The second cocktail bar in the Fifty/50 Restaurant Group’s lineup and the sixth concept overall (hence its name), the Sixth provides Lincoln Square with some truly tasty cocktails conceived by beverage director Benjamin Schiller. And while the vibe tends toward upscale, it manages to appeal to both neighborhood locals grabbing a drink after work and outsiders looking for a well-crafted drink that balances whimsy with familiarity.
Sitting at the bar, two neighborhood residents next to me ask the bartender for recommendations—it’s easy to do in the small space—and one is expertly guided to a spirited cocktail, the Weston, with wheated bourbon, Dark Matter’s Unicorn Blood coffee and a whiff of pipe tobacco. Meanwhile, I start off with the Silly Rabbit, a gin-based drink with flavored (and colored) ice cubes presented in a highball and a carafe, to pour the cocktail over the ice and watch the colors slowly change.
“Is that sweet?” my neighbor asks, pointing at my drink—it isn’t, it’s tart and citrusy, despite colors that could tip it off as sugary. We fall into easy conversation, trying different cocktails and sharing thoughts, which seems normal at a neighborhood watering hole.
While the service is attentive and helpful (they let me hold on to my Silly Rabbit until it had all melted away), the bar isn’t without its quirks. It shares a back kitchen space with Roots Handmade Pizza, which led to an awkward run-in with a Roots server asking if I knew someone ordering pizza at the bar. I didn’t, and you can’t. A tad confusing, but accidents happen.
The Sixth’s fancy presentations may steal the show, but the cocktails provide much more than their inventive packaging lets on. It’s a place where you can feel free to cozy up to your neighbor and spark a conversation, making for an experience that’s worth sharing with friends and strangers alike.
Atmosphere: At first glance, the bar feels dark and upscale, with pops of yellow in the décor. The vibe is relaxed, perfect for groups looking for a delicious drink or regulars with a flair for a cocktail.
What to eat: To my surprise, you can order off a tiny “house special” menu—a doner and frites for $14, or a side of frites for $5.
What to drink: The bar has a balanced cocktail list, all $12 each, appealing to drinkers who want something light (try the Doris, a floral and crisp concoction with a flower suspended in ice) and spirit-forward drink lovers (grab the Weston, mentioned above). A favorite was the Spaceman Spiff—served in the top of a martini glass set inside a small fishbowl decorated as a terrarium, with swirls of cedar smoke for aromatics. A mescal-based drink with grilled pineapple and hazelnut, it’s smoky in flavor despite an orangey-pink color and playful display.
Where to sit: The bar is long, but grab a seat toward the end to watch the cocktails being made. Short tables line the outside for groups, and a nook with high tables hides around the left of the bar.