"Couch Bar" reccs in lower Manhattan?
May 1, 2007 10:18 AM   Subscribe

I'm courting a woman and we're not quite at the "come back to my place" stage yet, so I'm looking for what I call a "couch bar" in lower Manhattan-- where she and I can sit side by side, talk without shouting over music or crowd noise, and maybe steal a few kisses this Thursday night.

Problem is, I'm a Brooklynite (Cobble/Carroll) and out of the loop on such joints in "the city." She and I are having a nice dinner in the West Village, and I want to walk (or short cab if weather is bad) to this next place (which will of course make me look smart and sophisticated).

So... quiet enough/not too sceney, older-than-20s-but-still-fun crowd (she's 39 and I'm, um, older) and the aforementioned couches: suggestions, hive-minders in NYC???

Thanks in advance...
posted by jouster to Food & Drink (21 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
I know nothing about NY, but..
I think maybe what you're looking for is a good hookah bar.
Smoking gives you an activity to bond over (if you both do), they generally have really comfy couches, they play music, but not so loud that you can't talk, and the lighting/seating arrangement can provide privacy.
Good luck on your date!
posted by baserunner73 at 10:48 AM on May 1, 2007

posted by kimdog at 10:49 AM on May 1, 2007

Jadis, a wine bar, at 42 Rivington. It's gorgeous, lots of couches, and not at all crowded on Thurdsay.
posted by sweetkid at 10:56 AM on May 1, 2007

Botanica is the place.
posted by the jam at 11:05 AM on May 1, 2007

I like Dove Bar on Thompson between West 3rd and Bleeker. The crowd can be young on weekends, but in my experience there is a broad age range on weekdays.
posted by rmless at 11:07 AM on May 1, 2007

I think Botanica might be a little divey for this purpose and for the ages of the people involved.
posted by josher71 at 11:10 AM on May 1, 2007

Little Branch
I cozied up with my date when he brought me here, (low-lighting by oil lamps, booths, romantic atmosphere, excellent cocktails) and someone got lucky! I hope it works the same magic for you.
posted by amileighs at 11:14 AM on May 1, 2007

The Ginger Man might work.

If you really want to impress her, try Chumley's, a really cool old speakeasy (no signs or anything on the outside, so you'll look like you're in the know. Just make sure you know the directions before you head out.)
posted by SBMike at 11:15 AM on May 1, 2007

Chumley's is currently in a state of disrepair -- the building it's housed in has had some structural damage of late, possibly as a result of a fire.
posted by AJaffe at 11:21 AM on May 1, 2007

Jadis would be perfect - but it's on the Lower East Side so the crowd is definitely in their 20s. And it's a hike from the W Village. But the Otheroom, on Perry St, is right in the W Village, and is dark and mellow, and has couches in the back.

SBMike: Chumley's is closed at the moment because an interior wall caved in during renovations.
posted by nicwolff at 11:22 AM on May 1, 2007 [1 favorite]

Little Branch is very nice, and if you appreciate a well-mixed cocktail, you can't beat it.
posted by kosem at 11:22 AM on May 1, 2007

Not a New Yorker so haven't experienced the recommendations, but thought this Gridskipper post called "No-Fail Date Spots in NYC" might be helpful.
posted by pineapple at 11:26 AM on May 1, 2007

I haven't been there, and don't know NYC at all, but how about the brandy library? Looks like they have couches and stuff.
posted by duckstab at 11:45 AM on May 1, 2007

The Bubble Lounge on West Broadway in Tribeca or The Temple Bar on Lafayette. Trust me, um, older too and went through a very similiar scenario (and now we're together for 2 1/2 years so good luck!). If the weather's nice, walk!
posted by thinkpiece at 11:47 AM on May 1, 2007

The Room, near 6th and Houston has a nice side room with couches. Can be loud/young on weekends after midnight, but for a drink after dinner on a Thursday it should be quite nice. Note, I've only been there a couple times and not for awhile.
posted by verysleeping at 12:06 PM on May 1, 2007

for all that is holy and good, do not take her to the Ginger Man, unless, of course, you like being around a bunch of REALLY LOUD jocks in white baseball caps watching sports. Oh, and also, Blue Shirt broker wannabees who all look the same. And yeah, Chumley's is closed at the moment.

Take her to Temple. It's nice and dark inside, sort of a twin peaks in a red velvet kind of way, with expensive but really well-made drinks.
posted by nomad73 at 1:58 PM on May 1, 2007

I've gone on some lovely dates at XR Bar on Sullivan and W Houston. If you get there early or it's quiet you can snag a window seat in the corner, which is great in nice weather (they open the windows). There are couches in the back. I've been there several times, and occasionally it's crowded/loud, but when it's not it's great. Not fancy or anything, but cozy.
posted by min at 2:07 PM on May 1, 2007

You guys didn't have to stand outside for 30 minutes in front of Little Branch with a bunch of incredibly good looking scenesters only to be encountered with $12 drinks that have an ice cube which compromises approximately 7/8 the volume of the cocktail? Has it changed? The guy next to me had silver sneakers, from the fucking future. Would not recommend it.
posted by geoff. at 4:14 PM on May 1, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks, mefites, plenty of good ideas here- and thanks for the good wishes.
posted by jouster at 6:18 PM on May 1, 2007

I have never been to Little Branch when it's crowded. Maybe you could go there first, but have a back-up bar, in an inclimate situation. Honestly, it seems perfect for what you're looking for.
posted by amileighs at 6:34 PM on May 1, 2007

Little Branch is great not on a weekend (never been on a weekend but just got back from there and they had a great jazz band tonight), but I ask you please, if you're going to steal kisses don't suck the face off your date. Yuck. If you must do some heavy making out go outside where people aren't seeing you out of the corner of their eye while they try to enjoy their drink.
posted by ch1x0r at 8:45 PM on May 1, 2007

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