Decent (cocktail?) bar, Midtown West
A group of my coworkers and I are going out for drinks after work tomorrow night, and I'm desperately looking for a new place to steer us to so that we don't end up in the Irish bar down the block where these things usually end up purely by default. We're at Broadway/52, and most of the places I know are pretty far away from here - probably the closest would be the Campbell Apartment, which at Grand Central is too far for a large group to walk to. I'm looking for a place in walking distance where a group of eight could meet for drinks at around 7ish and not have to fight through an after work finance-y crowd or yell to be heard. A cocktail list (or at least a bartender who knows what he's doing) would be a plus, but low-key and comfortable is probably more important.
I realize the irony of asking for a bar without an after-work scene so that I can steer my after-work group there, but I promise, this is only one time, and we won't ruin your favorite bar! Please let me know if anyone has any suggestions.
Bar Room at the Modern or Atria (fka Grayz)? The lounge at Le Bernardin is quiet and they have great bar snacks, but the atmosphere is kind of "nice hotel lobby."
The bar at Ruth's Chris(51st/btwn 6th & 7th) is big and they have a good cocktail list.Not that much of a finance crowd for a steakhouse.They usually have a piano player and the room is very spacious.I've been there with friends a few times and had appetizers at the bar and it's always been a fun night.Across the street is Piano Due which has a nice bar room and Bar Americain is within a block.I don't know how crowded the bar gets after work.The Bar Room at the Modern is fun and hase very good bartenders but everytime I've been there it has been very crowded.
The revamped Royalton Hotel (44th/6th) might also fit the bill. On Fridays it can get a little jammed, but on a Thursday should be OK.
Vice Versa has a good bar; it can be somewhat of a see and be seen place, but isn't usually as crowded as some of the places right off broadway.
There is a new place, Pony Bar; it looks great: craft beer place on 10th at 44 or 45. May be a little far, but that means it probably won't have as much of the after-work scene. Haven't had the chance to try it yet, just opened a week or so ago.