Favorite non-scene-y bars or lounges in Manhattan with ambient music?
October 2, 2013 7:13 PM   Subscribe

What are your favorite quiet (on a Saturday or Sunday night!) Manhattan bars or lounges that play ambient music, and are good for hanging out?

I would like to find a bar or lounge, in Manhattan (no other boroughs please) that is super chill that plays live or canned ambient music along the lines of Banzai Republic (do bars even exist like that anymore? Am I too old?). I'm kind of getting lost in the list of bars at TimeOutNY.

Quietish even on a Saturday, open late, where I can hang out in a booth or at the bar proper, with people or alone, to watch the people, hold a conversation, be a happy drunk. Am I asking too much? Mefites, what are your favorites that fit some or all of this bill?

Am I limited to super-expensive tiny cocktail boƮtes like Death & Co., Angel's Share, and other faux-speakeasies? I saw the previous thread Low key in lower city and maybe that's my thread, but ehh...I can't spend a fortune on drinks. so PDT and Pegu Club are out for me.

All of New York magazine's recommendations seem to be scene-y places where 22 year olds dance to loud house. So not my vibe. Think louche upscale stoner vibe: that is the best way I can describe it. Does this exist?
posted by ArgyleGargoyle to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (3 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Probably not no. The people that like that kind of music are mostly willing to pay medium prices for drinks. And a place like Pegu is pretty much medium priced. If you want cheap, its usually a dive. If you want lounge-y, that's by definition expensive. So, no answers.

That said, the Auction House in the Upper East side is fantastic and far enough away from everything that its lovely couches don't get super-packed on weekends. It's kind of a date bar, but the drinks are reasonable.

But they play more like Hot Jazz on the stereo.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 4:24 AM on October 3, 2013

Most bars in Manhattan get incredibly crowded and awful on Saturday nights, unfortunately, and that goes double for anywhere with live music. However, places that cater to the after-work crowd tend not to be as bad (because there is no after-work crowd on a Saturday) -- this means you can check out any bar that sounds interesting in either midtown or wall street area and it's likely to be survivable.

I like The Ginger Man, though I can't vouch for what music they might have playing. I also LOVE Burp Castle, which bills itself as a quiet bar and so is perfect for conversation and people watching, though it also means there's no music at all playing.
posted by EmilyFlew at 5:16 AM on October 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thank you both for the responses! I know it's difficult to get a tailor-made bar; and you're right Potomac, lounge vibe = medium price drinks.
posted by ArgyleGargoyle at 11:51 AM on October 3, 2013

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