Nightjar opened in 2010 and has become such a huge success that it now operates an online-only booking system and charges your credit card if you don’t show up. It takes away much of the spontaneity that comes with stumbling across a place like this, but that’s the price of fame.
And there is a good reason for it: Nightjar is a great bar. It’s a gorgeous, low-lit room with comfortable seating, smooth table service and a long, playful cocktail list divided into historical eras (pre-Prohibition, post-war and so on). This makes it a great place for experimenting, but you can also depend on expert handling of the classics. Early in the evening the sound system provides a discreet jazz and swing soundtrack; later the music goes live, with mostly jazz- and blues-orientated artists.