Top Cozy Bars in NYC

Top Cozy Bars in NYC

by Taryn Haight
12.09.2009

Lucky for us New Yorkers, global warming still seems to have a firm grip on mother nature and the weather has not yet completely deterred us from heading downtown for the evening. But with January and February still ahead, we know not to get used to this comfortable partying routine. We know there will be nights when a hat, scarf and peacoat still don’t cut it, and when it comes down to braving the snow or snuggling on the couch with a glass of wine – well, that’s an obvious decision.

But if you’re like me and hate the cold but can’t bare to stay at home all winter long, there are a few spots in the city that will both cure your cabin fever and warm your wind-chilled bones. Sip on a martini next to the fireplace at Black Rabbit or sink into comfy couches and plush pillows at Kush Lounge as you relax with friends and a hookah. As a homeless man on Broadway once told me, “the only thing better than curling up with a good book is curling up with someone who just read one” – an easy operation if you bundle up, brave the cold and head to one of these cozy hideaways in NYC.

 

Rose Bar
2 Lexington Ave
New York, NY 10010

Heading to Rose Bar on a frosty evening is just like heading to a friend’s house – if you’re friend is a European art-collecting multi-millionaire with a knack for interior decorating and a monster security team. This upscale niche in the Grammercy Park Hotel is known to be one of the toughest doors in the city, keeping the frat dudes out and the fashionistas, willing to throw down $20 for a cocktail, in. Designed by artist Julian Schnabel and owner Ian Schrager, the venue cloaks itself in velvet drapery and enough pricy artwork to self-proclaim as a small museum (the prized tableau being their colorful fifteen-foot Warhol print). If the carved fireplace isn’t enough to keep you warm, then the wait-staff, who look like they just stepped off a page in Vogue, will surely boost your temperature. Schmooze with Manhattan’s upper-echelon, test your billiard skills on the pool table or just admire the impressive collection of aged liquor displayed above the bar. The only remnant of ice you’ll find inside are the cubes floating in your scotch.

 

Kush Lounge
191 Chrystie St
New York, NY 10002

If you can’t make it to Marrakech this winter, you’ll be pleased to find a bit of the Middle East in Manhattan’s Lower East. The candle-lit setting at Kush Lounge is warm and inviting, a friendly atmosphere swirling with rose-flavored hookah. The wide variety of drinks and the DJ spinning in the corner keep it Americanized, while hints of Moroccan detailing – almond-shaped windows and tables adorned with intricate tile mosaics – transport you to another culture. Curl up in downy rust-hued pillows on one of the couches lining the room, or grab a stool at the bar below black-cutout Moroccan lanterns – just be glad you’re nice and toasty inside this tiny Moroccan hideaway.

 

The Cabin Down Below
10 Ave A
New York, NY 10009
Just the name sounds like a warm, winter lodge, although this spot is conveniently located in downtown Manhattan in the basement of a pizza parlor – and, therefore, it’s even better. Tiny tables, low ceilings and a crowd usually doused in flannel up this tiny den on the cozy-meter. There is a fireplace, but rather than logs it’s filled with pillows, providing quite the “hot seat” for cuddlers, nuzzlers and the like. For a space decorated like a shabby-chic rendition of my grandma’s guest room, the drinks are no bargain; but at a space where you’re likely to catch the full after-party action of some hipster band’s entourage, you’ll pay the price and wait for the scene to begin.

 

Black Rabbit
91 Greenpoint Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11222

It’s about time we show Brooklyn a little love, especially for accommodating a little saloon like Black Rabbit. With swinging wild-west doors, prewar light fixtures and rich, dark wooden floors you’ll feel like you’re lost in some vintage shop, especially surrounded by stacks of tattered board games from every era. Unlike the fireplace at Cabin Down Below, the one at Black Rabbit is actually put to use, turning a cozy (figurative) space into a cozy (literal) haven. While you’re there, try one of the house drinks like the Black List (rye whiskey, ginger and lemon juice) before you lace up your snow boots and prepare for the journey home.

 

The Back Room
102 Norfolk St
New York, NY 10002

Tucked away behind the façade of the “Lower East Side Toy Company,” this speakeasy based on the Prohibition era feels like a setting ripped straight from Jane Eyre, with a tinge of Alice In Wonderland. Perhaps the Alice reference is sparked by the high-backed velvet chairs, the teacups in which drinks are served, or the storybook bookshelf that opens to a secret (and VIP-secured) back room; but whatever it is, I like it. Chandeliers and velvet paisley wallpaper give off a rich vibe, so put up your pinky when you’re sipping your booze and don’t forget to tip your hat... and your waitress. The gaping fireplace keeps this venue warm, while the ipod playlist (substituted for a flashy DJ) keep it cool.

 

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Tags
artwork     backroom     bar     blackrabbit     cabindownbelow     casual     cozy     cuddle     fireplace     hipster     hookah     indoor     kushlounge     lounge     newyork     newyorkcity     nyc     rosebar     speakeasy     tarynhaight     teacup     upscale     warm     winter

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