So three guys walked into a bar…this could be the opening of a lame joke but in this case it’s how Idle Hands bar came to be. Marc Schapiro, a music industry veteran and his two friends, Rob Morton, a bourbon connoisseur and David ‘Rev’ Ciancio, a beer aficionado opened their dream bar in an East Village basement two years ago and have been steadily pouring ever since. They have the biggest bourbon list in New York City with over 100 bottles on the shelf at a time and as for beer they only have one light beer, Coors Light, the rest are carefully selected craft beers.
As for the music aspect, Marc has hosted over 250 after-parties ranging from GWAR doing a meet and greet (we would pay money to see that) to Mumford & Sons stopping by for a drink and a chat. Since Marc works more in the metal field, “you may hear Afghan Whigs then Slayer, like in your parents’ basement back in the day,” he told us with a laugh.
We sat down for a pint and a conversation to hear more about the bar and trends in the market.
Who is your crowd?
We have the Sunday thru Thursday crowd where we have beer tastings, after-parties, etc. We get music industry and service industry people coming by as well as regulars just looking for a quality drink. Then we have the weekends – it is more nightlife on the weekends but it’s not horrible! Ill put it this way – weekdays we sell craft beer, weekends we sell vodka and soda.
Is this a trend to have a theme bar?
I think so. We aren’t stealing these bourbon and craft people from other places but we will be helping people who don’t know much about these worlds explore and appreciate them. Our bartenders come up with some great drinks and the reaction has been very positive.
Rob goes down to Rye Fest, Whiskey Fest, attends the Kentucky Derby and we bring in a lot of the reps to see the bar. Our craft beer man is always on the hunt for the latest and greatest too.
Any craft beers that are hot right now?
Popularity wise – Lagunitas, Oskar Blues’ Dale’s Pale Ale. We stopped selling beer in glass bottles last summer and started just selling cans. It’s more eco-friendly, breaks less, stays fresher longer and weighs a lot less!
What else should we know about Idle Hands?
Every Wednesday we do a $10 tasting: 3 beers, 1 bourbon and an order of tater tots from 7-9 pm. Thursdays we rotate music genres. Emo night has become huge the first Thursday of every month!