Time Out says
Friendly warning! We're working hard to be accurate. But these are unusual times, so please check that venues remain open.
If Alice fell down the rabbit hole to Agrabah instead of Wonderland for a cup of tea, she might have landed in a place like Blue Quarter. The whimsical hybrid is stacked with Middle Eastern decor and tea-based drinks, all behind a hidden entrance.
Well, “hidden.” The unlabeled bar does sit behind the back wall of the East Village’s Mediterranean restaurant Local92, but its bright-teal keyhole door, illuminated by a gleaming spotlight, is about as subtle as Jafar’s wormy goatee. Once you push past it, you’ll find an intimate, pint-size cocktail bar that’s outfitted with blue-tiled tabletops, dangling Moroccan pendant lights and exposed brick walls dotted with antique mirrors.
While the room is firmly grounded in the Middle East, the tea-inspired cocktails travel around the globe: Soon to Ripen cuts its strong Scotch and paprika seasoning with citrusy Earl Grey and melting coconut-water ice cubes. The matcha in the Unfinished Story lends the drink a chalky texture, mixing strangely with its tequila, coconut water and lime oil (curiouser and curiouser!). But the gin-spiked Studio 60 packs a pleasant punch, thanks to its spiced coriander chutney and carrot juice that go down as thick as a savory soup.
On a recent Wednesday night, the bar was populated by only one other imbiber for the entire two hours, making it unusually tranquil for a downtown spot. When, after a few tipples, you exit to bustling Second Avenue, you feel like you’re in a whole new world.