Where to read on NYC on a Friday night
October 19, 2018 12:33 PM   Subscribe

I'm in New York City. I want to go and read somewhere tonight (Friday), that is not a Starbucks, open until at least 10 pm or even midnight, where I can sit in a comfortable couch/chair/sofa and order refreshments (coffee, tea, alcohol, light snacks).

My difficulties in finding a place like this tend to be:

- I'm specifically looking for someplace good for Friday and Saturday nights; a lot of places that would work for this on weekdays have a totally different vibe on weekend evenings and I wouldn't feel comfortable just reading there. (I'm not looking for a library -- I just don't want to be somewhere where everyone else clearly has a different agenda than me.)

- The evening is also a part of the issue; I'd be happy going to a coffee shop, but most (that are not Starbucks) tend to close by 8 pm at the latest.

- It'd be nice to be able to have a beer or a glass of wine, but I think the difficulty is that most places serving booze on Friday or Saturday nights tend to be crowded and/or loud.
posted by andrewesque to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (13 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
 
Do you mind buying expensive cocktails? I'm remembering the Pegu Club, on West Houston, as very quiet (although dark. That is, you'd want to be reading on a Kindle or something, not paper.)
posted by LizardBreath at 12:41 PM on October 19, 2018


Pegu Club on a Friday is, I'm afraid, apt to get quite loud, unless you're out by 7 at the latest. It'd be quite nice on a weekday, as they do have rather nice couches and chairs, but a Friday may be rough.

Think Coffee has a few locations open until ten or eleven which also serve beer or wine. The one on Mercer might be a little crowded with NYU kids, but is worth a try as they might be partying elsewhere. The one on Bleeker might be just the ticket for you, and even has a patio.
posted by halation at 12:51 PM on October 19, 2018 [3 favorites]


Yelp for hotel lounges. Midtown hotel lounges & lobbies tend to be quiet on weekends. Especially chain places.

My memory is that the Algonquin lounge would be perfect for this, although I can’t guarantee it’ll be as quiet as you’d like. People are in and out, but it’s not a loud bar scene.
posted by Rock 'em Sock 'em at 12:56 PM on October 19, 2018 [7 favorites]


I second Think Coffee.

Also, perhaps a hotel lobby or bar? When I worked South of Grand Central 5 years ago, there was an older hotel that had a bar that always seemed deserted, even during happy hour. Based on google maps, it looks like the hotel may have closed/changed hands, but I think other hotel bars might work.
posted by Caz721 at 1:01 PM on October 19, 2018


I’m a big fan of hotel bars for this purpose — but obviously not the trendy ones like the Standard or whatever. Just the ones that have an older clientele.

Comfy chairs, sometimes a fireplace, no jarring music, etc.

I’ve even done some of the lower-to-mid chain hotels that have a nicer-than-usual restaurant attached (so it doesn’t feel like I’m sitting at a sad Holiday Inn, drinking a mini bottle and eating a bummer chicken wrap from a vending machine, or something).

On preview: yup!
posted by functionequalsform at 1:03 PM on October 19, 2018 [1 favorite]


Hotel lobby/bar made me think of the bar/lounge at the Regency Hotel.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:04 PM on October 19, 2018 [2 favorites]


Think Coffee in Gramercy is pretty dead at night, but only open until 9, while the one in the East Village is a little busier, but closes at 10.

I've spent a Friday night reading in the cafe at the Whitney (open until 10), but there were definitely waves of people and then it would suddenly become empty.
posted by betweenthebars at 1:21 PM on October 19, 2018


One of the Grey Dog Coffees might work for you. The kitchens close at 10 but I think they're open for at least half an hour, maybe more, after that. Probably towards the more energetic end of the spectrum for coffee places, but not crazy.
posted by praemunire at 1:22 PM on October 19, 2018 [1 favorite]


There’s also a chain called The Bean here in the city. I’m not there a lot so I can’t soeak to how busy it is but google maps has a feature that suggests they get less busy after 9pm today.

Edit to add some definitely are open till midnight.
posted by bilabial at 2:01 PM on October 19, 2018


Burp Castle in the East Village is small and cozy and has a fairly strict noise policy that’s enforced by the shushing bartender. It fills up on the weekends but I think would still make for a peaceful place to read. Really good beer and you can bring your own snacks.
posted by cakelite at 2:02 PM on October 19, 2018 [2 favorites]


Cafe Reggio in the West Village meets all of your criteria I believe. It can be a little crowded but I've personally read there with a glass of wine on a Friday night to great success.
posted by rabbitbookworm at 2:09 PM on October 19, 2018 [1 favorite]


Haven't been to Burp Castle in a long enough time I don't remember what the seats are like. But excellent beer, and enforced quiet is pretty super.
posted by so fucking future at 2:52 PM on October 19, 2018


Housing Works bookstore on Crosby
posted by scyllary at 4:42 PM on October 19, 2018 [1 favorite]


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