Agozar!: Where The Kids Come To Party
If you couldn’t tell by the exclamation point in the name, Agozar! is a party, one big very downtown Manhattan party. The candy-colored facade with A-G-O-Z-A-R spelled out in bright cartoony characters and thumping Latin music pouring out onto the street say it all – this is a place to have fun. If you’re lucky, you’ll nab a coveted spot on the sidewalk patio for some sweet al fresco boozing coupled with fantastic Bowery people-watching. If not, don’t worry, the bar scene just inside is hoppin’ from happy hour ’til close, and the back dining room is made for fiestas with enough seating for large parties, enough staff to keep the margheritas flowing, and fans to make sure it doesn’t get too hot.
Agozar! is not a place for children (that is for you, crazy parents who brought their 8 year old into the booze den), refinement, or quiet conversation. It has one purpose: to bring out the fun in people, to encourage the party, to lift spirits. Everything from the bright yellow ceiling to orange walls, modern Cuban art, vast array of tequilas and rums, and free-flowing pitchers is designed to inspire good cheer. Expect to get down and dirty at Agozar!; the banquettes in the back are a little sticky from too many spilt drinks, the tables are a little wet from melted ice and quick wipe-downs, and the bathrooms are reminiscent of those on the first floor of frat houses – overused and undercleaned.
Perhaps the biggest surprise though of this Cuban drinks spot is that it’s actually a full-functioning restaurant with some mean Cuban cuisine. The menu is split into tapas and full-sized entrees, the vast majority of which are classic Latin/Cuban dishes. Expect options like the empanaditas, flaky and flavorful, the croquetas de hongo, fried balls of earthy wild mushrooms with piquillo sauce, and the ubiquitous arroz con pollo, prepared right with al dente rice and juicy seasoned chicken strips. Your best option is to select an array of small plates for the table. Recommended dishes include the Milanesa, a crock pot filled with addictive fried eggplant balls, gooey goat cheese and zesty tomato sofrito, and the Chorizo, skewers of bold chorizo sausage slathered in tangy chimichurri sauce.
If it isn’t already, Agozar! should be your go-to for a good-time – stiff drinks and stylish Cuban-inspired home cookin’ keep the bellys full and spirits high. Just come prepared to ‘rough it’ a little with basic amenities, loud music, and a frathouse feel.
Perfect For: margheritas and mojitos, birthday parties, celebrations, outdoor boozing, ladies night out, happy hour bar scene, putting the frat house in Cuban