NYC’s Top Low Key Hangouts

NYC’s Top Low Key Hangouts

by Cindy Y. Rodriguez
07.29.2009

Deciding where to go in Manhattan may seem like you only have two choices: bar or club. You want a night out in the town but you don’t want to be forced to dance like its 1999 and subjecting yourself to a barstool in a divey bar just won’t cut it. Hm, what to do? This is where a low-key hangouts come in handy and we’ve searched from the somewhat stiff Upper East Side to the hipster hoods of New York City to bring you just that.

 

Flûte
205 West 54th Street, New York City
40 East 20th Street, New York City

Step out of the hustle and bustle of midtown for a relaxing evening in this champagne-focused lounge perfect for a first date or close friends.  Not too crowded on the weekends and although pricing is a bit steep—the intimate atmosphere and eclectic selection of music more than make up for it. Don’t miss out on their chocolates from La Maison du Chocolat and scrumptious Champagne Pisco Sour or nibble on some savory appetizers if the mood strikes. If you aren’t in the midtown area head over to Gramercy for their second location equipped with two levels with a private party room if you plan on having a shindig. This lounge is sure to impress with the owner’s collection of original artwork accompanied by endless bottles of champagne in every corner along with private comfy nooks. However, be aware, waiters do ask if you are driving and, if you respond honestly, you will have to settle for a dry night.

 

The Dove Parlour
228 Thompson St.
New York, NY 10012

Tucked deep in a sea of college bars this basement lounge is a shoe in for close-knit amigos looking to tap into a well-rounded wine selection while enjoying some snappy indie-rock tunes.  At first glance you might think you stepped into your grandma’s living room but rest assured the Victorian furniture only adds to the unpretentious atmosphere and makes it a romantic cozy place ideal for a post-date nightcap. Don’t let the red velvety wall paper fool you either—this place is laid-back and well worth the visit. This neighborhood lounge gets everything right: the atmosphere, drinks and food—and, most importantly, fair prices. Best known for their distinctive cocktails such as The Honey Dove richly mixed with Cognac, honey and organic vanilla soy milk, and, if you smile at the waiter, you will without doubt get a gracious sample of the wine you have your heart on. You might occasionally rub elbows with a hipster here and there—but these days is it even possible not to.

 

Angel’s Share
8 Stuyvesant St.
2nd floor
(9th at 3rd Ave)
New York, NY 10003

Just around the corner from St. Mark’s, above a bookstore, up the stairs, behind a Japanese restaurant through an unmarked door lies Angel’s Share. Phew. If you are up for the challenge—a la scavenger hunt—then this is the right fit. Trying to find this lounge might be more than you bargained for, but once you do you will enjoy the privacy of it all—not to mention the leather couches and funky art in the back room. This establishment is made for strict and sexy as in they don’t take groups larger than four and there is no standing around. However, don’t leave without tasting some of their well-mixed cocktails under twinkling chandeliers while looking out on 3rd Avenue wondering if anyone knows where you are.

 

W Hotel
225 River St.
Hoboken, NJ 07030

How often do you get to enjoy the views of the city from the other side? Meaning Jersey. The swanky Chandelier Room at the new W Hotel in Hoboken has become the new “it” place on the Hudson with its crisp views of the city and outdoor seating. If you are going on the weekend be sure to get there early or you’ll definitely find yourself behind the velvet rope. Celebrity sightings are not beyond the norm here given David Beckham’s recent stay. Its new popularity seems almost ironic: Why put a W Hotel in small town Hoboken? But one stroll down Washington Street will prove any skeptic wrong with countless restaurants and bars. It’s definitely worth taking a short ferry ride over for—and with pricey cocktails, posh décor and long lines you will definitely feel like you’re in Manhattan.

 

Auction House
300 E 89th St
New York, NY 10128

Upper Eastsiders who aren’t into the haughty bar scene will fit flawlessly into The Auction House.  Part Bohemian with a splash of hipster but extremely easy going letting nude paintings and fireplace set the mood. Snug couches allow you to unwind and enjoy some cheap drinks taking in the unique décor and music alike. Besides during the week, arrive early so you can snag a nook as it does fill up by midnight. Otherwise, just right for conversation and 25+ crowd on the weekends. Just one house rule to keep in mind: No fur. Break this rule and you will kindly be escorted out.

 

Obivia
201 Lafayette St
New York, NY 10012

If you’ve been lusting all day for a seductive cocktail and a sexy low-key scene then Obivia is just what the doctor ordered. This revered martini lounge nestled in Nolita with over 20 luscious blends to choose from paired with tasty tapas quench your thirst and appetite. With a seamless transition from sipping to snacking, the only thing left to do is absorb the polished Moroccan-themed décor in low, red lighting while kicking back on their cushy couches. If the ambiance hasn’t broken the ice then take a gander at the movies playing on the five plasma screens set up throughout the lounge ranging from classic B-movie favorites to soft porn. Didn’t finish that bottle of wine? No problem. The owners have made it easy for you to become a regular offering liquor lockers for just $500 a year plus VIP priority seating.

 

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