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Classic Cocktail Bar/Lounge...

Thanks for everyone's help in the other thread, it was very much appreciated... this one may be a bit of a long shot though!

I'm looking for a "classic cocktail" bar-lounge to sit and stir a glass of rye or single malt scotch with atmosphere in and around Manhattan. ie. Haute/Hipster-free with no pretentions!

1940-50's Manhattan style time warp... or anywhere that I can get a first-rate martini with retro decor/ambience in the city!!

Does such a place exist? Hotel bar maybe?

Thanks!

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  1. For whiskey, brandy and yes even great martinis you can go to Brandy Library on N. Moore in Tribeca; they have never let me down and it is a great atmosphere. There is never an overcrowding as they do not let anyone stand. I have never had a problem nor a complaint here.

    In addition, for the vibe you described, Flatiron Lounge would hit the spot. I would steer clear on Fri and Sat evenings; weeknights post happy hour would be best.

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    Flatiron Lounge
    37 W 19th St, New York, NY 10011

    Brandy Library
    25 N Moore St, New York, NY 10013

    4 Replies
    1. re: jacquelines

      Wow, Brandy Library looks perfect.. I love it!!

      Just a question: Would it be suited to latenight post-dining walk-in for cocktails or is it more of a sit-down adv. reservations spot and would 20-somethings seem out of place? What's the attitude like here? Is it accommodating for those not ordering exorbitantly priced drinks, rather swilling cocktails and chatting intimately... or is the service/attitude on the agressive side? Do they stay open late?

      Thanks very much!

      1. re: OliverB

        Brandy Library is totally chill. Granted I've usually been on Thursday nights, but I've never seen it packed, and Tribeca empties out for summer weekends so you'll be fine. They have never rushed me out, I often spend 45 minutes nursing a Chartreuse and they are always cool about it. They stay open til 2am I think, but it's worth calling ahead with the reservations/last call questions.

        Also try Pegu Club.

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        Pegu Club
        77 W Houston St, New York, NY 10012

        Brandy Library
        25 N Moore St, New York, NY 10013

        1. re: picklesister

          Pegu Club is excellent but they get slammed on weekend nights with a line out the door. Their focus is also more on cocktails.

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          Pegu Club
          77 W Houston St, New York, NY 10012

        2. re: OliverB

          I've always found Brandy Library's staff to be approachable and friendly. 20-somethings would not seem out of place. Haven't been impressed by the cocktails there but their brandy, scotch, whisky, etc. lists are great, especially if you order a tasting flight (get the gougeres as well). They're open until 4am on weekends If you get there too late sans reservation, though, they might be full already, so make a reservation just in case.

          Reservations policy & hours are here:
          http://www.brandylibrary.com/sections...

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          Brandy Library
          25 N Moore St, New York, NY 10013

      2. Raines Law Room
        http://www.raineslawroom.com/

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        Raines Law Room
        48 W 17th St, New York, NY 10011

        1 Reply
        1. re: chow_gal

          Thanks to both of you... a friend just hipped me to Raines and this is definitely where we'll be! It looks fantastic!!

          Back to Brandy for a moments... would we expect to find ourselves surrounded by yuppie wall street executive types on a late 1am Thursday night?

          Thanks again!

        2. Oops, I read this as non-hip 40s - 50s, in other words midtown!

          My midtown suggestion would be the oyster bar at Oyster Bar in Grand Central Terminal. Enjoy your rye while watching the master shuckers, and slurp down some oysters off their raw bar menu under the Guastavino arched ceilings. I recommend trying a few different oysters, including whatever giant oysters are on the menu.

          I've never actually had a drink there, but the Campbell Apartment is stunning. There is absolutely nothing hip about the crowd there, and the night I went by, it seemed like a post-sorority crowd.

          The Algonquin Hotel has a nice lobby bar, with a great history, and it's never been crowded when I've been there.

          For hip joints, I enjoyed the heck out of Milk & Honey, one of the first establishments of the faux speakeasy wave, but admittedly that was a few years ago.

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          Campbell Apartment
          89 E 42nd St, New York, NY 10017

          7 Replies
          1. re: flower_puppy

            Oliver B posted in another thread and non-hip, midtown, older crowd is not what he and his date are looking for. But Milk and Honey is a good idea.

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            Milk and Honey
            134 Eldridge St, New York, NY 10002

            1. re: chow_gal

              I'd feel weird going to Milk and Honey and asking for something neat. Their focus is on bespoke, individually customized cocktails, and it's a small place.

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              Milk and Honey
              134 Eldridge St, New York, NY 10002

              1. re: chow_gal

                That totally makes sense. I'm still confused about what "Haute/hipster-free" means.

                1. re: flower_puppy

                  "haute/hipster-free" just means I'm not looking for a "fashion scene" with loud music and flocks of skinny jeaned twenty-somethings from Williamsburg, nor the polar opposite ie. designer decked socialites and wall-street types. Something completely unpretentious and a slice of old school retro Manhattan. I really like the look of Raines speakeasy.. seems like my kind of place!

                  Btw, we'll be down for an entire week and spending most of our time with friends in Brooklyn and the East Village eating on a much more meager budget at mostly neighborhood spots with a group, so it's just this one particular night that I'd like to live it up and plan something special. Hence my being so specific about what I'm after... she's leaving town for a couple of months when we get back and I have special plans for this night to celebrate. Thanks for all of your help though!

                  1. re: OliverB

                    Campbell apartment and Raines Law Room I will second; though Raines Law Room is a bit more "hip" (though not filled with hipsters-it's just that it is definitely part of the big speakeasy craze)

                    Another spot is Bar Central-classic cocktails only, hidden away along Restaurant Row (about the only reason to head in that direction for food/drink) above Joe Allen Steakhouse. It gets much busier after Broadway lets out. Nice selection of scotch.

                    A spot that I have not been but have been meaning to try is Lexington Bar and Books or one of its brethren (I think there are 3 in total) Reportedly an excellent spot for drinks (especially a nice scotch) with 1940s-style, but warning is that it is a smoking establishment as it is also a cigar bar. There is a dress code in the manner of an old-style mens club, so men must have jackets.

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                    Joe Allen
                    326 W 46th St, New York, NY 10036

                    Lexington Bar and Books
                    1020 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10021

                    Raines Law Room
                    48 W 17th St, New York, NY 10011

                    1. re: OliverB

                      Dude, if you eliminate "flocks of skinny jeaned twenty-somethings from Williamsburg, nor the polar opposite ie. designer decked socialites and wall-street types." ....you eliminate 99% of the population up after midnight...

                      1. re: Cpalms

                        It's funny 'cause it's true! The rest of us are at home, drinking cava and playing board games.

              2. BTW, these discussions about where to drink scotch might be interesting for you:
                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/667780
                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/637547

                1. I'd suggest Keen's Steakhouse bar.

                  PJ Clarke's is also great, but it does get crowded.