We were told that we must visit Burp Castle because the bartenders were known for shushing the crowd. Sadly, the rumor appeared to be untrue during our first visit as there was no shushing at all. We were disappointed, particularly since there was one–and only one–loud guy who threw off the reading. Once he and his companions left, the place was pleasant. It was, in fact, the perfect setting for a well-crafted beer and quiet conversation, with its subdued lighting and music played softly in the background. We must add that the music did not start playing until after the loud table left. If they had not been present, the place would have been idyllic.
Once Party of Loud left, and even with the music playing, the reading recovered. In fact, we stopped the first reading, which clocked in at 77.3 decibels, after an hour or so and turned the meter on again to see what the space was like after Boomy McScreamer departed. The answer? 71.3 blissful decibels.
So why is Burp Castle comfortable? It has high ceilings, a wool rug, and plenty of wood, all of which help to absorb or deflect sound. The walls are covered with murals that are appropriate and not hokey, making the space feel like it’s been around for years. If we lived in this neighborhood, this would be our neighborhood bar.
Burp Castle offers a good selection of interesting beers that are listed on a chalk board behind the bar; the beer menu changes frequently. There are no food options, but we bet the bartender wouldn’t object if you brought in some nibbly things to go with your beer.
We enjoyed our visit to Burp Castle so much that we followed it up with another a week or so later. It was louder during our second visit because the place was absolutely packed–standing room only. That said, the music was turned off as the placed filled up, so the noise volume was created entirely by voices. And, as rumored, there was shushing from the bartender and at least one patron. Lots of shushing, in fact, which worked for a few minutes but had to be repeated. Still, the rumors about this place are true–if you are too loud, you will be shushed (or even asked to leave, or so we’ve been told). For that reason alone, Burp Castle climbs to the top of the list of our favorite bars.
Even though the reading during our second visit was dangerously close to 80 decibels we would still recommend Burp Castle. You may want to give it a pass on a very busy night, but when it’s busy the staff takes measures to keep things in check. And on a slower night, it’s positively blissful. Go.
Monday through Friday: 5:00 p.m. to midnight-ish*
Saturday and Sunday: 4:00 p.m. to midnight-ish*
Closing time is flexible. It’s more likely that the bar will close after midnight later in the week, but it depends on the crowd.
Street (betw. 2nd and 3rd Avenues), New York, NY 10003