Chicago burger sensation Au Cheval has a new basement bar for its multi-hour waits. The modern Tribeca diner was immediately mobbed after it opened in early March with people looking for a taste of the famous classic American burger, and now the downstairs area is being used as a waiting room for those looking to eat upstairs — but it has its own food and drink menus.
Fried chicken is the focus here, namely a sandwich, hot chicken sandwich, fingers, fries, and chili con carne cheese fries. Drinks range from “light” cocktails, such as a $16.95 gimlet to “heavy” cocktails like a $17.50 Manhattan. There’s also a frozen cocktail machine, churning out likely the best deal — a $13.95 frozen painkiller. Beer and wine are available, too. The full menu is below.
The small space is washed in red tones, lending an illicit vibe to the room with a bar along one wall and some high-top tables. Owner Brendan Sodikoff wanted to make the New York City location more “comfortable” than the Chicago one, which doesn’t have a place for would-be diners to wait.
“That’s something we don’t have in Chicago, and it’s a nice addition. Au Cheval is not comfortable for everybody,” Sodikoff told Eater in March. “It’s part of the charm maybe, but we’d like to evolve past that and give people a little more room.”
Au Cheval debuted its second location ever in March at 33 Cortlandt Alley, an unassuming alley in Tribeca between White and Walker streets. The burger has a nationwide cult following, though Eater critic Robert Sietsema recommends the bologna sandwich over it, calling it “the best bologna sandwich you’ve ever tasted.”
Au Cheval’s downstairs waiting room is now open nightly from 6 p.m. to midnight.