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Best of New York 2013 • Fun

Create-a-Date

Ice-breaking bars for every dating type, plus where to go afterward if things go well.


Illustration by Rami Niemi  
  • Culture Hound

  • Start Here: Ginny's Supper Club

    310 Lenox Ave., nr. 125th St.; 212-421-3821

    Ginny’s Supper Club, in the basement of Marcus Samuelsson’s Red Rooster, is dim enough to inspire romantic posturing yet buzzing enough to still give you something to talk about. (The live jazz and cabaret shows also help.)

  • Keep It Going: MIST Harlem

    40 W. 116th St., nr. Lenox Ave.; 646-688-5886

    Catch a movie at MIST Harlem, a months-old indie cinema–slash–performance space. Recent screenings include Sheldon Candis’s film LUV, starring Common, and documentarian Tony Regusters’s Obama in Ghana.

  • Consummate Brooklynite

  • Start Here: Dear Bushwick

    41 Wilson Ave., nr. George St., Bushwick; 929-234-2344

    Decorated with antique birdcages and portraits of dignified Brits, resto-bar Dear Bushwick is a beacon of coziness on an otherwise bleak block. On the Anglicized cocktail menu, there’s $5 wine punch and an Aperol-heavy Iron Lady for $10.

  • Keep It Going: Tutu's

    25 Bogart St., nr. Varet St., Bushwick; 718-456-7898

    Every Wednesday at 11 p.m., new bar Tutu’s hosts a video-game night, wherein the owners cast a projector on a back wall and plug in the ol’ Nintendo 64. It’s a genius setup for “accidentally” brushing knees while speeding through a round of Mario Kart.

  • High-Low Uptowner

  • Start Here: Penrose

    1590 Second Ave., nr. 83rd St.; 212-203-2751

    With the Penrose, the Wilfie & Nell team successfully transplants a well-played downtown aesthetic—vintage mirrors, floral wallpaper—uptown. Craft brews abound, but harder tipplers can dig into a deep whiskey menu.

  • Keep It Going: Le Churro

    1236 Lexington Ave., nr. 84th St.; 646-649-5253

    All of which would be merrily chased by deep-fried dough. At Le Churro, $4 buys four Mexican churros. For a buck extra, an infatuated twosome gets its choice of dipping sauce (mocha, peanut-butter cup, and chocolate hazelnut).

  • See-and-Be-Scenester

  • Start Here: Acme

    9 Great Jones St., nr. Lafayette St.; 212-203-2121

    There’s nothing like rejection before the date’s even started, but if you’re confident you can slither past the door person, the basement bar of Nordic restaurant Acme is a swanky way to kick off the night.

  • Keep It Going: Open House

    244 E. Houston St., nr. Ave. A; 917-225-9018

    Ogle the wildly dressed characters at nightlife fixture Ladyfag’s debauched Friday-night dance party ElevenEleven at Open House. Look for Honey Dijon on the decks upstairs and guest D.J.’s moving the ground-floor crowd.

  • Avant-Garde Downtowner

  • Start Here: Café Dancer

    96 Orchard St., nr. Broome St.; 212-677-1808

    Play spot the up-and-comer at Café Dancer, a hangout for artists and gallery assistants. Happy hour has $3 Tecates and grilled cheese, and, come late night, the occasional guest D.J.

  • Keep It Going: Spectrum

    121 Ludlow St., nr. Delancey St., second fl.; newspectrum.org

    Buckle down at Spectrum, a new salonlike art-and-music space. Thursday is Ambient Music night, which has been intriguingly billed as an evening of “extra-dimensional sound force.”

  • Self-Loathing Gentrifier

  • Start Here: Alphabet City Beer Co.

    96 Ave. C, nr. E. 7th St.; 646-422-7103

    Impress a date with your encyclopedic suds knowledge at Alphabet City Beer Co. Comfy leather armchairs, a rotating selection of twelve craft brews, and cheese and meat platters designed for sharing facilitate small talk.

  • Keep It Going: Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space

    155 Ave. C, nr. E. 10th St.; 973-818-8495

    Pay tribute to the East Village’s radical, riotous history at the new Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space. The gallery is stuffed with zines, photos, and underground newspapers from a time when the idea of a craft beer bar on Avenue C seemed unimaginable.

  • Shameless Flirt

  • Start Here: Middle Branch

    154 E. 33rd St., nr Lexington Ave.; 212-213-1350

    In a move that may prove to be the first significant step toward hipsterizing the maligned neighborhood, Sasha Petraske opened Middle Branch on two floors of a stately townhouse that’s just as pressed-tin charming as can be. As with his other canoodling joints, dark nooks and meticulously crafted cocktails ($12 each) are still the name of the game.

  • Keep It Going: Cutting Room

    44 E. 32nd St., nr. Park Ave.; 212-691-1900

    Robyn Bird ushered many New Yorkers through puberty with her raunchy public-access show. Now, fully clothed and with her X-rated antics behind her, she leads a Saturday-night burlesque show at the recently relocated Cutting Room. The rotating lineup showcases burlesque performers, go-go dancers, and other potentially scintillating acts.

From the 2013 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine

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