Vintage bars are all seriously buzzing in New York City right now. Want to get a taste of the back-in-time fun? We’ve rounded up the latest era-recreating watering holes to hit the scene. (If these spots have piqued your interest in all things boozy and retro, be sure to check out these killer vintage clothing stores, beer bars and the top cocktails in NYC.)
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New vintage bars in NYC
This brand-spankin’-new ode to the Me Decade, owned by James Morrissey (with music direction from Entourage’s Adrian Grenier), is less CBGB grit, more Studio 54 glam, with striped velvet sofas, brass tables, champagne-tinted mirrors and, of course, plenty of glittering disco balls. In the sprawling four-level dance hall, high-ceilinged rooms are studded with lipstick-red stools and swivel chairs, and walls are cedar- and fabric-paneled and covered in artwork inspired by ’70s icons. Wanna get in party mode? Sucking down a few Banana Boats (bourbon, banana-infused Falernum, pineapple and bitters) should do the trick.
Talk about a bar fit for a queen. This underground rococo-style drinkery traces every particular from Marie Antoinette’s private chambers in Le Château du Versailles, with its tufted red-velvet chaise lounge and banquettes, white marble tables, neoclassical paintings and antiques sourced from French châteaus. (There’s even an exact replica of Antoinette’s powder room, people.) Indulge your inner high horse while sipping on the 1793, a sunflower-seed–infused rye with sherry and demerara, and other era homages, which are served in silver-plated goblets, and coupe and Cristal d’Arques glassware.
Calling all film-noir buffs: This hideaway beneath the Happiest Hour channels the charm of Hollywood through Art Deco interiors with oxblood banquettes, sconces from an old Miami Beach hotel and a giant compass embedded in the terrazzo. The dimly lit Truman-era treasure trove tops off the history lesson with yesteryear-conjuring tipples like the staunch rye Manhattan and the Loose Lips Sink Ships, a gin and cranberry sipper with amaretto, orgeat, Punt e Mes and absinthe. (For something more mellow, opt for a crisp Aval craft cider.)
Last month, the Dead Rabbit crew unveiled this love letter to Prohibition-era Cuba (set, appropriately, in seaside environs at Pier A), hoping to re-create the high-rolling times when luxuriously outfitted planes flew New Yorkers to Havana for rollicking liquor-fueled excursions. Its authentic antiques, potted palms and original glassware conjure cigar-puffing scruffy men and red-lipped dames draped in fur stoles. And the Wes Anderson–level attention to detail doesn’t stop there: Its drinks menu is a whopping 88 pages. (If you want to cut to the chase, take the iconic route with a Manhattan or an El Presidente, a fortified-wine riff on the old-fashioned.)