There’s a lot going on with the new speakeasy bar J.Bespoke: first off, the word bespoke, which had a revival moment in the 2010s, is a term that immediately dates the venue. But if you can get beyond the almost comically hipster name, there is potential for something original here.
Hidden behind Devoción Coffee’s NoMad cascara (a tea made from the skins of the coffee fruit) bar, lies probably one of the more (only?) elegant sports bars we’ve come across.
While, yes, there are many trappings of typical speakeasies here—namely the velvet banquette furniture, dim lights and $17 cocktails—it does seem to be a unique interior design scheme for a sports bar, more commonly known for cheap beer, sticky counters and barstools.
Here, this sleek bar is clearly trying to be more high-end and appeal to fans who want to rep their favorite sport in a more elevated atmosphere. Attendees can stop by the spot to watch the World Series or other sports games on one of the flat screen TVs (when they’re not playing sports, the bar will rotate in images of art, for a wide range of cultural offerings). On the website, they describe the atmosphere as "conceived to fill an untapped niche – a refined venue that plays athletic events in an upscale, speakeasy setting. With just 50 seats and attentive, personalized service, the lounge offers a luxe counterpoint to the city’s mainstream sports bars." They also mention hoping the space will be more appealing to female sports fans, too.
Instead of chugging Coronas, guests can try sipping on one of the menu’s crafted cocktails. There’s the “Bespoke Old Fashioned” (which, according to a press release provided to Time Out New York, uses “green chartreuse perfume spritzed from a chic gold bottle”) as well as a nitro cold brew martini using coffee from its adjoining Devoción, which we named one of the best coffee shops in NYC. Pub-style bites remain, but they’re upgraded with chicken karaage, spicy honey pizza with soppressata and béchamel, truffle fries and a Wagyu burger instead of your regular ‘ole greasy spoon delights.
The real question remains: do sports people want more upscale environs for cracking open a cold one with the boys or are dives precisely the vibe you want when you’re cheering for your team?
J.Bespoke is located at 121 E 27th St, New York, NY 10016.