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The Lately (CLOSED)

  • Bars
  • Chelsea
  • price 3 of 4
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

[Please note, this venue is now closed. Time Out editors, October 2019]

“We’re surrounded by assholes,” says the bartender at the Lately, which is squeezed between the exclusive rooftop lounge PH-D on one side and the underground club Electric Room on the other. He’s not wrong. The new bar—from LDV Hospitality (Scarpetta, American Cut) and Den Hospitality (the Garret)—is decidedly different from the nose-in-the-air 1Oak– and Tao-type clubs that pepper the neighboring blocks: The door policy is open, and the bartenders are quick to strike up conversations with lone imbibers or offer free shots to those who live in the area. And the rustic, wood-paneled barroom is warm as well, decked out in upscale cabin decor with a working fireplace, duck statuettes and forest-green walls. Even if the guests, primarily wearing clubgoing attire, might have been pining for the more-exclusive PH-D, the Lately is a refreshing addition to the ’hood for those who have been looking for something a little more magnanimous throughout the years. Better late than never.

ORDER THIS: The multipage cocktail list by Grant Wheeler is divided into three tiers: The first tier is filled with classic cocktails like old-fashioneds and margaritas, while the second and third build on those recipes in more elaborate concoctions. The Jaguar Shark ($17) from tier two is a pungent twist on a Negroni, equal parts bitter from the wine-based Lacuesta Rojo vermouth and celery shrub and fruity from strawberry-infused Hendrick’s gin and aquavit. The Ultramaroon ($15), a tier-three option, is self-referential of its pink color and tastes like a berry margarita, complete with salt on the rim, Cazadores tequila and watermelon-and-beetroot shrub.

GOOD FOR: A rejection-free night around the Meatpacking District. The Lately acts as a refuge for those bruised or fragile egos that have been turned away from the area’s pompous velvet-roped establishments but still want to party in a hip space. Plus, the large space has two floors, 20 bar stools, half a dozen booths and comfortable ottomans to accommodate the lot of you.

THE CLINCHER: Get to the bar before 10pm to lockdown counter space and nip your late-night cravings in the bud. On the bar’s “Munchies” menu, you’ll find NYC street-food–inspired snacks including a falafel gyro with yogurt and fermented Fresno chili sauce ($9), soft pretzels with beer mustard ($5) and curried chicken skewers with mint-yogurt sauce ($9). Scarf them down while chatting up the bartenders before the crowds arrive, so you can be, you know, not that asshole.

Written by
Alyson Penn


357 W 16th St
New York
Cross street:
at Ninth Ave
Average cocktail: $13
Opening hours:
Mon, Tue, Sun 4pm–2am; Wed–Sat 4pm–4am
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