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unpretentious outdoor drinks

Hi I'm trying to get small group (20 or so people, age: 30somethings), together for outdoor cocktails. In today economy, i’d like not to offer $12-$15 drinks and am looking for something more low key. Looking only for Manhattan. It will be a monday evening in June. I’d like to keep it near trains, so people can get there easily. Am trying not to go north of 57th st. but would go down as far as soho, east village, west village if the spot was cool.

Have already considered:
Me’ Bar
Sutton Place
Ava Lounge
Rare View
Hudson Hotel
Boat Basin
Social West
Red Sky
El Ray Del Sol
Belmont Lounge
Stanton Public/Social

I’ve checked NY Mag, Citysearch and Time Out NY. I’ve checked Yelp and chowhound and i’ve asked all 400+ of my facebook friends.. im not finding anything....

Any other suggestions?

Please help.. :)

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  1. 168 Delancey or Fifth Ward.

    This is sort of off-topic, but is Luna Park opening back up?

    1. well its not near the trains, but otherwise with a big group and the nice weather -- i would highly rec hanging out at the frying pan.


      1. Crocodile Lounge on East 14th has a back patio. That's about as unpretentious as it gets, and you get those free pizzas with each drink. Of course fitting 20 people anywhere is tough.

        1. B Bar on Bowery and 4th has a nice outdoor space and bar. The bar area isn't huge, but your group could spill out into the outdoor dining area. The drinks prices are reasonable too.

          1 Reply
          1. most of the hotel and park bars are either pretentious, expensive, have bad service or all of the above.

            the la quinta inn on 32nd has a rooftop with view of the empire state. non-pretentious as you might imagine. service is so so. decidedly un-cool.

            bryant park cafe gets a little douche-y post work happy hour, but mellows out after that. a bit pricey but beautiful spot.

            you can try the new water taxi beach at south street sea port.

            rivival near union square is a no-frills neighborhood bar with a back yard.

            ear inn is a great. not quite right near the subway... but mellow drinking on the sidewalk outside until about 11pm. not much seating though, if you don't mind.

            second the frying pan rec. from above.

            loreley has a beer garden and you can reserve a long picnic table or 2. full bar besides the excellent selection of beers. they may expect you to order some food with a rez.

            if you're going to eat, royale in alphabet city is great and cheap. $6 burgers and $5 cocktails. nice back patio and friendly service. not too train convenient though.

            bua on st marks and A is friendly and cheap. not exactly an outdoor place, but they do have some longish tables outside in front of the place. don't believe you can reserve them. and long picnic tables next to big open windows directly inside. you could reserve a table by the open window and commandeer an outside sidewalk table as it becomes available. great lighting, decor and music. high quality finger foods as well.

            1 Reply
            1. re: thievery

              the place above la quinta inn is called Me’ Bar, already considered by OP

            2. New York Milkshake Lounge - on 47th between 1st and 2nd (across from the UN), in the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza. It's very low-key -- maybe beyond what you're looking for -- but worth checking out. All outdoor seating. They have a grill, full bar, ice cream, and of course milkshakes. I had a nice egg cream there; my friends had burgers and really liked them. Prices are reasonable.


              1. that's a great list! I just wanted to warn you that La Quinta / Me Bar has been "discovered." The last time I tried go, it was the crack of 5, and there was a line. This was a Thursday and not a Monday, but just so you know. Get there early.

                2 Replies
                1. re: melon

                  if that way too crowded buzzkill thingy happens they can always try the metro hotel rooftop bar nearby on 35th st. very unpretentious.

                  1. re: mrnyc

                    Hotel Metro has been douch-e-fied as of last summer. They jacked up the drink prices 200% and put a huge awning over the space that block the amazing view of the ESB.

                    Took this place off of my list last year. And its a damn shame.

                2. Second B Bar. Rink Bar may also be a good choice. Great scenery and they have daily drink specials.