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Beat the heat: four indoors bars where you can cool off

When it’s too damn hot to be outside, head to these four indoor bars that offer a cool respite from hot weather.

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Photograph: Sean Ellingson

Boat

2/4
Photograph: Jolie Ruben

PKNY

3/4
Photograph: Lizz Kuehl

Saint Vitus

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Photograph: Jessica Lin

Lansdowne Road

As much as we like outdoor bars in hot weather, sometimes it’s just too gross to be outside. If you’re looking for a bar where you can cool off in the summertime, check out one of these indoor drinkeries—you’ll find frozen drinks, cold beer and all the air-conditioning you could ever want.

RECOMMENDED: Best summer drinks in NYC

Boat

Avoid the sun by ducking into this low-lit Smith Street dive, which offers a relaxed atmosphere, cheap tipples and cool air in the hot summer months. Settle into one of the back booths and take advantage of the bar’s superlative happy hour: Well drinks and draft beers (Sixpoint, Anchor Steam and more) are just $3 daily, 5–8pm—and Genny Cream Ale is $3 all the time. Best of all, there’s a jukebox stocked with eclectic hits to keep the after-work crowd entertained long after the sun goes down.

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Boerum Hill

PKNY

Critics' pick

The erstwhile Painkiller’s faux-Polynesian decor is cool on its own, but the real chill factor comes from the oversize frozen drinks. Unlike the slushy concoctions served at kitschy tiki bars, PKNY’s cocktails are made with high-quality ingredients (top-shelf rum, fresh juices, house-made grenadine). Try the piña colada ($14), a combination of añejo rum, fresh-squeezed pineapple juice and cream of coconut, served in a hollowed-out pineapple. The underground den also offers a number of mai tais ($12–$14) and other tropical classics; sipping one, you may feel as if you’ve been transported to a Hawaiian island.

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Lower East Side

Saint Vitus

It’s not just the dark furnishings—like upside-down crosses—that keep this Greenpoint heavy-metal bar cool when the sun’s beating down. The nearly windowless venue stays dusky with dim lights and table candles. Chill out with a Brooklyn Lager ($6) draft, or a 16-ounce can of PBR ($4), and hang with the band-tee-clad crowd at one of the metal shows held frequently in the equally entombed back room.

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Harlem

Lansdowne Road

Critics' pick

This Hell’s Kitchen pub employs a frozen bar rest, called the Ice Rail, to keep brews like Blue Moon and Sixpoint Sweet Action ($5–$6) at a solid 47 degrees (or cooler) on sweltering days. The spacious joint stays breezy in the heat, frequently opening the floor-to-ceiling front windows in warmer temps. Show up early for happy hour, when all drinks are half off (until 7pm); the post-5pm suit-and-tie crowd stays entertained with sports on the big-screen TVs lining the walls.

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Hell's Kitchen

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