202 Mott St.; 212-625-1105
Inspired by South African speakeasies, Shebeen is a dim Nolita bar with creative, tasty cocktails and low candlelit tables. Its real appeal, though, lies behind a frosted-glass door at the end of the bar. The de facto smoking room resembles an industrial bunker with its metal walls and large hooded vent, which effectively sucks smoke from the room. Lest smokers feel left out, the bar’s music is piped in—but its beer is not. Patrons are free to come and go, drinks from the bar in hand. Look closely and you’ll see a no smoking sign so small you could almost miss it.
Best Bar to Smoke In
From the 2007 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine
So what exactly does “best” mean in a city with thousands of pizza joints, hundreds of celebrity masseuses, and museum-worthy concept shops on every corner? Well, in the case of this, our annual “Best of New York” roundup, there’s a heavy emphasis on what’s new or what has somehow remained virtually unheard of (until now, of course).