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The Hottest NYC Bar Openings, Fall Edition

By James Mulcahy
September 17, 2013

To date 2013 has seen a slew of exciting bar openings that can wet your whistle in creative ways. Once you're done perusing our list of the year's hottest restaurants, click through the slide show below to see the hottest spots to grab a tipple. From some all-weather rooftop bars to a couple appealing options in super-hot Greenpoint, you'll be sure to find someone who will fill your glass. 

  • Flatiron Hall

    The brew hounds behind super-popular Houston Hall opened this Flatiron watering hole without much fanfare, but it didn't take long for those looking for a pint (or a massive stein) to find their way over. While less sprawling than its sister spot, the 26th Street locale keeps an old-timey vibe with wooden stools and black and white artwork on the walls. There's an extensive beer selection and a healthy list of cocktails, and unlike Houston Hall, there is plenty of grub to choose from. Whatever you get to snack on, be sure your order includes the gigantic, beer-garden-style pretzel, which is served dangling from a hook and comes with an excellent and funky cheese sauce. 

    38 W. 26th St.; 646-790-3200

  • Tørst

    This beer bar will make even the most hardcore oenophiles - and old-school Greenpoint residents - trade in their respective Malbecs and Zywiecs for a taste of something new. The space itself mirrors the refined yet still rustic image that craft beer is courting today: the room is intimate and artistic, but it's still a place where you can wear your best flannel shirt and ski hat. It's a collaboration between acclaimed chef Dan Burns and brewer Jeppe Jarnit Berso, with the former running Luksus, a tasting-menu-only restaurant in the back of the space that makes creative use of beer pairings. Each beer has a designated number next to it, with the selections getting a bit more “intense” as the numbers get higher - you'll find strange and interesting flavors at this bar, the name of which translates to "thirst."

    615 Manhattan Ave.; 718-389-6034

  • Refinery Hotel Rooftop

    One of the newest additions to the Midtown rooftop scene is set in a former hat-factory-turned-hotel that also features the restaurant Parker and Quinn. The sky-high venue is located between Bryant Park and Herald Square, an area that's not exactly known for its nightlife scene, so this is a welcome addition to the zip code. You'll be able to take in gorgeous views of the Empire State Building whether you're on the outdoor patio or in the main bar room that's covered with a retractable roof. Even though you're under glass, the interior has an alfresco feel with strands of exposed bulbs lighting the space, which is anchored by a communal table in the center of the room. A large bar gets pretty crowded post-work, and the crowd seems more local than hotel guest, so if you're looking to make new, um, "friends," there are plenty of opportunities for that sort of thing. 

    63 W. 38th St.; 646-664-0310

  • Atlas Social Club

    The team behind super-hip Avenue C spot Bedlam lands in Hell's Kitchen with this watering hole, which had its friends and family soft opening just in time for Fashion Week. While their Downtown outpost draws a mixed crowd of cool kids, the new venue is about as gay bar as it gets. This stretch of Ninth Avenue has more boy-friendly watering holes than anywhere in town, but this one manages to stand out from the formula with a laid-back feel, a touch of grit (the walls are decorated with old-school gym memorabilia and pin-ups from vintage muscle magazines) and an aura of Downtown hip.

    753 Ninth Ave.; 212-262-8527

  • Achilles Heel

    When Marlow & Sons owner Andrew Tarlow moved into Greenpoint for his latest venture, he kept things simple. This wood-paneled watering hole has a subtle nautical theme, which gels with the area's seafaring history. It's a fine place to grab a mug of beer, and there is a small selection of cocktails written out on chalkboards around the rustic space. The venue comes equipped with snacks, including oysters meats and cheeses. It's the type of place you want to spend a Sunday afternoon at, drinking the day away, and it seems that neighborhood types have already figured this out. 

    180 West St.; Brooklyn

  • The Dead Rabbit

    Adding cred to the Financial District cocktail scene, this handsome new arrival specializes in Irish whiskey and 19th-century drinks, and it's already become a hit with liquor industry insiders. The bi-level space features an informal ground-floor taproom, while the upstairs serves a wide-ranging menu of sophisticated cocktails, punches and affordable pub bites (Welsh rabbit, ploughman’s lunch). With its wood-beamed ceilings and old-timey portraits on the walls, the throwback parlor decor invokes the 1800s. If you want to get into serious drink geekery, the second-floor room is where it's at.

    30 Water St.; 646-422-7906

  • The Butterfly

    Sure, Michael White's patty melt is absolutely worth a visit, but his new retro-joint is really about the cocktails. Eben Freeman is the maestro behind the list here, serving up a lineup of classics with modern twists in a small space that looks like a basement rec room straight from the 1950s. A classic Stoli martini is made mind-blowing with the addition of some mineral salt brine, and a whiskey sour is sweetened up with some maple syrup. Is this the best martini in all of New YorK? You'll just have to stop by to find out. 

    225 W. Broadway; 646-692-4943

  • Upper Elm

    Before you head downstairs to check out chef Paul Liebrandt's gorgeous dishes at the The Elm, get a cocktail at this rooftop bar, which offers stunning views of the Manhattan skyline and of Mccarren Park. This penthouse haunt in the King and Grove Hotel follows in the steps of the nearby Wythe Hotel, offering an upscale but not pretentious perch where you can grab a drink and take in the vistas. There's a retractable roof for the rainy days and an open-air patio where you can camp out and day drink on the weekends. 

    160 N. 12th St., Brooklyn; 718-218-7500

  • Alameda

    Recently opened Alameda has a great horseshoe-shaped bar and (like many of the new restos in this hot-as-hell 'hood) the beverages really seem to be the focus at this spot. Get drinks like the boozy Stinker, a concoction that tastes a lot better than it sounds. It's a mix of bourbon, grapefruit and IPA, not a combo that you're likely to encounter at more pedestrian bars. If you are hungry, a small menu of market-driven, American bites offers some sustenance for the tipsy. Foie gras breakfast sandwich? Yes, please. 

    195 Franklin St.; 347-227-7296

  • Betony

    The midsized eatery near Carnegie Hall has gotten some stellar reviews on the food (including a recent three stars from the NYTimes), but drinkers will also find a lot to like in the 35-seat bar and lounge, located in the front of the space. The vaulted ceilings and lush stools skew fancy, and imbibers can enjoy over 400 bottles of wine along with classically inspired cocktails (think a julep with orange bitters and housemade Orange Oleo Saccharum). The beverages are by Eamon Rockey, an Eleven Madison Park vet, and doubters who would not normally head this far Uptown for cocktails will be silenced by his dessert shandy, a mix of Stoudts Pils, housemade orgeat, apricot liqueur and sherry vinegar. 

    41 W. 57th St.; 212-465-2400

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