Earl’s Beer and Cheese has been on my list for a long time, and for many reasons. The first reason is that Earl’s is in my neighborhood and the second is that Earl’s is one of the only bars in my neighborhood. I first heard about Earl’s Beer and Cheese in Time Out’s Best Beer in NYC edition and was instantly attracted. I finally made my way over there, and was not let down.
Located on 97th and Park Ave, Earl’s is truly a “hole in the wall.” Like so many of these places, if you did not know where you were going…you would completely miss the entrance thinking it was another sketchy side street. Inside, the space is just big enough for a large beer hall-esque pick-nick table and bar. At capacity I would say you could fit 30 people in there. This is another reason Earl’s has been on my list for so long, I have never walked passed that place and not seen it jammed packed.
We ate: Mac & Cheese w/ Goat Cheese, Rosemary and Shredded Chicken; Beer-Cheese w/ NY State Cheddar, House Lager, Fresh Garlic w/ Toast, and Grilled Cheese w/ NY State Cheddar…Pork Belly Kimchi, Fried Egg on Sourdough. As I’m sure you could have guessed, there is a lot of cheese on the menu. Food and beer was BOMB, but I would advise going there hungover or when your stomach can handle intense, greasy food. It is good, I have nothing to do after this food..not good, I think I will go work out after this food. Pricing is fair, we paid something in the $40’s for 3 plates and 2 beers…but it’s CASH ONLY – so hit up and ATM before you go.
I am excited to see a place like Earl’s in the neighborhood because things are finally adapting to the people who can actually afford to live there: young, broke, new-to-new-yorkers. It is fun to see places like this pop-up because it reflects the early stages of gentrification in Harlem. Like Brooklyn, I can only imagine that as people continue to move OUT and not UP, Harlem is going to continue to gentrify and become another place, aside from BK and Estoria, youngins can afford to live, have fun and feel safe. Earl’s has been in this location since I have lived in the area and I am happy to report that two similar establishment’s have recently opened under the same ownership: ABV and Vinyl Wine. Here’s to hoping these type of funky, laid-back, hipster hangouts keep popping up in da hood!
Earl’s Beer and Cheese
1259 Park Ave b/w 97th and 98th street, NY NY 10029