If you’re in Arroyo Hondo, New Mexico or anywhere else in the vicinity and discover that you’re hungry or thirsty, hitting the Midtown Lounge is a no-brainer.
Their motto is “Distinctly Different, Definitely Home” and the place gets great reviews for its libations, bartenders and a great vibe. A regular wrote in an online review that the Midtown Lounge is “kind of scary if you’re not used to bikers and freaks.” Some of them look like characters from Breaking Bad while others come right out of Tiger King. Who needs Netflix when there’s an unending reality show going on every day at the Midtown Lounge?
If you’re a true Dive Bar Tourist you call these types of people “ambience” and know that every good bar needs its obligatory characters, because most “normal” people are basically boring. We go to dive bars to hang out with society’s underbelly and the Midtown Lounge undoubtedly fits the bill.
Called a “little oasis” this triple-threat location consists of a dive bar; a market and a restaurant (aka, “The Bistro”) that serves food 4-10 pm every day. So, if you decide to catch a buzz, eat dinner and then buy a 12-pack for the road, it can all be achieved efficiently and promptly at the Midtown Lounge.
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With the best two-stepping dance floor within 20 miles, the Midtown Lounge attracts a crowd that covers just about every demographic on the planet, including seniors, millennials, X-Gens, students, and professionals (in addition to bikers and freaks, of course). If you want to dance into the night, the bar also offers live music from local bands on certain nights and if you fancy yourself a singer yourself, they also have karaoke.
Many folks hit the Midtown Lounge after soaking in the nearby Black Rock Hot Springs, aka “Nature’s Hot Tub.” There’s also camping, swimming, fishing and other outdoor activities at the north end of Taos, so maybe combine an adventure with your trip to the Lounge.
The Midtown Bistro is connected to the lounge and serves a wide collection of Panini sandwiches and enormous signature burgers. Try the Rio Hondo grilled cheese sandwich New Mexican style, with green chilies and bacon, and the New Mexican Frito Pie, a local favorite. Many bars, both high-end and dive-like feature nourishment as an afterthought, but that’s not the business model here. The food is served fast, and although it’s not super healthy or mega-organic, it gets great reviews and is priced in the mid-range.
When it comes to booze, the Midtown Lounge is a drinkers-friendly place that promotes generous shots and discourages frou-frou cocktails. You will rarely see a biker nursing a Pina Colada here or anywhere else, which is the way life should be. One biker the DBT knew liked Merlot and an occasional Fernet, but he wisely kept it to himself.
If you’re in this neck of the woods, it means you’re lost or passing through, so take a break and hit the Midtown Lounge for drinks, music and an eclectic collection of interesting people. Every visit to a dive bar is a part of the journey and another piece in the big puzzle of life!
Located in: Arroyo Hondo, New Mexico
Be sure to try: The Rio Hondo grilled cheese sandwich