Manhattan —

The economy may be down, but it’s no time to cry in your beer.

That’s the philosophy of Erik Ness, owner of The Bullpen, a new Upper East Side bar. He’s hoping his establishment will survive the tough times by offering customers reasonable prices, good food and a “neighborhood feeling.”

He’s got a big challenge ahead as the city’s $10 billion restaurant and bar industry braces for a decline. And with alcohol costs rising and a hops shortage pushing beer prices up, bars could be taking a double hit.