First Look: Nitecap, a New Cocktail Den on the Lower East Side

By Kelly Dobkin  |  March 21, 2014
Credit: Cherie Cincilla

The gist: Alex Day and David Kaplan of cocktail mecca Death & Co. and Maison Premiere's Natasha David have opened this new hot spot in the basement of the Lower East Side restaurant Schapiro's

The drinks: An epic 14-page drink menu offers up a series of signature cocktail creations for both early evening and late-night, and everything in-between. Nitecap is meant to be more playful and lighthearted than many of the taking-themselves-too-seriously speakeasy-inspired bars on the scene. The menu is broken up into sections like "wash it down" "from here to there" and "hunker down" and is also peppered with Rodney Dangerfield jokes. Go figure. The "honor bar" menu lets you grab a bottle from the list and "pay for what you drink." Plus there's a whole menu of "Shortys" - short pours of beer paired with harder booze. Note: the swizzles are the way to go if you're looking for an easy-to-sip concoction.

The food: A small food menu of Jewish-inspired fare from Schapiro's upstairs is available including items like matzo ball soup, a pot of pickles, French fries, smoked whitefish rillette, chicken liver toast and soft pretzels. 

The space: Distressed white exposed brick and burgundy leather banquettes line the walls of the small space. Black tables are outfitted with stools, candles and flowers and subtle decor elements like framed photos and tree bark wallpaper can be found on the opposing walls.

The details: 120 Rivington Street; 212-466-3361

Photos by Cherie Cincilla

  • Seating area

  • Seating area with a view of the bar

  • The space is adorned with lamps including this one on the bar. Bottles of staple liquors are mounted on the walls for easy access.

  • The Endless Spring: Lillet Rose, Ramazzotti Amaro, lemon juice, strawberry, seltzer ($12)

  • Signage