Bar Review: El Cobre

LESLIE PARISEAU
Not unlike an old woman's kitchen, El Cobre opens with a squeaking iron gate to a roomful of brown patterned linoleum and looming religious bibelots. Unlike an old woman's kitchen (unless she runs a brothel) El Cobre is adorned with amber-colored rum phials, attractive bodies leaning close to one another, and half-drunk mugs of something warm and spiked. And if you grew up with gravel voiced great-aunts drinking rum, smoking slim cigarettes and playing bridge late into the evening amidst beige paisley linoleum and El Salvadorian crucifixes, El Cobre won't be terribly unfamiliar territory. Of course, the drinks range beyond Bacardi Anejo neat and the women are quite occupied with endeavors other than card games -- a Peninsula Sour for instance, viejo rum, egg white, lemon, sugar and red wine. A chill in the air, to which a stony Virgin Mary fountain may contribute, can be whisked away with a For What Ails Ya, a flushing mixture of rum, ginger, lemon and apple cider, and toward the end, the saintly icon will begin to look more inviting. It seems a lifetime away, but by summer solstice, El Cobre will be a Shangri-La for those with daiquiris in hand -- full windows thrown open to the corner of East 6th Street, dogs dozing underfoot and at least a few old (or young) hens cackling over a finger of rum, or two, or three.

El Cobre
95 Ave. A.
(212) 614-6818


Photo from Metromix

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