|If you've just gotten in to work and you're already considering your after-work options, this MUG's for you.
5 NEW BARS ALL OVER THE MAP
The Flat, 16 E. 1st Ave. [1st/2nd] 212.677.9477. There goes the neighborhood. Again. This glam newcomer takes the nabe further still from its bohemian roots, not that many (inside the place) are complaining.
Social, 795 8th [48th/49th] 212.459.0643. Three floors, great looking, no cover. Looks like the theater district has a new hit.
Shebeen, 202 Mott [Spring/Kenmare] 212.625.1105. We once wrote about a Surinamese woman whose grandparents were Indian, who married a German Jew whose mother was half Chinese and half African-American. She was serving Surinamese, West Indian, and Spanish foods from an Italian bakery in Queens. Something similar here: Irish name, South African owners, in the middle of Chinatown and Little Italy, occasional African music played. In short, our kind of place.
'Cesca, 164 W. 75th [Amst] 212.787.6300. The best new restaurant on the UWS in years has a comfortable bar area that will be even better when they start serving full dinners there in the next few months (there's a small bar menu now).
Brite Bar, 297 10th [27th] 212.279.9706. A large picture window fronts this stylish but friendly spot that takes special care with its cocktails.
THE PREMIER GRAND CRU OF WINE BARS
We may not be having the $75 glass of Opus One at Morrell Wine Bar and Cafe, 1 Rock Plaza [49th] 212.262.7700, or the $500 bottle of Gaja Sori San Lorenzo 1989 (Gaja worshippers though we may be) any time soon, but that's okay. There are any number of fabulous choices by the glass for non-stratospheric prices. So, if we can't have a Guigal La Turque, we can at least spring for the Guigal Côtes du Rhône for $8.
MOST WELCOME NEW GAY BAR
Therapy, 348 W. 52nd [8th/9th] 212.397.1700. This place got the balance right, which makes its name apropos. It looks effortlessly stylish, there's a minimum of attitude, plenty of comfortable seating, an appealing crowd, and a staircase suitable for dramatic exits.
OKTOBERFEST: ZUM WOHL
We'd still rather drink beer at d.b.a, 41 1st Ave. [2nd/3rd] 212.475.5097, than anywhere, what with their hand-drawn ales, most of which are cask conditioned. And to toast the fall, Brooklyn Brewery's Oktoberfest fills the bill. If you're not down d.b.a.'s way, your local market should have a supply of Saranac's version of the Oktoberfest seasonal bottling.
CLOSEST THING TO A SPEAKEASY
A shebeen, as one of the new bars in town calls itself, is an Irish word that means, roughly, a speakeasy. Single Room Occupancy, 360 W. 53rd [8th/9th] 212.765.6299, may be the closest thing in town to an actual speakeasy: it's unmarked and you need to buzz to get in. SRO is so small that SRO can also mean standing room only. But this hideaway has a rare combo of cachet and a good wine list.
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