New York's Top New Outdoor Cocktail Spots
Spring has sprung in the Big Apple and the biggest sign of the season is the new crowds on sidewalks and rooftops. Restaurants' cafe tables have come out of storage and the sidewalks are now packed, Parisian-style, with people-watchers, coffee-sippers and, of course, cocktailers. Whether you're looking for the streetside scene, the hidden garden or the top-of-the-world views from rooftops, there's a new hot spot in New York that fits the bill. Here's where to see and be-sipping this spring.
- Crosby Street Hotel
This new SoHo hotspot has been all the buzz among design circles since it opened in October. Developed by London's Firmdale hotel company, the art-filled interior was designed by Kit Kemp, who designed all the Firmdale's six London properties. Her signature is a mix of modern art, antiques, and fresh fabrics and colors for a cleaner, younger British look. The newest addition to the Crosby Street is its interior courtyard sculpture garden (right). The adjoining Crosby Bar begins serving in the courtyard on May 1. On a recent afternoon, the bar was filled with creatives from the neighborhood taking meetings behind thick-rimmed glasses and crowned with messy buns.
- The Strand Hotel
In the Garment District, Empire State Building views are plentiful, but it's still hard to come by a public space at which to enjoy them. The Strand, which opened this winter, is the exception. It may have the best view of the one-time tallest building in all of Manhattan. The Top of the Strand, the hotel's zen-like rooftop bar has a retractable glass roof that when opened, makes for one of the best spots to grab an after work drink. Note: Fashion Week will be a particularly fun time to sip at this spot, as fashion industry folks will likely fill the hotel because of its proximity to the showrooms.
- The Standard Hotel
Not to be confused with "The Strand," The Standard is the Meatpacking District hotspot and latest from chic hotelier Andre Balazs (the ex-Mr. Uma Thurman). The Top of the Standard (formerly known as the Boom Boom Room), the glitzy18th-floor lounge is probably the hardest door in New York right now. So unless you're on Madonna's speed dial, save yourself the embarrassment of getting turned away and instead opt to have a drink and some oysters at the first-floor Standard Grill (right), which has tables on a patio out front. Or around the corner, choose from one of three German beers and a (surprisingly reasonable) $8 wurst at the Biergarten where the young, beautiful and single play ping pong on weekends.
- San Rocco Restaurant
The cocktails have gotten special attention at this bright, new, Italian eatery in the Flatiron District. The owners hired a James Beard Award winning mixologist to concoct the menu of classic cocktail throwbacks with an Italian twist. The main dining room in the back sits under a curved-glass roof which can give you an outdoor feeling, but for better people watching, grab one of the tables on the front patio. An unusual bonus: At happy hour a complimentary "aperitivo" menu is served in the bar with Italian tapas-like appetizers such as bruschetta and pasta with truffles.
- Brooklyn Bridge Park
You'll have to bring you're own drink of choice to this newly opened park (pictured at top) just south of the Brooklyn Bridge adjacent to the Brooklyn Heights neighborhood. But don't fret about crossing the East River, it's the best way to get views of the Statue of Liberty, Manhattan and and the Manhattan Bridge. Not to mention an up-close-and-personal view of the Brooklyn Bridge. Only the first phase, or Pier 1, of this ambitious new park is open but it's enough to supply a lovely evening stroll complete with drop-dead views and grassy knolls for romantic picnics. Just don't forget your flask.