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Botanica Bar

47 East Houston Street, NYC, NY, 10012

Bar serving craft beer, wine and cocktails

What year did you open your business and why?
Botanica Bar was opened in 1995 by another couple. I stumbled upon the place on my second day in New York and immediately fell in love. I ended up helping the bartender by collecting empty glasses in exchange for a couple of free beers. The previous owners must have taken pity on me and eventually started paying me. I then did every job from bus boy to cleaner, bartender to manager, before my wife and I bought the place in 2008.

Why did you select this location? What do you love about your neighborhood?
Previous owners chose the location, but I loved this neighborhood back in the mid ‘90s, with its mix of old timers hanging out in the Italian social clubs, and the new influx of young professionals starting to move into the neighborhood. Back then there were bakers, fishmongers, meat purveyors, and it felt like a real community. While a lot of those places are no longer around, it’s great that there are still a lot of small businesses and we’re managing (somewhat) to keep the chains at bay.

What project do you plan to use the Love Your Local grant funding to implement?
We are adamant that Botanica will always be cheap enough for everyone to buy a drink, but we do realize we have to evolve with the trends and that we can increase revenue by offering better cocktails. We will use some of the grant to implement an improved cocktail program and also to freshen up the space, particularly by adding plants to bring some light to our basement space. But rest assured, as well as creative cocktails Botanica will still have a beer and shot special for $6, all night every night.

Phone: 2123437251 Mark Connell