Employees Only

  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
Critics' pick
1 Love It
Photograph: Virginia Rollison

The Cosmo at Employees Only, mixed by bartender Steve Schneider



West Village
A fortune teller greets patrons at this comfortably-worn reproduction of a prohibition speakeasy. There’s a rousing scene in front, a mix of diehard regulars and industry types who jockey for the attentions of the chef-coat–clad barkeeps. Of all of the city’s craft cocktail joints Employees Only is among the most populist, with enough nerd-baiting tipples on the menu to please aficionados without alienating everyone else. Easy sipping libations include the floral Provencal, a silky blend of lavender-infused gin, vermouth steeped with herbs de Provence and Cointreau. More seasoned drinkers can call for a Hi-Octane Fix, made with aged rum and scotch, Cocchi di Torino vermouth, Grand Marnier and bitters. Chef Julia Jaksic turns out tasty bar snacks; stick around until closing time and they’ll set you up with a gratis bowl of chicken soup before sending you packing.
Venue name: Employees Only
Address: 510 Hudson St
New York

Cross street: between Christopher and W 10th Sts
Opening hours: Daily 6pm–4am
Transport: Subway: 1 to Christopher St–Sheridan Sq
Price: Average main course: $22. AmEx, Disc, MC, V, DC

Average User Rating

5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:1
  • 4 star:0
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
2 people listening
Jillian Anthony

My dad, who's lived in LA his whole life, doesn't much like New York, but damn does he love Employees Only. You'll recognize it by its neon "Psychic" sign outside (and the real psychic giving tarot card readings inside). Step inside for a joint that's always bumping and has a bit of a 1920s, prohibition-era vibe. There's a whole secret menu you should look up before you head in, but the staples are just dandy as well. Try a classic like a sazerac or old-fashioned, because they really do it right. Dishes are rather small but delicious, like bone marrow, gnocchi and steak tartare. You can often find people wrapped around each other and dancing in their seats by the end of the night.