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Non-residents of Washington Heights and Inwood may not venture too far off Broadway and 10th Avenue–after all, all those nice pre-war apartment buildings and city parks get swapped out for utility companies and the 207th Street rail yard. But in this neighborhood, many of the bars and restaurants happily exist underneath the elevated train and alongside manufacturing zones, where noise is less of a concern to neighbors. Along a side street behind Miguel’s auto glass store with nary a sign, is the Ganesha Outdoor Room, an outdoor courtyard bar and restaurant whose blasting live music thoroughly disconnects it from any religious affiliation.

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Here the young and up and coming generation of this Upper Manhattan neighborhood gather to smoke hookah, brunch and imbibe fruity mixed drinks. If you’re hoping to get beers of a Dominican flavor, you’ll discover only Heineken and Corona are available in bottles. All this aside, a visit to the Ganesha Outdoor Room is something of a pleasant surprise in the area.

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The only architectural element that defines the bar are two wooden doors open onto the street. A long walkway floored with wooden planks and decorated by plants and curtains leads you into the main space. The main element of the outdoor space is a large tree inside, and with a few trees on the street visible over the walls, you’d never guess you were in a manufacturing zone while seated inside. Wooden tables and lots of Ganesha-inspired tchotchke populate the space and a DJ spins in the corner.

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Do not come here if you looking for a calm afternoon of peace and quiet–the reviews general point to less than stellar service. But do come here if you’re up for experiencing a slice of what the Washington Heights neighborhood is offering to the new generation.

Next, check out 10 Pre-War Apartment Building Gems in Washington Heights. Get in touch with the author @untappedmich.

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