A sweet newly opened cocktail den. Yes, yet another speakeasy-ish place. But, this one has a grand baby piano for live ragtime music. It’s a widely know fact that bars with pianos are more fun. Disclaimer: this place is in Greenpoint, not Manhattan. I guess the name Brooklyn Inn was already taken. (BTW neither are Inns) Cocktails are just $9 bucks, but just as fancy as what you find in the pricer and snottier zip codes and with a lower douchebag ratio. On a busy B&T weekends, trust me, this is a better Manhattan to be Inn.
Mon. – Thurs. 4 pm to 2:30 am, Fri.- Sat. 4pm to 4 am, Sun. opens 11:30 for brunch
632 Manhattan Ave. Greenpoint, Brooklyn, NY 11222, 718-383-0885
A swanky cocktail den that seems more in place in Tribeca than Billyburg. I guess trust-fund hipsters like the speakeasy trend just as much as the next guy. That said this place really does it right. Very nice decor! You will feel that Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald will waltz in any minute, until you realize that their drunken ways torn them apart and that both died at an early age. Anyways, this once tattoo parlour may not be a real hotel, but you will still want to spend the night here.
Cocktail: Commandant’s Cocktail: pear cognac, Cointreau, lemon juice, and green chartreuse
Hours: Sun-Thu, 5pm-2am; Fri-Sat, 5pm-3am
82 Berry St., nr. N. 9th St., Brooklyn, NY 11211 718-387-1945
Another great bar from Milk & Honey owner Sasha Petraske. With the same amazing cocktails. Just name your poison of choice and they’ll give you a long list of old-school cocktails to choose from. (chilled glasses, and perfectly cut slabs of ice keep the drinks from diluting too quickly). You will also find some of M&H quirky rules: no yelling or misbehaving. Alas, some people need to perpetually be reminded of rule #1 “No name-dropping, no star fucking”
LIve Jazz: Sundays through Wednesdays at around 10:30 p.m.
Hours: Daily, 7pm-3am
20 Seventh Ave. at Leroy St., NY 10011 212-929-436
This technically isn’t a rooftop bar. But the approx. 6th floor view of the Great White Way is still pretty cool (aka the stretch of Broadway in Times Square, once you see the lights from afar, you’ll understand why they call it that). And what the Novotel hotel lacks in character, barman/server/host Kresc makes up for with a friendly and chatty disposition. (He still won’t tell me the story behind is name though) Always in a good mood, Kresc also makes some really yummy fruity cocktails. Most of which are his proud inventions. There is also an indoors area for the colder months.
Cocktail: Chupa Chupa: rum, mango juice, Triple Sec and peach Snaps
Hours: Daily, noon-midnight
226 W. 52nd St., nr. Broadway, NY 10019 212-315-0100
A small cozy place that holds more than 900 bottles of brandy, including a 1914 Pierre Ferrand cognac that will set you back more than $200 for just one glass. (Shush, it is not polite to shout “jobless recovery” in this library) If that’s too pricey for you, you can settle for one of their 100+ $16 cocktails that are mostly made with, well… you know what. The place seems like a cigar lounge minus the smoke, stench and leniency. They play traditional jazz and on Mondays it’s played live via a piano player. They take their collection very seriously and to prove it, they offer the unapprised some private and pricey tasting classes.
Hours: Sun-Wed, 5pm-2am; Thu-Sat, 4pm-4am
25 N. Moore St., at Varick St. New York, NY 10013 212-226-5545
A rather subdued and chic 13th-floor rooftop bar in the heart of Soho. On top of one of the original trendy designer hotels, the Thompson Hotel. A60 is a members only bar, but if you get a room, your room key will grant you access. And if you somehow manage to get in some other way, the hostess will check to see if you have the Thompson logo stamped on your hand. This is not a loud club, but rather a cool lounge where you can relax with a cocktail while you take in the view. A nice plus is that you also have the non-members only Thom bar downstairs, which is a tad louder but still equally stylish.
Hours: May-Labor Day: daily, 5pm-2am, weather permitting; Labor Day-Apr: daily, closed
60 Thompson St., nr. Broome St., NY 10012 877-431-0400
Another speakeasy impersonation; this one is named after a 1896 law, which among other provisions, prohibited the sale of alcoholic beverages on Sunday—except in hotels. Most men worked a six-day week, and Sunday was the only full day for drinking at saloons. NY State statutes allowed any business to be considered a hotel, if it had 10 rooms for lodging and served sandwiches with its liquor. Saloons quickly found a loophole by adding small furnished bedrooms and applying for a hotel license. Dozens of “Raines law hotels,” often located directly above saloons, opened. This led to the transformation of saloons into hotels, which in turn led to an increase in prostitution.
As for this bar, they really go all the way, from the unmarked entrance and doorbell you have to ring to get in, to the very well done 1920’s looking interior complete with the obligatory tin ceiling. There are no beds, but some tables have velvet couches and black gauze curtains: each comes equipped with a wall buzzer to call your waitress, There is a small garden in back. The weekends can get busy, so this place is better visited during the week. The cocktail list comes from a former Milk & Honey bartender.
Cocktail: Archangel: gin, aperol, and cucumber
Hours: Mon-Thu, 5pm-2am; Fri, 5pm-4am; Sat, 8pm-4am; Sun, 8pm-2am
48 W. 17th St. , nr. Fifth Ave., NY 10011