Best bars with fireplaces in NYC
On weekends when escaping the city isn’t a viable option, head to this cabinlike space for a rustic retreat. Your objective: Snag a seat around the wood-burning brick hearth. Though the wine list offers a wide variety of options, sip the mulled vino to eradicate any chill left in your bones.
You’ll have to battle the hotel’s out-of-town guests to score a seat in the Art Deco–inspired environs, but it’s well worth it if you can secure one of the overstuffed couches or chairs by the gas furnace. Arrive early, pretend like you own the place and enjoy a stiff Negroni or Old Fashioned.
Hightail it to the back of this long, narrow space to secure your spot by the gas fireplace. If the hearthside benches are already filled, you’ll still feel the festive spirit as you sit in a carved-wood booth beneath strings of colorful, twinkling lights. Wash down the traditional German bratwurst sandwich with a whiskey-laden hot toddy, which riffs on the recipe from an erstwhile bartender’s Scottish granny.
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.
Other bars may have the look of a 1970s house party, but the Flower Shop actually seems like one. On the top floor is a restaurant with wood-paneled walls and a fish tank behind the bar. But while the grown-ups dine upstairs, you’ll want to sneak down to the basement. That retro-cool crowd—drinking beer, playing pool and gossiping among the space’s vintage photographs, floral upholstery and bubblegum-pink fireplace—brings the theme to life.
The downtown-grunge–meets–your-rich-aunt’s-house vibe at this Lower East Side den practically invites you to sink into the trendy velvet couches beside a stone-facade fireplace. Cuddle up by the hearth with one of Dirty French’s belly-warming concoctions, like the slow-burning but smooth Muddy Water (Irish whiskey, cumin-spiced rye, cinnamon, chocolate mole bitters) or the sweeter, more festive Chai Matsuda, which blends chai-spiced bourbon, espresso and cardamom.
The new, shagadelic cocktail lounge Joyface may make your soul swim in ecstasy as you take in the kitschy ’70s decor—the waterbed for lounging and, say, a vintage Playboy centerfold wall for selfies. There’s no cocktail menu, so if you’re stumped, let the cosmos choose: Dip your hand into a magic bowl to pull out a keychain that reveals your preordained liquor. A barkeep will concoct a one-of-a-kind drink and name it after you in a flash.
This cavernous, bi-level venue may not fit the textbook definition of intimate, but the flickering stone fireplace is damn cozy. Commandeer the plush couch or one of the chairs near the hearth and settle in for the night with a hot Irish Nut with Bailey’s and amaretto coffee.
This lounge from Sean MacPherson and Eric Goode is home to the most raging midweek party in lower Manhattan. The Ballroom is nearly as stunning as the crowd it attracts, with an offbeat tableau of stuffed beasts and mismatched couches. Though you can easily stake out a seat early on, the real festivities don’t usually get going until after midnight, when the dancing—fueled by cocktails—starts migrating onto tables and chairs. Our only complaint about the Jane? How long the line is.
Ease into a seat near the gas-powered, black-laquered hearth and scan the list of tipples, like the frothy New York Harvest (bourbon, applejack, lemon, egg white, red wine). The bar often has limited hours and can get crowded; be sure to call ahead and make a reservation so you’re not left out in the tourist-ridden streets of Midtown.
This standard-bearing cocktail parlor from mixology matriarch Julie Reiner (Lani Kai) expresses its Victorian bent in intricate tile work, curved leather booths, marble tables, vintage sofas and a functioning fireplace. The centerpiece is the 19th-century mahogany bar, where vest-clad barkeeps stir and shake throwback potions, handily defined in the novel-like menu. Choose among regal crystal bowls of punch or finely wrought drinks, both classic and new.
Every bit of flare and fancy at Fine & Rare harkens back to Old New York, from the midcentury-style Chesterfield sofas to the Art Deco wallpaper to the vintage teller windows sourced from the nearby Grand Central Terminal. Set on a quiet street near the Morgan Library & Museum, this sophisticated spirits den from Tommy Tardie, proprietor of the whiskey-forward Flatiron Room, oozes retro glam beyond the tufted leather banquettes and oversize fireplace.
Upstairs from the subterranean restaurant from clothing empire Ralph Lauren, find a long mahogany-toned barroom emblazoned with jockey portraits and 19th-century riding trophies, offering gratis bowls of fried olives to offset the $21 you’ll inevitably pony up for an old-fashioned. The fireplace in the very back is the cherry on top of the handsome, boys club space.
More than 1,200 varities of whiskey line the shelves at this bar from nightlife maven Tommy Tardie. Check out the ancient flooring (the planks are 100-year-old reclaimed wood) while nibbling cured meats, cheeses, oysters and ceviches and enjoying nightly jazz performances.
Grab your flannel, round up your best drinking buds, and head to this Bushwick back deck for a relaxed autumn night around the brick outdoor fire pit. The no-frills watering hole pours drafts like Downeast’s unfiltered Maine-style hard cider and Catskill’s Nightshine, a full-bodied, chocolate-tinged black lager. Huddle around the flames outside or take a seat on the wood-plank benches.
This bar has been around for more than a decade, and it shows. But the well-worn, bohemian look continues to please a casual, mixed-age crowd. Settle into the circular booths up front, or the comfy, date-friendly couches and lounge chairs in the back anchored by a working fireplace. Artwork—no big surprise—adorns the walls. A basic pub menu is available, and the digital jukebox is kept at a festive but reasonable volume, making this a suitable place to talk the night away.
Ladies should probably leave the Blahniks at home. In traditional Irish-pub fashion, McSorley’s floor has been thoroughly scattered with sawdust to take care of the spills and other messes that often accompany large quantities of cheap beer. Established in 1854, McSorley’s became an institution by remaining steadfastly authentic and providing only two choices to its customers: McSorley’s Dark Ale and McSorley’s Light Ale.
This rustic East Side Irish retreat gets it right. Thickly accented bartenders tend to off-the-clock Manhattanites and pastoral touches—a whitewashed facade, sawdust-covered floor and Celtic crosses—make the tavern feel like it's been transplanted from the Emerald Isle countryside. Plus, there's a really wood-burning fireplace.