It's all just wishful drinking at these bars, lounges, and speakeasies
From behind a large oak bar, Sasha Petraske and Richard Boccato serve sipping spirits, cocktails over hand-cut ice, and cold brews on tap. They ring your bill on a 1913 model cash register.
Dutch Kills, 27-24 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City (718-383-2724 or dutchkillsbar.com).
A new-school sanctuary for old-school cocktailing. Owner Audrey Saunders sets a new standard for drinking and swilling at the cool, vaguely colonial upstairs bar and lounge.
Pegu Club, 77 West Houston Street (212-473-7348 or peguclub.com).
Every “trading company” really fronts a gambling house and bordello, right? Indulge in Portuguese and Chinese food — prawns, ribs, fennel and artichoke salad with spiced chickpeas. After dinner, head to the downstairs lounge with Chinese ads lining the walls. Macao Trading Co., 311 Church Street (212-431-8750 or macaonyc.com).
Look hard for the entrance, and the prohibition-style establishment will reward you with specialty cocktails by resident mixologists, rare brown liquors, and punch bowls of Pimm’s.
The lofty brick warehouse-turned-clubhouse serves up a comfort food-filled menu and plenty of seats for sprawling. For something more than your standard fruity drink, try a sweet and refreshing Swamp Thing — a mix of lemon, gin, herbs, and soda.
Turks & Frogs proprietor Osman Cakir transformed a neighborhood Laundromat into a cocktail lounge inspired by the grandeur of Orient Express routes. First-class cocktails are dashed with spices, syrups, and tinctures inspired by train routes through Continental Europe.
The former glue factory-turned-sexed-up tapas den serves traditional Spanish small plates with Latin twists. Impressive, artisanal cocktails (Albino old-fashioned, Beet Gineration), courtesy of the Tippling Bros.
Shabby-chic decor and butcher paper tablecloths add to the charm of the cute-as-can-be East Village spot. Find down-home faves — Pimm’s Cup, dark and stormy, Long Island iced tea — on the cocktail menu.
Leather banquettes, gold-framed paintings, and soft light from chandeliers call for tuna Bolognese and wet-aged Wagyu steak. Cocktails obligatory: Order the Trophy Wife.
Hotel Griffou, 21 West 9th Street (212-358-0228 or griffou.com).
Pastas, strong cocktails, and a dining room out of a high-class porno — big banquettes, marble walls, and service until 1 a.m.
’Inoteca e Liquori Bar, 323 Third Avenue (212-683-3035 or inotecanyc.com).
Pegu Club bartender and food writer’s establishment defies all structured mealtimes. It’s an eclectic cafe (Counter Culture coffee, egg creams, baked goods), a bar (cocktails inspired by an international adventurer from the ’40s), and a nighttime eatery (small plates, sandwiches, and entrees by former Prune chef Adam Baumgart).
A speakeasy done right, thanks to a lack of pretension and the right balance of mahogany decor, old-timey touches like vintage cash registers, and a pleasing selection of draft beers and house cocktails.
Mixologist groupies and late-night drinkers access the not-so-secret speakeasy via a telephone booth from within grease-coated Crif Dogs. Satisfy drunken cravings with butter-infused rum and a deep-fried dog of your choice.
PDT, 113 Saint Mark’s Place (212-614-0386 or pdtnyc.com).
After a Far East-inspired dinner at Double Crown, adjourn to the lounge in back, where bartenders mix drinks inspired by British imperialism (just go with it) in flickering candlelight.
Deco drinking joint that’s sweet on pristine, classic cocktails, fancy small bites, and speakeasy stylings.
Clover Club, 210 Smith Street, Carroll Gardens (718-855-7939 or cloverclubny.com).
Find the fortune-teller in the window and slip into the spirit of the 1920s, where bartenders pour liquid nirvana like the rosebud-appointed Mata Hari. Past the packed bar, a small, low-lit dining room serves elk loin and truffled grilled cheese.
Good luck finding your way inside the speakeasy (there’s no sign) where bartenders mix classic cocktails at an oval island in the kitchen. If the tufted chairs are occupied, take your Manhattan into the courtyard for fresh air.
Plop down on the plush, cream-colored couches and start with a pitcher of a seasonal punch, each made with a laundry list of fruits, rums, and liquors. Cuban snacks like ham croquettes and plantain chips with avocado dip help stave off those “100 fires” in your head the next morning.
At the 25-foot bar, the drink menu runs short — because the bartenders take pride in crafting custom cocktails based on your preferred spice, spirit, texture, flavor, or fruit. It’s like discovering your new favorite drink every time.
Tiki-meets-wild style at Painkiller, where owners insist you try the pina colada, mai tai, and 1934 zombie (a “slightly irresponsible” rum libation). Share a Scorpion Bowl with ten friends and call it a night. According to the bartender: “You’ll hate us tomorrow if you have more than one.”
The bar is a beaut — art nouveau furnishings, chandeliers, even a nickelodeon. The real hidden gem is a secret speakeasy within the bar: a stunning prohibition setup accessed only via a trick bookcase. Befriend one of the celeb partners if you want the password.
The Back Room, 102 Norfolk Street (212-228-5098).
Go on and git yourself to the old Western spot for a bourbon, whiskey, or rye. Neutralize the damage with a platter of fresh, raw oysters or a grilled cheese with bacon.
Post Office Bar, 188 Havemeyer Street, Williamsburg (718-963-2574 or postofficebk.com).
These days a bartender’s push-broom mustache and suspenders are par for the course. But drinks at the well-lit, ’30s-style establishment are nothing short of unique.