While many young’ins might flock to the fine establishments of Wilfie & Nell, Riviera, Diablo Royale & the Windsor, I’d suggest just a bit further north on West 4th Street for 3 great new or new-ish bars perfectly tailored for the slightly more mature, yet still interested in imbibing alcohol, crowd.
Fedora opened at the beginning of last summer to much fanfare after the two other West Village operations run by Gabriel Stulman (Joseph Leonard and Jeffrey’s Grocery) completely blew up – in the sense that you could never get a table and locals (i.e. me) were treated to fewer and fewer drinks on the house. Fedora is the most sceney of the three bars on this list; definitely a lot of people who know the manager or the chef and have dressed in upscale-hipster fashion for the occasion. While it’s hard to get a table – no reservations and only about 10 tables – it’s still undeniably cool to walk down the stairs into the entrance and see such a true, diverse crowd of New Yorkers. Wines by the glass aren’t cheap here, so I’d suggest getting’ it done with one of their signature cocktails instead.
Walk further north to Bank Street and you’ll come across Tremont. Touted as a Hamptons-style restaurant and bar when it first opened last summer, Tremont delivers its chic summery feel via the continuous wall of windows, crisp white paint on almost all surfaces and the use of beautiful wood wherever possible. The cocktails are strong, the beers diverse and wine bottles range anywhere from $36 to $435, so really, your possibilities are endless as to who you could take here (a pauper friend or even a client!). Tremont closes at midnight, though, so make sure this is the first stop on your night out and not the last.
Right next door to Tremont is Café Minerva. This bar has saved many a night out for me and serves so many purposes. Purpose 1) on the way from crazy expensive cocktails and crazy shoving at Employees Only, stop in to Café Minerva, take a break from the crowds and the prices, have a seat at the square-shaped bar – which just seems to foster friendliness – and order a $20 bottle of wine. Yup, most bottles are just $20. Purpose 2) use Café Minerva as a place to get together with friends you haven’t seen in a while or just as a meet-up spot in preparation for a night out. The easy-going vibe seems to always attract groups of friends who are coming and going, no pressure from the wait staff to order drinks, no annoyed patrons waiting for your table. And the bottles are only $20. Lastly, purpose 3) it’s actually a very chill coffee shop during the daytime as well. And oh yeah, did I mention the bottles of wine are only $20?
Photo: Of Stranger Sensibilities
Fedora; 239 West 4th Street at Charles
Tremont; 51 Bank Street at West 4th
Café Minerva; 302 West 4th Street at Bank