Another year has come and gone, and once again it has brought along some exciting changes to New York in the form of late night haunts. Stylish hotel bars, subterranean downtown drinking dens, and even a tap-only Brooklyn cocktail bar that does away with the traditional notions of a proper cocktail bar (though it’ll be open for only the last few hours of 2015). With that, we present this list of bars that likely was home to a few of your adventurous nights this year, and will carry you well into 2016.
What: A year ago the team behind the one of the defining cocktail bars of the last decade, Raines Law Room, opened Dear Irving, an equally impressive and stylish bar that has become a hit itself. Now, the team is already back with The Bennett, the newest home of Meaghan Dorman’s delectable cocktails. The space trades up the whimsy of Raines and Dear Irving for sophistication, with a marble-topped bar, elevated banquets, and blue velvet high seating.
Where: 134 W Broadway
What: Tucked away on the second floor of the Five Guys restaurant in the West Village is The Garret, a cocktail bar that mixes the speakeasy looks with the energy of a late night hot spot. Their newest branch, The Garret East, does away with the furtive charm of the original, opting for a ground level bar in one of the best drinking neighborhoods in the city. The Garret’s unmistakable appeal is still present: cozy seating, artwork and knick knacks spread throughout, and of course, that energy that keeps the place alive deep into the night.
Where: 207 Avenue A
What: A few months ago Rosa Mexicano debuted its first downtown location in Tribeca. Along with it came Masa y Agave, a subterranean bar that evokes the spirit of Mexico’s local cantinas. You can get corn masa bar snacks at the bar, but the real star is the selection of over 400 agave-based spirits. Guests can taste flights of the spirits, or opt for unique mezcal or tequila cocktails courtesy of beverage director John McCarthy.
Where: 41 Murray St
What: Located on the 15th floor of Hotel Indigo, Mr. Purple is the newest hotel bar in the Lower East Side that incorporates everything you would expect from a stylish venue. Bites from local spots like Melt Bakery and il laboratorio del gelato, small batch spirits and craft beers, two terraces, a swimming pool…we can go on but it’s best to see for yourself. In the short time since opening Mr. Purple has already been home to several exclusive parties, the first of many we’re guessing.
Where: 180 Orchard St
What: One of the top bars of the year comes from Kenta Goto, a former bartender at Pegu Club. Striking out on his own this year proved to be a fruitful venture, as Bar Goto was praised across the board by critics and visitors. The izakaya bar serves a unique, Japanese-inspired take on cocktails with small bites to match. Ingredients like shochu, miso, and yuzu all make appearances on the menu, which comprises re-imagined classics like the Sakura Martini, Plum Sazerac, or Umami Mary.
Where: 245 Eldridge St
What: The team behind Dear Bushwick, the local-favorite British influenced restaurant, have extended their presence with Yours Sincerely Cocktail Laboratory, a cocktail bar with a twist. Cocktails are tap-only; there are 29 taps featuring 20 cocktails, 6 draft beers, 2 wines, and a whiskey. Few bars have tried on-tap cocktails, but the owners of Yours Sincerely never found one that tasted as good as their made-to-order counterparts, something they wish to change. Serious cocktails, minus the wait time and the high prices (drinks here are $4-9) makes this one of the most appealing new bars in Brooklyn. Opens on NYE
Where: 41 Wilson Ave, Brooklyn
What: Admittedly we would be smitten with just about anything Danny Meyer has a hand in, but Porchlight holds up to its reputation as well as those little burger joints and museum restaurants. The bartenders are as experienced as they are passionate about cocktail culture, and lead the way for trends like room temperature cocktails (the Fireside Chat is a must-try). It’s far off in West Chelsea which isn’t always convenient, but Porchlight manages to distinguish itself in a time marked by a resurgent interest in craft cocktails.
Where: 271 11th Ave
Feature image via