Where to drink in New York City
New York, the city that never sleeps, is the place for the coolest and chicest venues to eat, drink and dance. This insomniac city has a new bar opening every night of the week. To rise above the City’s harshest critics, a wow factor is needed to keep the location buzzing.
Here are a few options for every discerning local and visitor, who all want luxury but in a variety of forms.
Designed by internationally acclaimed design firm Crème Design, Mr. Purple has an artist-loft atmosphere with indoor and outdoor areas created with the use of reclaimed wooden structures, juxtaposed with concrete, metal, free hanging lights and contemporary wooden furniture. As with many bars in New York, each with their individual and distinctive ambiances, they are partnered with equally impressive hotels. With a different shade of purple, Hotel Indigo on Orchard Street, screams style as soon as you enter the building.
The vital and energetic Lower East Side is one of the few areas offering a complete New York City experience. Once notoriously overcrowded and gritty, the Lower East Side is now one of Manhattan’s coolest neighbourhoods. It is the birthplace of vibrant street art, including the works of legendary graffiti artist Lee Quinones, and continues to inspire visitors to explore, play, create and thrive. As everyone knows, New York is best discovered at a height: Mr. Purple has breathtaking 360 degree panoramic views of Manhattan and Brooklyn. Combined with the incredibly chic and innovative design inside the property, this bar is unrivalled in its desire to not rest on its laurels, and to be truly photogenic or insta-worthy both inside and out in this digital era(!).
In addition to location, architecture and views, the bar menu did not disappoint. Cocktails were carefully crafted with chic and trendy brands – such as George Clooney’s tequila, Casamigos – and market fresh, seasonal ingredients. Do not leave without trying the Irving Farm Espresso Martini – sheer perfection and a caffeine boost to keep you going into the early hours – 4 am on the weekends. Another personal favourite was the sweet yet zingy APT 3B, a gin based cocktail with blackberries, lemon and balsamic vinegar with a dash of black pepper honey.
Location: 180 Orchard Street, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10002
Prices: Cocktails: $16 | Wine by the Glass: $12 – $15 | Beer: $6 – $8 | Food: $8 – $25
New late night spot, Squares nightclub, offers a twist on the usual late night haunts in the area. With architects from Reunion Goods & Services designing a venue where young professionals party in old money grandeur and style, the interiors are notorious. Using vintage wood, leather and over 25,000 glazed tiles in woody shades, the venue felt like a scene from the Cluedo board game. The space features everything from marble busts to a stag, and a fireplace-turned-DJ-booth. By day the club could be a museum with all the impressive artefacts.
To keep the club buzzing, Squares offers a house energy drink served on tap with any spirit of choice and made with a blend of herbs, spices and caffeine… Red Bull it is not! Head Barman, Bryan Schneider, has created a stylish and easy drinking menu inspired by classic members’ club cocktails with references to the London society scene of the 1980s and historic British culture. A few highlights include: the Lego Club Mule (vodka, cucumber, lime, chili, house ginger beer), the French 750, a large format French 75 (gin, lemon, champagne) topped with an entire 750ml bottle of Veuve Clicquot, and my personal favourite ‘Veuve on Veuve’, champagne with champagne ice cubes, sheer luxury.
Location: 360 Park Avenue (Entrance on E. 26th St.)
Prices: Cocktails: $25 |Beer: $70 (6 pack) | Bottle Service: $525 – $1500
Chef Daniel Boulud’s chic Upper East Side bar is named after the beloved French restaurant that used to occupy this site, frequented by Manhattan’s art world elite of the 1970s and 80s. Bar Pleiades, designed by Lauren Rottet, is located within the Surrey Hotel and adjacent to Café Boulud. It combines the elegantly attentive service of a fine hotel bar with the innovative cocktail menu created by talented mixologists.
The cocktails are ever-changing, seasonally-inspired and deliciously sinful, which couple perfectly with the bar menu prepared by the Café Boulud kitchen. Head Barman, Darryl Chan, has produced a focused menu with interesting and unusual flavour combinations. This is the perfect destination for a quiet drink in a relaxed, sophisticated environment.
Location: 20 East 76th Street, New York, NY 10021
Prices: Cocktails start from $18