A, C, E at Canal St.
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Not wanting to miss out on the sexy penthouse-bar trend, but lacking the rooftop real estate for anything as ambitious as 60 Thompson's A60 or the Gansevoort's Plunge, the SoHo Grand is making the most of its "yard," a narrow side alley just wide enough to shelter a bar. To minimize the effects of chain link fencing and HVAC vents, the modest seasonal space has been strung with beer garden lights and layered in all-weather fabric. Well-lubricated with mojitos, the frequent-flying crowd definitely gives the impression of enjoying itself. Although the long staircase leading to the kitchen presents a major obstacle between you and your order, in this city, any place that gives you (and your dog) a chance at backyard (or side yard) lounging is welcome.
Picnics with a view, roller-skating nostalgia, and a party for gay headbangers.