Nice bars in Manhattan (Union Square, W. Village)?
November 1, 2005 10:36 AM   Subscribe

NYCFilter: Recommendations for nice, semi-"hip" bars/lounges in or around Union Square/Grammercy or W. Village in Manhattan?

I've lived in NYC for a few months now and have had a few friends visit me so far. I have trouble finding good bars to take them to. My tendency is to go the simple Irish neighborhood bar and most of my NYC/work friends are into the meating-packing district club scene, neither of which makes everyone happy. I'm looking for a few places to try that are nice and sorta "yuppie" or "hip" while still comfortable and not so crowded that I have to squeeze my fat ass through a wall of people to take a piss.

I live right near Union Square and work in Tribeca, so I'd like to have a few options in and around these areas.

As a reference for what I have in mind...Olives at the W Union Square would be good if it weren't a hotel bar (the downstairs club is too busy/trendy/loud). And a friend took me to a place called either Burton Lounge or Evelyn Lounge on the UWS that I liked. There must be more places like this than I could count, but I am handicapped by horrendous work hours and general anti-socialness.

posted by mullacc to Food & Drink (12 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I really love Blue Mill in the west village. It has a beautiful art deco bar and a hidden away feeling. Never been to Oiles so I can't compare.
posted by kkevans at 10:54 AM on November 1, 2005

My brother, the New York barhopper, recommends Opus 22 (on 22st and 11ave) and The Other Room (on perry and washington).

I, the internet-addicted, recommend the Citysearch website. Because patrons can post reviews, I think they do a good job of keeping the info up to date, and you can get a feel for the kind of people who go to a place based on who's reviewing it. But there's still usually an editorial review for a more objective write-up.
posted by occhiblu at 10:57 AM on November 1, 2005

Motor City on the LES:

Seems hip, but is a very comfy and welcoming place. My favorite bar in the city. Plus, sometimes there's a little dog.

Not sure if this meets your criteria but I had to reply.
posted by miss tea at 10:58 AM on November 1, 2005

Le Pere Pinaud on Ludlow on the LES is a bit out of the way but cool.
posted by nyterrant at 11:38 AM on November 1, 2005

I like Chumleys in the WV. Sawdust on the floor. Great place to hang out and talk to friends.

warning: It is not easy to find.
posted by phildog at 12:29 PM on November 1, 2005

Second the Blue Mill recommendation -- fun, funky, unpretentious. Good chow, too. Worth visiting just to walk down the street it's on.
posted by shallowcenter at 12:52 PM on November 1, 2005

If you want somewhere low key, on 3rd ave and 9th is a place called Angel's Share. No large groups....but nice and low key.
posted by lalochezia at 1:05 PM on November 1, 2005

Second the Angel's Share, even though it's tiny. No groups larger than 4, but beautifully cozy and excellent service.
posted by Sara Anne at 2:23 PM on November 1, 2005

Park Bar has always been a personal favorite. And it's right off Union Square.
posted by slogger at 3:43 PM on November 1, 2005

Best answer: The bar at Otto, Mario Batali's enoteca at 8th Street and 5th Avenue, is reliably social and fun. And not just because I'm almost always there. (Shoot, I think I'll go now.)

The bar ar Cru, a block north, is dark and romantic and has the best wine list in town (the world?).

Bar Jamón is on Irving Place - Mario Batali again but Spanish rather than Italian.

Alta, on 10 Street just east of 6th Ave, has a nice crowd and bartenders and fun little plates of food.

There's a cute little bar downstairs at Blue Water Grill, on the west side of Union Square.

The bar at 5 Ninth, on 9th Ave just above Gansevoort, is so hot right now. It's in the meatpacking district but not of it.

Gotham, on 12st Street, is one of the city's best restaurants and has a nice long bar.

The Strip House, across the street, is a bordello-themed steakhouse but I've had fun at the bar up front and I saw Jack White with Jim Jarmusch at a table a couple of weeks back.

Second the Other Room, it's good.

The roof above Sushi Samba on 7th Ave. South can be fun.
posted by nicwolff at 9:06 PM on November 1, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks for all the suggestions! I'll have to make the effort to try out all these places.

If anyone else has more suggestions, the more the merrier.
posted by mullacc at 9:54 PM on November 1, 2005

The bar at Union Square Cafe on (I think) 17th is a restaurant bar, but is very nice.

Avoid Coffee Shop, as it's full of scenefuckers and has intensely terrible service.

13 isn't perhaps as upscale as you'd like, but it is laid-back and fun.

I wasn't going to recommend Angel's Share, because I love it so much and I'm selfish. But now that the cat's out of the bag, I'll go ahead.

Pegu Club is downtown's only rival to Angel's Share for top-flight cocktails.
posted by Vidiot at 3:27 AM on November 2, 2005

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