaica-filtered-through-the-tourist-eye to the place but for a funky, fun night out Kingston Hall is worth a visit.