110 E. 11th St., at Fourth Ave.; 212-496-8180
It took $2 million to move this Upper West Side institution into the space that formerly belonged to Corner Billiards: The result is 26 new pool tables, an almost equal number of plasma screens, and décor worthy of a cigar club. Even non-sharks will appreciate the velour armchairs, Persian rugs, and $1 off happy hour.
310 Spring St., nr. Greenwich St.; firstname.lastname@example.org
Johnny Knoxville, Drea de Matteo, and Charlotte Ronson have been spotted at this elegant tavern and dance den owned by two plugged-in fashion designers and a publicist. Is this place trendy? Well, what other bar would name a shot after an editor at Nylon?
Death & Co.
433 E. 6th St., nr. Ave. A; 212-388-0882
Sure, the unmarked door, dark woods, comfy banquettes, and canned jazz say speakeasy, but the masterfully prepared drinks at this hideaway go beyond rote classicism: Bartenders from Pegu Club, Flatiron Lounge, and Freemans serve up creative twists such as a tequila-spiked old-fashioned that’s finished with a flaming orange peel.
120 Orchard St., nr. Delancey St.; 212–529-2266
The first exhibit to grace the walls of this gallery-by-day and bi-level bar and lounge by night is Kevin Berlin’s “Slaves of Fashion.” If Berlin’s paintings of naked scenesters inspires exhibitionism, there’s a photo booth in backand cracked leather banquettes in the candlelit basement lounge.
361 Metropolitan Ave., nr. Roebling St., Williamsburg, Brooklyn; lunalounge.com
Those who remember the dive days before this Lower East Side indie-rock club suffered death by condo will hardly recognize its state-of-the-art reincarnation in a Williamsburg parking garage: The venue, which turns into a no-cover lounge after shows, holds 350 people, filling a gap between Mercury Lounge and Bowery Ballroom.
106 Norfolk St., nr. Delancey St.; 917-434-9072
When the weekend warriors swarm every other bar on the Lower East Side, this diminutive, pinup-themed newcomer makes for a safe haven. You should have little trouble snagging one of the diner-style stools at the half-size bar and ordering a bubblegum martini that, thankfully, does not contain Juicy Fruit.
130 Seventh Ave S., at 10th St.; 212-620-6815
At this whitewashed Gaudi-inflected boîte, stools that look like Dali's surrealist crutches are lined up at a mosaic-tiled bar holding barrels of sangria; complimentary olives and flatbread arrive ahead of tapas such as croquetas and escargot, figs, and bacon on bread.
165 W. 26th St., nr. Sixth Ave.; 212-627-8320,
Lesly Bernard, co-founder of Pravda and owner of Clementine, has opened a bright, cheery lounge loosely styled after classic Harlem joints like the Lenox Lounge. Waitresses in cigarette-girl getup bring throwback cocktails and daintily prepared comfort dishes to clubby U-booths while in the back a fireplace encourages makin' whoopee.