We have walked by Phebe’s many times and on one hot summer day we actually walked in. Immediately we heard music that was louder than we would have liked, and certainly too loud at first, but we suspect that the song that was playing when we entered was someone’s favorite–it featured a long guitar solo and once the song was over, the volume was decreased. Although things improved once the volume was lowered, we found the music to be fairly trebly which some people find uncomfortable.
The bar was mostly full during our visit, but there were plenty of empty tables. We sat in a small alcove off the entrance. There was a small wall separating the alcove from the bar but the sound still spilled over. An open door let in street noise.
Despite the street noise and music, we would recommend a visit to Phebe’s. While it was not calm, it was good enough. Add in great service, good food, and very good prices, and Phebe’s lands on the tolerable list. That said, we would have assumed that it is probably raucous at happy hour, brunch, and late week dinners, but our excellent waitress told us that brunch is fine if you visit between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.–the space gets a bit rowdier afterwards. She added that there is a DJ on Thursday and late week dinners are louder. Phebe’s has a back room and two alcove areas, so you may be able to find a quiet nook even on busy nights.
(at the corner of E. 4th Street), New York, NY 10003