New York City is saturated with bars, but finding one with original and elegant options outside your usual stomping grounds for an after-work Happy Hour can be tricky. On a hot and humid summer Friday, a cold adult beverage with friends and co-workers sounds like the perfect plan before heading home to start the weekend. To make finding your next hotspot easier, here are some of our townie favorites.
This rooftop has the best view of the Empire State Building I’ve seen yet, and it’s a five-minute walk to Penn Station (boo-yah!). Take the late train home, you’ll want to try some of their specialty cocktails, like the Raspberry Crush made with Ketel One Citroen vodka, fresh raspberry, muddled lemons and soda water. Keep it fruity for round two with the Watermelon Cooler, Grey Goose vodka, green apple infusion, fresh watermelon, coconut water and fresh mint and lime. Go.
Winnie’s Jazz Bar
The smoky bars with riffs mellowing in the background may seem like a scene ripped straight from the 1950s, but Winnie’s Jazz Bar proves it’s very much still a thing (minus the smoke). Slide onto a plush couch or a leather armchair and soak up a live jazz performance while enjoying a drink from the ever-rotating menu. Ask if they’ll make you a Black Dirt Apple Jack–even if it’s not on the menu the day you go. Go.
Minus5 Ice Bar
Kick back and relax far away from the New York City heat in a bar that’s literally the coolest place around, kept at 23 degrees Fahrenheit. Guests are provided with parkas, gloves and boots before heading into a room with ice walls, an ice bar top and ice seating, the latter covered with a faux pelt. Even the glasses are made of pure, transparent ice. Go.
The Drift Gansevoort Park Avenue
Hip and refined, the special Friday-only cocktail, the Frose, is a 100 percent house-made drink that has become a summer staple. Concocted with rose sorbet and sparkling rosè wine and topped with fresh berries, it’s a light and just-sweet-enough sipper. What could be more apropos for an evening in Rose Hill? Go.
The Jane Rooftop
This upscale nautical themed bar has sweeping views of the Hudson and the outdoor terrace has an octagonal-shaped bar, which means you never feel like you have to muscle your way in to order a drink. The aptly-named West Street Sunset, which delivers a refreshing citrus-tequila kick, or Summer Solstice: Sazerac Rye, Bad Seed Cider, and Reed’s Ginger Beer, are crowd-pleasers at this bar-with-a-view. Go.
Lobby Lounge & Garden
Downtown residents have a secret garden to unwind in that most commuters probably don’t know exists and the secret’s out. Walk through the Ludlow Hotel’s lobby and step in the lounge, ideal for chatting with friends, cocktail in hand. The aperitifs themselves seem like hidden gems; taste the Belmondo, an eccentric elixir that combines tequila, ginger, fresh lime and–surprise–a secret ingredient. Go.
This intimate space has a long and glossy Casablanca-esque bar where shaking cocktails is elevated to an art. The Roxy Bar even has live music and a cinema to enhance the experience. The long list of signature cocktails includes the Bang Bang (it lives up to the name) and The Long Weekend. You are, after all, starting your weekend off right. A note to those who would love an excuse to bag the office entirely: the doors open at 9am on Fridays. Go.