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Apr 4, 2011 06:32 PM

Casual spot for quality cocktails or craft beer

Looking for an understated spot that is known for its bevvies but doesn't expect you to be dressed to the nines to imbibe.

I suspect the likes of Milk & Honey, Little Branch, Death & Co. are a bit too fancy. Am I wrong?

We'll be there in July so a patio might be nice---thought not essential.


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  1. Yes, for the most part, you are wrong. Unless you are terribly sloppy (T-shirt, cutoffs, sneakers, etc.), you will be fine at all of the above places.

    3 Replies
    1. re: loratliff

      Yes. Smart casual will be fine. I'd avoid Hanes beefy tees, athletic sneakers, fannypacks and hiking sandals (like Tevas), that sort of thing.

      If you feel out of place still, I'd do Vandaag, Mayahuel, El Cobre, Cienfuegos, or Rye House.

      I think El Cobre plans to do outdoor seating but most of the cocktail bars don't do outdoor seating. Also in July it may be hot and/or raining.

      304 E 6th St, New York, NY 10003

      Rye House
      11 W 17th St, New York, NY 10011

      95 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009

      103 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

      El Cobre
      95 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009

      1. re: kathryn

        Crocs though are perfect. And baseball caps.


    2. you could try Sunita's on Norfolk bet. Delancey and Rivington. she serves some seriously good cocktails, most notably the Jalapeno Passion Fruit Martini.

      106 Norfolk St, New York, NY 10002

      1. Thanks for the assurance that Crocs will fly at Death and Co. Thankfully, I plan to have something a notch or two above the holed wonders. A pair of socially conscious TOMS perhaps.

        So what are the main differences between M&H, D&Co and LB? Is the food better at any of them? Does one attract a younger crowd? Is one quieter than others? Ideally I want to be able to hear my friend over our drinks/din. We're both 39. :-)

        2 Replies
        1. re: cherrypicker1972

          Only D&C has food.

          M&H and LB are better at simpler/classic cocktails. D&C is much more modern and creative.

          I prefer M&H because it doesn't allow any standing, takes reservations, and has bar stools so you can sit at the bar and interact with the bartender. It's typically very quiet at M&H due to the reservations only policy (though the bar is first come first served). The biggest issue will be actually getting the reservation. They open at 8pm. It's all bartender's choice.

          Whereas at LB, it's first come first served. They open at 7pm. The menu is short and sweet, where they really shine is bartender's choice. It's typically easy to get in right around 7pm but if you're waiting for a table you must wait in the bar area, adjacent to the host stand. And there's no bar stools so you can't really sit and converse with the bartenders. It can get quite crowded and loud as the night goes on.

          At D&C, it's also first come first served. But I love sitting at the bar and taking in the whole of the very creative menu with drinks featuring special syrups, infusions, etc. There are lots of options to explore so I keep coming back and back again to try more drinks off the huge menu. I think the food is quite good: try the proscuitto flatbread, french fries, mac and cheese. However, it can also get quite loud as the night goes on.

          Little Branch
          22 Seventh Ave South, New York, NY 10014

          Death & Co.
          433 E 6th St, New York, NY 10009

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

          1. re: cherrypicker1972

            Of those 3, D&Co has the most developed food menu. LB can be loud sometimes (they have live musicians), but the other two are quiet.

            Because you mentioned craft beers and quiet, it's probably worth mentioning Burp Castle. They have a great rotating selection of Belgian beers, and they are very quiet- they make a point of shushing people for talking too loud!

            Burp Castle
            41 E 7th St, New York, NY 10003