This ad will close in

The Best Bar to . . . Rub Elbows With a VC: Tom & Jerry's

This popular dive bar in Manhattan attracts its share of venture investors scouting startup talent.

Tom & Jerry's | New York City

You won't find obnoxious "No cell phone" signs at Tom & Jerry's (aka 288 Bar). Over the last few years, the lovable dive bar in Manhattan's NoHo neighborhood has amassed quite a following among the twentysomething digerati, meaning iPads and smartphones are now standard table dressings.

Free Wi-Fi, homemade Chex mix and a binder of local take-out menus are among the on-the-record reasons why young social media mavens and entrepreneurs hang here (and, in the summer, the refreshing cucumber-lime cocktails are a big draw, too).

Naturally, this clientele also has attracted venture capitalists looking for the next Mark Zuckerberg, making T&J's our favorite bar in which to get an idea funded.Insider gossip suggests that dozens of funding deals--including some with more than six zeroes in front of the decimal point--have been hatched at the long mahogany bar. Of course that means many deals have been broken and smashed to bits, too.

"We're a comfortable neighborhood bar with no pretension," says Jo Janes, who opened the joint in 1993. "In that environment, anything is possible."

Consider happy hour. On most weeknights, the high-ceilinged bar swells with after-work crowds from companies such as Curbed, Foursquare, blip.tv and Gawker--all of which are located nearby. Conversation ranges from user experience to company valuation. Work types gather at a big table in the back, collaborating and peering into laptop screens.

Then, of course, there's John Carney, perhaps the most regular "regular" of them all. Carney runs the CNBC NetNet Wall Street blog and was former editor of DealBreaker and Clusterstock.com. While he won't dish funding specifics on these sites, he admits he conducted critical meetings at T&J's, and that the bar has been his office away from the office for some time.

"More relaxed than a conference room, less formal than a meal," he says of the vibe. We'll drink to that. 

Order like a regular: The Bee Stinger, made of sweet honey, bourbon and fresh lemon juice.
Go: 288 Elizabeth St.; (212) 260-5045

The Best Bar to...
Show Off Your Classic Style in Louisville, Ky.
Celebrate a Big Win in Las Vegas
Hang With Hipsters in Portland, Ore,
Hide Out in Safe Haven in Nashville, Tenn.
Get Some Work Done in Seattle
Rent a Stylish Meeting Space in Boston
Network Like a Pro for Less in Santa Monica Calif.
Find a Behind-the-Bar Mentor in allas
Get Green Inspiration in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Get the Business Scoop From a Bartender in San Francisco
Related Articles
Bar Keep: How a Bar Becomes Your Own
Five Businesses Born at a Bar
Business and a Beer: An Entrepreneur Roundtable
Tips for Making Pub Quizzes a Team-Building Success
Knowledge on Tap: The Business of a Beer Sommelier

 

Matt Villano is a freelance writer and editor in Healdsburg, Calif. He is a regular contributor to Entrepreneur, and has covered startups and entrepreneurship for The New York Times, TIME and CIO. He also covers a variety of other topics, including travel, parenting, education and -- seriously -- gambling. He can be found on his personal website, Whalehead.com.

Like this article? Get this issue right now on iPad, Nook or Kindle Fire.

This article was originally published in the July 2011 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Rub Elbows With a VC.

Loading the player ...

This One Habit Can Help Make You Smarter

Ads by Google

0 Comments. Post Yours.