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The Early Word on Cooper's Craft and Kitchen

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Exactly one month ago, serial East Village and Lower East Side bar owners came to purge the sins of Kurve by opening a decidedly non-spaceship like restaurant in the restaurant space on East 5th Street and 2nd Avenue. There they opened Cooper's Craft & Kitchen, a pub serving a dizzying array of beers on tap, both local and imported, and bar-centric fare like meatball sliders, Scotch eggs, pots of mussels, and battered Atlantic cod. How has the place been received? We find out right ahead.

The Mostly Good News: Fork in the Road made an early visit and had the following takeaways: "We quite enjoyed the macaroni and cheese ($10), slicked with melted gruyere and cheddar, served in a skillet. Soft and cheesy, it's everything you want in a big bowl o' mac. Fish and chips ($14) will also help you reach your calorie quota for the day, but the fish is nicely battered and the spuds crispy. A remoulade-like tartar sauce accompanies the fried fare. Also in the fried department is a Scotch egg ($5). A thin layer of sausage coats a hard-boiled egg before being deep-fried. It was a little underseasoned, but makes for a decent snack." [Fork in the Road]

The Great News: An early positive Yelper report: "After several months of construction, Cooper Craft opened last night. Place was great - impressive beer selection. I had an IPA from Seattle, my wife had a glass of Malbec. Hung out for several hours with some friends - we really enjoyed ourselves. Floor to ceiling windows give the place a great feel and also make for good people watching. As a resident on the block, I look forward to hanging out here regularly." [Yelp]

More Okay News: Another Yelper is pretty impressed: "Classic Dad rock playing on the stereo (Led Zep, Dire Straits, Dylan). One thing I've never understood with American bars - when you order a beer you never know how much beer you are going to get. Here I was pleasantly surprised that it was a 1/2 litre for my Weihenstephan which was delish. We ordered an American Burger and Fish and Chips. I was surprised how cutesy they looked (see photo). The fish was nice and crunchy and moist inside. Would have preferred some chunky chips - the portion size left me just a bit wanting more. What's up with the tables? The 4 person tables seemed design to tip with some gentle pressure on a corner? No apparent happy hour :(" [Yelp]

The Bad News: Here comes the Yelp pan: "So, first of all, the waitress brings us menus and then forgets about us for a while. She cones back, we order. He gets a beer and the baczynsky (some sausage thing) and fries. I get the mussels. She asks what I want to drink, and I say just water thanks. She does not like that I do not order a drink. It's all downhill from there. Food comes reasonably quickly. However, (1) my mussels do not come with the bread the menu promised, (2) no spoon, and (3) they leave the metal thing on the top and it's super hot to get off. They also forgot to bring a bowl for the mussel shells, so afterwards they bring over a tiny square bread plate that could hold about a quarter of the shells. I should mention there were only 4 other occupied tables...Anyway, finally, looooooong after we finishes, our waitress comes to ask if he wants another beer. When he smiles and says, no thank you, she glares and storms away. Then she brings us the check (suddenly shes a marathon runner) and tosses it on the table without a word. She's very lucky he was the one paying, because he always tips a minimum of 20%. I wanted to tip her 13%." [Yelp]

The Mixed Bag: Foursquare tips are mixed. One person writesn, "The main focus here is excellent craft beer, but also ask about their house-infused liquors. And try the Scotch eggs," while another writes, "Good selection... However, pear cider smells like ass," and another, "Don't get the meatloaf," and another, "2$ for bacon bits (ham according to them) on my $10 mac n cheese." [Foursquare]

The Neighborhood Approval: The often persnickity East Village locals call the restaurant a vast improvement over Kurve. Says one EV Grieve commenter: "Walked by the other night and it looks like it could be a nice addition to the block unlike Kurve. That place would've looked cheap and gawdy in a bad suburban mall. Every time I'd walk by would feel an urge to throw something at it." [EVG]

Cooper's Craft and Kitchen

87 Second Ave., New York, NY

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