Even if you’re not the corporate type, it’s nice to have colleagues. Make friends with your fellow freelancers at one of these coworking spaces, where you can chat about things both straitlaced (New York’s best restaurants) and inappropriate (best sex toys)—just like the suits do.
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Bat Haus Coworking
Natalie Chan and Cody Sullivan opened this congenial spot earlier this year, after determining that there weren’t many places in the area that were serving the needs of freelancers. Fifty to sixty people use the 2,500-square-foot clubhouse each week, taking advantage of perks such as Wi-Fi, mail delivery and a shared kitchen. At least one collaboration, between a Web developer and a graphic designer, has been sparked among Bat Haus members. The venue also hosts events, including monthly Presentation Party Night lectures and a flea market on weekends. • batha.us. Unlimited membership $149/month, part-time membership $99/month, day pass $10.
New Work City
Founded in 2008, this Soho coworking space was among the first in NYC, and it’s now one of the biggest, with about 50 people using the venue each day. According to founder Tony Bacigalupo, the idea was to build a community where members are invested in connecting with one another. “Honestly, the best community-building tool we have is our small coffeepot,” he explains. “When people get away from their computer screens to make a pot of coffee, they inevitably bump into new people and start talking.” Members enjoy perks such as meeting rooms, a mailing address and access to an online forum. • 212-226-1585, nwc.co. Unlimited membership $300/month, part-time membership $100/month, community membership $30/month, day pass $30.
This early-morning networking group was started by tech entrepreneurs Piers Fawkes and Noah Brier more than five years ago, and has since spawned more than 30 offshoots around the world. The idea is simple: Participants show up and make connections over a cup of coffee. “We’re not a ‘just come here to exchange business cards’ kind of group,” explains Alisha Miranda, who cofounded Brooklyn’s Likemind group in May. “We’re more about meeting friendly people and exchanging interests or ideas.” There are currently two NYC groups, both meeting on the third Friday of each month: Likemind Brooklyn, whose members gather at Hungry Ghost (253 Flatbush Ave at Sixth Ave, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn), and the original Likemind, which meets at ’sNice (45 Eighth Ave at 4th St). • Visit likemind.us for details.
“People who show up often have connections or, at the very least, shared interests. People don't expect anything and therefore leave pleasantly content.”—Jen Bokoff, 26, program associate; Prospect Heights, Brooklyn
Since it opened in 2010, the Brainery has acted as a hub for folks who want to sate their curiosity about food, history, or any number of quirky topics. Small class sizes make it easy to chat with other attendees, and more hands-on workshops encourage interaction among participants. This winter, the Brainery will open a new classroom in Prospect Heights that will also function as a coworking space, further helping nerdy types meet and mingle. • brooklynbrainery.com. New space opening TBA.
Descending the steps to a pseudo-secret basement bar can lead to unwelcome surprises: grungy dives with sickly beer-and-shot combos, balmy dance rooms with seizure-inducing strobe lights or, worse yet, subpar speakeasies drowning in 1920s kitsch. This sexy den from Little Branch’s Joseph Schwartz and Cervantes Ramirez welcomes you to the depths below with subtly upscale touches: warm lighting and dark woods, highly attentive hosts at your service and a slew of quaffs to pore over. ORDER THIS: The delicate Little Devil ($14) is coyly named: Served in a dainty coupe, the lemon-and--orange number finishes on gin’s soft floral notes. With bitters and two thick twists, the first sip of an Island Old Fashioned ($14) feels familiar, but velvety hints of almond and clove remind whiskey lovers of the añejo rum’s reign. And playing off the baking-spiced sweetness of apple pie, the Chin Chin ($14) splashes caramely Elijah Craig bourbon with sharp ginger and crisp, cooling cider. GOOD FOR: Getting close to your crush. Slink into one of the sail-covered booths and lean in over small plates like the Kalbi sliders ($14), served open-face with gochujang chili sauce on pretzel buns, and crostini covered in smoky trout pâté ($14). Whether you bond over bites or not, the dark corners of your couch, illuminated only by votives, will lure you into snuggling. (Plus, everyone else is doing it.) THE CLINCHER: Sandwiched between metal-shuttered storefronts, the entrance is marked by a single flag,
Venue says: “Come celebrate Valentines Day with us!”