Sun-Thu, 6pm-3am; Fri-Sat, 6pm-4am
F at Delancey St.; J, M, Z at Essex St.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
This spotless speakeasy grew from the ashes of Hanger Bar, a foster home for vintage clothes and drunk punks, and it’s not particularly modest in its rebirth: Elsa is now a pristine testament to the all-powerful union of brand-new and antique, assembled with airtight attention to detail. The place nurses a refined, factory-like feel, where subdued Edison-bulb and candle lighting casts a honeyed glow on creamy walls and pinewood benches still heavy with the essence of sawdust and handcraft. Selection isn’t Elsa’s strongest suit, but applejack cocktails appeal and artisanal brews right off the pages of beer trade magazines can be drawn, for shockingly reasonable prices, from a tap disguised as an ancient Singer sewing machine. The whole thing is run by well-heeled servers and sound-tracked with airy chanteuses and age-old garage rockers.
Picnics with a view, roller-skating nostalgia, and a party for gay headbangers.