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 back—and 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.
189 Chrystie St., nr. Stanton St.
Though not officially open till February, Richard Kimmel (the Wooster Group), Randy Weiner (the Donkey Show), producer Simon Hammerstein (son of Oscar), and Serge Becker (La Esquina) are already using their dinner theater (inspired by the Wild West opera of Arizona’s Birdcage Theater) for private parties. Lucky invitees have been lounging on salvaged twenties furniture amid antique mix-and-match wallpaper decorated with flowers, flappers, and cherubs.
The Double Seven
63 Gansevoort St., nr. Washington St.
The owners of Lotus are moving their exclusive lounge (another victim of death by condo) to the old Rhone location. If the potentially less intimate digs are a bringdown, rest assured that when the joint reopens in March, the cocktails will be of the same high caliber and, thanks to a new late-night kitchen, you’ll no longer have to order from Pop Burger.
389 Broome St., at Mulberry St.
Jamie Mulholland and Robert McKinley of Cain and David Tetens, a former operator at Lotus, have kept mum about their new venture, saying only that it will be an Italian-style bar. But rumors have them planning innovative cocktails (possibly involving a blowtorch and grapefruit ice cubes) and hundreds of faux golden skulls on the walls.
Hotel Chelsea, 222 W. 23rd St., nr. Seventh Ave.
Charles Ferri and Vekrum Kaushik have overhauled Serena, their club in the basement of the Chelsea Hotel, and are rebranding it with the name of their Hamptons spot Star Room to bring—come March 1—what Ferri says will be a more sophisticated, high-end clientele. The throwback first room includes wall chandeliers and a VIP bungalow; D.J.’s will spin in a more modern middle room; and a zebrawood bar in the back will serve old-fashioned cocktails named after Chelsea Hotel regulars.