Long nights and the subzero temps of this winter call for kicking back with a cocktail — and, if possible, catching a few precious rays of sunshine while you’re at it. A rooftop bar (covered, of course) provides both a refreshing drink and a few moments of mood-lifting sunlight, whether it’s in the last minutes of daylight after work or an early drink on the weekend. When winter has you in a state of grumpy hibernation, try one of these bars.
If you’re looking for the closest experience to sitting in a true solarium, visit this relaxed, airy rooftop bar on the top of Ink48 Hotel. Situated on the southwest corner of 11th and 48th, the spot affords sweeping panoramas — not only far up the Hudson, but also of the glittering high-rises of Midtown West. Lean back and soak in the last rays of the sun setting over New Jersey in one of the low-lying leather loungers that are perfect for sitting with a date. As you might expect from the name – and its Times Square proximity – the Press Lounge has named its drinks after journalistic publications, both real and fictional. The Newsday – a super-sweet hit of PAMA, Grand Marnier, and fruit juices, balanced out with a healthy dose of rum – might be just the thing to take the edge off the day’s news.
The soothsayer told Caesar to beware the Ides of March, but no one has to tell us beware the blahs of winter. Get dressed up and get thee to The Ides, Wythe Hotel’s rooftop bar, which opened in 2012 and has been the spot for the well-dressed Williamsburg set since. A little bit of a line by the elevator downstairs is not uncommon; ascending into the relatively compact glass-enclosed cube, you’ll feel like you’re arriving at a cool get-together that could (and sometimes does) involve pushing the tables aside for late-night dance party. The upscale lounge atmosphere inside The Ides is balanced out by the slightly raw rooftop space outdoors, which has the flavor of a Brooklyn rooftop party. Grab one of the few indoor café tables for some great people-watching or a quick drink before a movie at nearby Nitehawk Cinema down the street; step outside to the ample rooftop if you want an excuse to cuddle up in the cold.
You’ll truly feel nestled into the cluster of Manhattan’s brick buildings at Bookmarks. The quaint, intimate space in the Library Hotel is a reading room by day, bar by night, and its spacious rooftop area is mostly enclosed in glass — perfect for the winter months. If there’s no room to stand by the indoor fire pit, settle into one of the well-worn leather couches or banquettes. If you’re waiting for your date, you could even grab a paperback volume from one of the many built-in shelves.
The scene here, even on a weekend, is often fairly low-key, and it isn’t unusual to find a patron enjoying some quiet solo time. Cocktails are the focus at the tufted leather bar, many with literary leanings. Try a tequila mockingbird with tequila, agave nectar, fresh lime juice, and minced ginger (if you’re not averse to puns…or wonderfully fresh-tasting drinks). With drink in hand and the sun on your shoulders, winter seems much more bearable.