Mon-Fri, 6pm-4am; Sat-Sun, 11am-4am
L at Jefferson St.
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The specialty-cocktail list — sporting an assortment of classic drinks, from Dark and Stormies and Brooklyns, and more unusual options like the Beatnik (beet-infused vodka, ginger, lemon, apple)— is a collection of Tandem's co-owners and sisters Jane and Cathy Virga. The changing snack menu includes dishes like artichoke and kale dip, grass-fed meatballs, and a chocolate pudding. Jane cooks it all “using really nice ingredients.” While Cathy worked on Wall Street by day (she comes to the bar at night), Jane scoured the five boroughs, upstate, and New Jersey for Tandem’s reclaimed décor. The bar came from Build It Green! NYC, a nonprofit retail outlet for salvaged and surplus building materials, via an Elks Lodge in Elmhurst. Some windows and pieces of decorative glass inside are scrap glass from Frank Gehry’s IAC building in Chelsea, the remnants from an exhibition at the Center for Architecture. The handmade, ceramic tile walls and tabletops, and the ceramic beer cups (all designed by Jane) are the rare “new” pieces at Tandem. “The style is kind of all over the place now,” says Jane. “Though, when I first thought about the design of the bar, I was thinking ‘Psychedelic Art Deco,’ which explains the tiles.”
Picnics with a view, roller-skating nostalgia, and a party for gay headbangers.