June 9, 2017


As a companion piece to our earlier post on Where to Eat Near Tudor City, today we offer a guide to Where to Drink Near Tudor City. Once again, we've turned to our close friend (a former Zagat nightlife editor) for suggestions. Here's what he had to say:

Hello, exalted readers of this extraordinary blog! There are bars galore around Tudor City. If you don't care about ambiance and just want a drink, walk north up Second Avenue where there are more Irish pubs and swingles bars that you can possibly imagine. 

This is not a guide to these kind of places. We like some ambiance ‒ or at least a rooftop perch ‒ with our drinks, hence the following suggestions. All are within a 15-minute stroll from Tudor City.

Click on the bar name for more info.

S   W   A   N   K
The Campbell, set in the former office of Jazz Age financier John W. Campbell.
 Back after a hiatus, this posh hideaway in Grand Central formerly known as The Campbell Apartment is quite simply the neighborhood's coolest, classiest bar. Now run by the Gerber Group (see below), it's back and looking better ‒ if darker ‒ than ever.

Ambassador Grill  
 Covered in a recent post, this newly landmarked bar and grill is a time trip back to 1976, when it opened. Bring someone you don't want to be seen with, as it's usually empty.

 Hidden underground sake bar with an encyclopedic sake list.

Raines Law Room at The William
 Fancy Prohibition-era cocktails served in a speakeasy-ish lair in The William Hotel. A buzzer at the entry and call buttons for the waiter on the tables enhance its back-in-time vibe.

On the more louche side of swank are the neighborhood Gerber Group barsLexington's, Whiskey Blue and The World Bar.  Hatched in the Sex and the City era, Gerber bars retain their signature '90s flourishes ‒ pitch-black lighting, pricey pops and waitresses in slinky little black dresses ‒ to this day.

R  O  O  F  T  O  P  S
Salvation Taco's rooftop bar, whose terra cotta arches date from 1918
Salvation Taco Rooftop Bar
 It began life in 1918 as the roof garden of The Allerton, a men's club residence, and is back in business today as the swinging rooftop adjunct of the namesake taco joint downstairs. Expect a scene at prime times, better in off hours for serenity seekers.

 Like Salvation Taco, this sweet spot atop the Library Hotel has the same vintage vibes thanks to the liberal use of terra cotta, tile and brick. The 1920 structure was coincidentally enough built by the Fred F. French Company as an office building (and the home of the French Company for several years).

 The smallest rooftop in this group, it compensates with intimacy and conviviality.

Mad 46
 Atop the Roosevelt Hotel. Spread out, with a big indoor lounge in case of rain. South Beach vibe, casually upscale crowd.

Rare Bar and Grill
 One of the first rooftops of the aughts, killer views of the Empire State Building.

A   N   D   .   .   .
Detail of a mural in The Overlook, created by members of the National Cartoonist Society 
in exchange for free food and drink.
 Standard-issue sports bar that draws Bears and Islanders fans. Notable for its murals, created in 2005 by famous cartoonists, including Jules Feiffer, Mort Drucker, Mell Lazarus and Al Jaffee.

Hofbräu Bierhaus
 Brawny German beer hall with picnic table seating, live bands and dancing on the tables. Hidden entrance, then one flight up. Outdoor terrace overlooking scenic Second Avenue.

Middle Branch
 Classic cocktails meticulously shaken in plain-Jane digs. Originally opened by Sasha Petraske, the late great cocktail maestro.

Lexington Brass
 Long bar inside a moody brasserie featuring big windows and big Venetian blinds. A definite noir air, although we think it's straight out of Edward Hopper late night.

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See a MAP of these places here.

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