New York prides itself on affording access to the excess. And there’s plenty for the city to be boastful about when it comes to world-class bars, particularly those that can be found within the walls of its legendary hotels. Obvious examples of such include Bemelmans inside The Carlyle—a timeless piano bar that pours the best martini in town. At the Knickerbocker Hotel, opened by John Jacob Astor IV in 1906, you can sip one in the place where it was supposedly invented. Not to be outdone, the King Cole at lobby’s edge of the St. Regis in midtown, is the self-proclaimed creator of the Bloody Mary and its gin-based alternative, the Red Snapper.
If you have yet to experience any of these gems, by all means, pull up a stool. There’ll surely be one waiting—so long as you made proper reservations. But below we’re going to look at some of the more contemporary standouts of the city. These are hotel bars that are poised to be the classics of tomorrow as they’re downright spectacular today. And if you’re arriving in them this summer they might just have something extra special in store. Here’s why…
Towering above Madison Square Park, this stylish property actually counts two worthwhile watering holes: the chic and modern Lobby Bar as well as the more classically-appointed Clocktower. Both are worth exploring for their playful riffs on popular standards. But it’s at the former where you’ll find a special seasonal promotion featuring not just terrific tipples, but a masterclass on how to make them.
“I developed a specific format that incorporated history, science, technique, bar philosophy, and drinking into a fun, interactive, and engaging couple of hours,” explains Ian Hardie, head bartender for the hotel. “The core theme of the class is centered around history, specifically the genesis of alcohol itself and how it has developed over time into modern cocktail culture. However, participants can also expect to learn elements of chemistry and biology as they pertain to the world of booze and cocktails, as well as techniques and advice for making quality drinks, even in a home bar.”
The masterclass is currently being offered three nights a week as part of the “Spring EDITION Package.” The promotion includes luxury suite lodging and runs through June 30th.
As its name suggests, the lobby bar of this five-star midtown standout is a relaxing space meant to make you feel right at home. Signature drinks conceived by head bartender Steven Gonzalez are named simply after the tell-tale ingredient used in each. Pineapple, for example is an upmarket tiki arrangement girding the eponymous fruit with green tea, orgeat, rum and palo cortado sherry. As impressive as the cocktails are, you might still opt to sip spirit neat as the backbar is lined with some of the most highly-allocated bottles on the planet—stuff you don’t often see offered by the pour. Michter’s Celebration Sour Mash? Sure. Multiple years worth of WhistlePig Boss Hog? Why not.
“We have invested time and effort curating a quality whiskey selection that is befitting our discerning guests,” says Gonzalez. “It came together by building great relationships with producers and distributors and is all about providing that personalized touch for what our guests expect to see.”
If you’re lucky enough to be staying in the rooms above, a memorable night’s rest awaits. House-infused bourbon and ryes often make their way upstairs as welcome gifts. And suites overlooking Central Park come equipped with artificial intelligence-enabled beds; they adjust to relieve pressure points and control the climate throughout your sleep cycle.
The newly refurbished Remote View Bar bills itself as West Chelsea’s “best-kept secret.” This only tales part of the story. In reality, the entire property itself is one of the city’s best kept secrets. The High Line occupies a former 19th Century seminary, retaining much of the same serenity that defined it all those years ago. With its brick-laden charm it looks and feels much more like a London guesthouse than it does anything from the five boroughs.
But as warm and inviting as it is year-round, in summer the bar space really shines bright. It makes use of an outdoor garden space, serving drinks inspired by Ingo Swann—a legendary medium. The Seventh Sense is an invigorating bourbon-based reimagining of the ever-popular espresso martini. The Psychic Friend infuses rosemary into an otherwise standard Old Fashioned preparation. And you won’t need a crystal ball to know that the Frozen Negroni is a dependable way to beat the New York heat.
Last April Manhattan bar-goers were shocked to learn they were losing one of their most beloved drinking dens: Angel’s Share was closing after a 30-year run. Now they’re being granted a reprieve as Hotel Eventi plays summer-long host to an exclusive pop-up.
The speakeasy will operate out of the hotel’s preexisting cocktail lounge, The Vine, and will act as a portal to the literal past: a bar program run entirely by the Angel’s Share team, including former owner Erina Yoshida. The space will be filled with specially curated spirits and retrofitted with custom freezers to re-create the bar’s renowned ice program.
LTH, the hospitality company which owns and operates L’Amico, Skirt Steak and The Vine within Hotel Eventi, jumped at the chance to partner up with these pioneers of modern mixology. “It’s essential that we as hospitality professionals take care of each other in this challenging yet rewarding industry,” says Chris Lauber, director of operations for LTH. “When we heard Angel’s Share was looking for a temporary home, we jumped at the chance to collaborate and welcome the entire team to create an incredible moment in our space.”
Beginning June 1st, Angel’s Share at Hotel Eventi will be open 5 days a week from Tuesday to Saturday from 6 p.m. to midnight.
The Chelsea outpost of this hip brand of boutique hotels has only been open for a few months. Yet its lobby bar and restaurant is already making a significant splash upon the scene. Named after the tapas-like small bites you can enjoy in the cozy bars of Italy, this fun space promises a kiss of the Old World and delivers it in the form of inventive tipples assembled with an Italian accent. The Manhattan Italiano invites Amaro Averno to the party for a Black Manhattan-meets-Boulevardier mixer. The Fiore uses chamomile-infused vodka and Italicus—a gentle aperitivo—to coax florality out of a supple sour. And the barrel aged Negroni is as dependable a nightcap as you’ll find in this part of town.
When it comes to nightlife, there are few names as notable as Ian Schrager. The same man who brought the world Studio 54, brings the party to the Lower East Side at PUBLIC…From basement to roof. On the ground floor you certainly won’t want to miss the infused Pisco creations taking shape at Popular. Now that summer is here, however, it’s time to take advantage of the property’s stunning rooftop spectacle. The views of the surrounding skyline are second to none. But this isn’t a place that’s content with resting on its panoramic laurels. The bar staff is as adept at doling out tipples du jour (espresso martinis in frozen form, anyone?) as they are at spinning up unique specialities. Smoke and Mirrors is a standout for the season, combining mezcal with guava, grapefruit and elderflower liqueur. Come for the sunset happy hour and stay for the late-night DJ sets headlined by major music talent from across the globe.