Existing Conditions

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84 Very Good

High-tech cocktails in a big comfortable space from a team of drink-making all-stars.

35 W. 8th St., New York, NY, 10011



Known For

The lowdown

Dave Arnold, Don Lee, and Cocktail Kingdom founder Greg Boehm are three of the biggest names in New York bartending, so it’s not surprising that it was big news when the trio announced they’d teamed up to open Existing Conditions. Nor was it a surprise when their menu featured all sorts of high-concept innovations (“waffle-infused” bourbon, clarified juices, pre-bottled Manhattans sold from a vending machine). What is surprising is how spacious and comfortable the bar can feel — a welcome change in the era of cramped, hidden neo-speakeasies — and that the nonalcoholic offers, such as a pleasantly complex combination of tomato and passion-fruit juices, are some of the most intriguing and satisfying drinks on the menu. (The food, meanwhile, is a combination of riffs on classic bar food, and mainly serves as fortification for drinking.)

What you need to know

DrinksFull Bar

Noise LevelCivilized