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Best Business Bars in NYC

The right business bars offering "Happy Hour" allows you to let your hair down and let loose - but not too loose, you still have work in the morning.

By Frank WhitePublished 7 years ago 17 min read
Photo by Clem Onojeghuo

Without a doubt, New York City is a businessman's dream come true. The world's best talent come here for work, the biggest companies network here, and corporate-friendly bars can be found on every corner. If you love to network with the world's elites, no city can ever beat New York.

Of all the bars in the Big Apple, only a few really offer the upscale ambiance, sophisticated clientele, and top notch menus worthy of the city's elites. Critics, restaurant lovers, and celebrities regularly choose these restaurants as their haunts - and businessmen should, too, if they want to present the right image to the right people.


BlackTail - 22 Battery Place (2nd Floor of Pier A) New York, NY 10004

BlackTail's Phone Number: (212) 785-0153

More Info on BlackTail's: Reservations, Menu, Zagat Ratings

BlackTail sits alongside the Hudson River at Pier A, providing a great atmosphere for this retro, Cuban themed cocktail bar.

Good For Casual/First Dates: This is a great bar to 'wow' your date or significant other, offering authentic live music twice a week while you enjoy handcrafted cocktails and heavenly small plates, sure to appease all palates.

Good For Guys/Girls’ Nights Out: Pier A offers many hangout spots such as bowling, nightclubs, and city tours all within walking distance to your last stop for food and drinks.

Good For Business Drinks: For the typical nine-to-five employee, this bar is blending and crafting drinks by the day's close, making it a convenient pop-in bar to unwind.

Follow BlackTail @BlackTailNYC

The Top of the Standard (Boom Boom Room)

The Top of the Standard - 848 Washington St, New York, NY 10014 (at 13th St., inside the Standard High Line – Meatpacking District

The Standard’s Phone Number: (212) 645-4100

More Info On The Standard: Reservations, Zagat Ratings, NYMag Listing

Though almost five years old, The Standard – and its bar – are still staples for both locals and tourists brave enough to mingle with the downtown crowd, offering a trendy, club-like experience.

Good For Outdoor Seating: The restaurant itself has a fair amount of tables at which to eat/drink outside and, recently, they’ve expanded the outdoor area off of the lobby – meaning there’s a pretty fair shot at dining al fresco.

Good For Guys/Girls’ Nights Out: It’s walking distance from most clubs worth going to (two of which are actually located in the hotel), and most dishes are consistent and offered alongside delicious, inventive cocktails and a quality wine list as the first drinks of the evening before venturing into a big night with friends.

Good For Celebrity Sightings: Though the constant stream of notables has trickled off a bit, there’s still a good chance you’ll see someone worth writing home about.

Ghost Donkey

Ghost Donkey - 4 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10012

Ghost Donkey's Phone Number: (212) 254-0350

More Info On Ghost Donkey: Zagat Ratings

A new bar in NoHo, Ghost Donkey boasts a stylish bar that offers mezcal and tequila (served singularly or as a cocktail) and traditional Tex-Mex bites like nachos and churros.

Good For Guys/Girls’ Nights Out: This hidden gem is at the heart of all things entertainment for a night out, offering nightlife like Webster Hall, clubs in Greenwich Village, and entertainment theaters.

Good For Business Drinks: Just a couple train stops from the New York Stock Exchange, you and your colleagues will find solace in the vibrant and whimsical décor and drink specials, presented with vivid ingredients incorporated in their creative, Latin-inspired apps.

Good For Big Groups: Though this lounge is the "new kid on the block," the buzz about this place has prompted a constant flow of traffic, specifically for large groups looking for a good deal, like their sharable donkey pitcher for $26.

The Beatrice Inn

The Beatrice Inn - 285 W 12th St, New York, NY 10014 (near West 4th St. – West Village)

The Beatrice Inn’s Phone Number:(212) 675-2808

More Info on The Beatrice Inn: Menu, Reservations

The Beatrice Inn has grown from notorious party house to notable restaurant in an edgy, underground version of a traditional New York chophouse bustling with celebrity clientele.

Good For Big Groups: Though the dining area is relatively small, there are a few tables that can easily accommodate groups – just make plans ahead of time to be safe.

Good For Celebrity Sightings: When Graydon Carter is involved in a restaurant, you’re almost guaranteed to spot a big name or two on pretty much any night of the week.

Good For Girls’ Nights Out: The atmosphere is sexy yet cozy and, though it’s not cheap, it’s a good restaurant and/or bar to linger over a few cocktails and some small plates before moving on to one of the hundreds of other great locations in the neighborhood.

Follow The Beatrice Inn @thebeaofficial


As Is NYC - 734 10th AveNew York, New York 10019

As Is NYC's Phone Number: (646)-858-1153

More Info On As Is NYC: Website

At the heart of Hell's Kitchen, you will find As Is NYC, offering handmade cocktails, 20 atypical draft beers, and notch-above bar bites, all served within a handsomely decorated venue space.

Good For Guys/Girls’ Nights Out: With a great variety of draft beers available, your night out will probably consist of you taste testing a culmination of different beers and cocktails. Cheers!

Good for Casual Dates: While you sit at the bar top, you and your date can chuckle at all the original, yet funny names for the posted cocktail names above, featuring fresh ingredients sure to put your tastebuds - and nerves - at ease.

Rose Bar

Rose Bar - 2 Lexington Ave. New York, NY 10010 (at 21st St. – Gramercy Park Hotel – Gramercy Park)

Rose Bar’s Phone Number: (212) 920-3300

More Info On Rose Bar:

With a new resurgence, Rose Bar is noted as one of the city's exclusive swanky bars, offering a low-key escape for A-listers, featuring a late night menu and live music programming.

Good For Business Drinks: If the drinks are earlier in the night – anywhere from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. or so - this is a good place to sit and have a comfortable, casual meeting over cocktails. The crowd is usually more “business” than most with its level of prestige so if you’re looking for a place to entertain clients rather than have an actual meeting, it’s a good bet pretty much all night long – just make sure you can get in so you don’t embarrass yourself.

Good For Meeting Hot Girls: The door guys (who are some of my favorite people in the city) are great at cultivating an excellent crowd. Of course, that means there will always be more than enough hot girls around for everyone.

Good For First Dates: The decor is sexy, the seating is comfy and intimate and the atmosphere is dark and mysterious. It’s a great place for drinks on a first date – again, just make sure you can get in.

Follow Rose Bar @GPHhotel

The Last Word

The Last Word - 31-30 Ditmars Boulevard Queens, New York 11105

The Last Word's Phone Number: 718-440-3378

More Info On The Last Word: Site, Zagat Reviews

Though The Last Word isn't Manhattan-based, this hidden and rare speakeasy bar is worth the commute, serving refined rotating cocktails with elevated bar snacks.

Good For Business Drinks: This laid back bar and lounge has private rooms for a more secluded and intimate setting to discuss business if need be.

Good For Dates: If you and your date are into open mic nights, or share any kind of musical interests, the voluntary showcasing of strangers - or even your dates' - talents is enticing.

Good For Guy's/Girls' Nights Out: Though this isn't your typical karaoke night, this speakeasy encourages all guests to showcase their talent for others to enjoy - or gawk- perfect for a group of friends to engage.

Follow The Last Word @tlwastoria

Tom & Jerry's

Tom & Jerry’s - 288 Elizabeth New York, NY 10012 (at Houston – East Village)

Tom & Jerry’s Phone Number: (212) 260-5045

More Info On Tom & Jerry's:

A dive bar that attracts media industry types, Tom & Jerry’s in the East Village is a retreat from NYC life, offering an extensive microbrew list at this cash only kickback location.

Good For Guys’/Girls' Nights Out: If you really just want a drunk night out and aren’t necessarily looking to hook up, this is a great spot. There’s generally not a huge selection of “top talent,” but that makes it perfect for getting together to drink way too much without worrying about what any hotties might think.

Good For First Dates/Casual Dates: Sometimes you’re not looking to necessarily impress but rather just want a place you can sit and talk over a few drinks. If that’s the case, Tom & Jerry’s is a great pick.

Good For Business Drinks: Particularly if your business drinks are with someone in media – suggesting this place to an editor is sure to impress because, from my experience, they all seem to be extremely loyal to the dive bar.

The Spotted Pig

The Spotted Pig - 314 W. 11th St. (at Greenwich St. – West Village)

The Spotted Pig’s Phone Number: (212) 620-0393

More Info On The Spotted Pig:,Eater

A great West Village spot for European-inspired meals, The Spotted Pig gastropub doesn't accept reservations, but is totally worth the wait.

Good For Celebrity Sightings: Jay-Z’s one of the owners and also a frequent visitor. Because of his involvement and that of other high-profile investors, The Spotted Pig’s ability to attract a slew of recognizable faces has held up throughout the years.

Good For Business Meals/Drinks: Though the restaurant only seats 100, making it less than ideal for groups, it’s a good place to go for smaller meetings. One of the first to call itself a “gastro-pub” and home to what I’m told is one of the best burgers in the city, it’s particularly good for an impressive yet “casual” situation.

Good For Girls' Night Out: Again, it’s not a great place for big groups but if it’s just a few friends, it’s a really fun place to start a night. Though not quite what I would call cheap, it won’t kill your wallet/you won’t want to kill your perpetually “broke” girl friends.

Follow The Spotted Pig @thespottedpig

Del Posto

Del Posto - 85 10th Ave. New York, NY 10011 (at 16th St. – Chelsea/Meatpacking)

Del Posto’s Phone Number: (212) 497-8090

More Info On Del Posto:

Mario Batali’s Del Posto in Chelsea is a great NYC Italian restaurant with polished service and a world-renowned wine list, bragging to be the first Italian restaurant to receive a four-star rating from the New York Times in 40 years.

Good For Casual and/or First Dates: This is specific to the bar area ONLY, which is just casually elegant enough to impress but comfortable to the point where it’s easy to relax. As an added bonus, the staff is incredibly knowledgeable so you won’t look like a moron if you’re not sure which wine is which.

Good For Romantic Dates: The actual dining area of the restaurant, on the other hand, is definitely an environment for a date with someone you’re more serious about. Beyond the atmosphere, the food makes “getting in the mood” as close to inevitable as you can get – especially when ordered with a wine pairing (read: a lot of booze).

Good For Business Meals: This place actually accommodates groups of 4ish pretty well so if you’re trying to close a deal over dinner (or lunch) with a few people who you’d like to feel special, this is a great place to do so.

Good For Meeting Hot Girls/Rich Guys: They’re generally both plentiful in the bar area. If they’re sitting down for a meal, it’s most likely with someone they’ll soon be engaged to so this doesn’t apply there.

Follow Del Posto @DelPosto

Crosby Bar & Terrace - Crosby Street Hotel

The Crosby Street Hotel - 79 Crosby St. New York, NY 10012 (btwn Spring and Prince – SoHo)

The Crosby Street Bar & Terrace’s Phone Number: (212) 226-6400

More Info On The Crosby Street Bar & Terrace:

A chic and colorful place to feel fancy while grabbing a cocktail, and during the summer, enjoying the weather outside, The Crosby Bar & Terrace in SoHo is a particularly good NYC restaurant/bar offering global eats.

Good For Outdoor Cocktails: There’s a quaint little garden off of the lobby bar with tables big enough and comfortable enough for big groups.

Good For Small Plates: The menu isn’t generally very extensive and the food is nothing spectacular but the small bites selection is great if you’re looking for a snack before heading out for the night and/or late night.

Good For Meeting Rich Guys: They won’t be the classiest (read: Eurotrash) and they most likely won’t be from the city (which can be a good thing) but they’re here - and usually just waiting to be picked up.

Good For Out of Town Friends: It’s no longer the coolest spot in town but there are great cocktails and it’s in the middle of the perfect neighborhood for showing off this town of ours.

Gemma - The Bowery Hotel

Gemma - The Bowery Hotel, 335 Bowery, New York, NY 10003

Gemma's Phone Number:(212) 505-7300

More Info On Gemma:Site

Gemma in the East Village is a good NYC restaurant with an attached bar in the lobby of The Bowery Hotel, serving up Italian fare in a stylish environment.

Good For Outdoor Seating: Gemma has a few seats available outside on The Bowery when the weather’s nice. The bar in the lobby has a gorgeous back garden – it can be tough to grab a spot out there as they generally reserve them for guests of the hotel but I’ve gotten lucky a few times so it’s worth trying.

Good For Groups: The restaurant has pretty incredible Italian food, a lot of which is served in the form of delicious, easy to share small dishes. As long as you don’t mind possibly standing while you imbibe in the selection of trendy cocktails and great wine, you're in for a treat.

Good For Celebrity Sightings: Particularly the bar, which is often used as the temporary living room to the hoards of celebs who stay at the hotel on a regular basis. I’ve personally spotted everyone from Adrien Brody to Aziz Ansari to Lindsay Lohan. Dennis Quaid once took a seat at our table after a friend of mine mistook him for Kevin Costner and asked to shake his hand. It’s a serious hotbed for famous people.

Good For Business Drinks/Business Meals: The atmosphere of both locations is very chic and the bar is reminiscent of a living room at a Harvard Final Club. They’re casual enough that you won’t seem to be overdoing it but impressive enough that it will be obvious you’re putting in some effort.

The Bar - The Lambs Club New York

The Lamb's Club - 132 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036

The Lambs Clubs' Phone Number: (212) 997-5262

More Info On The Lamb's Club: Website

The Lamb's Club in Times Square serves up cocktails and steaks in this club-like, art deco-styled lounge with an impressive culinary team.

Good For Business Drinks: After work, this place is slammed with suits and the vibe is very “functioning alcoholic professionals.” Plus, the decor makes it easy to pretend you’re on the set of “Mad Men” meeting a super important client to close an ad deal over way too many martinis.

Good For First Dates: If you both work in the area and want to have a few casual drinks once you’re out of the office. It can get a little crowded but you’ll usually be able to find a table and sip some really good cocktails amongst the impressive clientele.

Good For A Guys’ Night Out: It screams masculinity so a group of guys, particularly finance-type guys, should feel right at home. You’ll be in the company of men trying to show off the size of their swinging… um… wallets. Ladies – this also makes it a good spot to meet a rich guy and possibly get a few free drinks out of the deal.

Good For Entertaining Out Of Town Friends: If you’re looking for a place that embodies the classic NYC watering hole feel in the heart of possibly the worst – yet often most sought out by tourists - area of the city.

Follow The Lambs @thelambsclub Club

The Dutch

The Dutch - 131 Sullivan St, New York, NY 10012 (SoHo)

The Dutch's Phone Number: (212) 677-6200

More Info On The Dutch: Website

The Dutch in SoHo is a lively, modern American joint that serves nice food using fresh, local ingredients accompanied by tasteful wine and spirits.

Good For Boozy Brunch: It’s not necessarily a “party brunch” place but it’s a great place for too many cocktails on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon.

Good For Celebrity Sightings: Jake Gyllenhaal can often be spotted entertaining various lady friends and pretty much any night is ripe for sightings of other hipster-esque celebs who call the neighborhood home (or temporary home).

Good For Girls’ Dinners: This place is super cute (and great for spying on super cute guys, particularly during the week). Grab a booth with 2 or 3 girlfriends and share the delicious small plates and a bottle of wine (or 2 or 3).

Good For Lunch: Open for lunch every day of the week, The Dutch is a great downtown place for lunch with hip business affiliates or a quick bite while shopping on your day off.

Good For First Dates/Casual Dates: If you sit at the bar, this is a good restaurant for casual conversation over drinks. If you’re up for small dishes, the seats in the bar area work as well.

Follow The Dutch @TheDutchNyc


ACME - 9 Great Jones St, New York, NY 10012

ACME'S Phone Number: (212) 203-2121

More Info On ACME: Website

Newly relaunched, Acme in the East Village is a contemporary bistro offering French & Italian bistro fare, wines, and cocktails showcasing the culinary background of the new chef team.

Good For Groups: A reservation is definitely recommended but this place is decent for groups of 5-7ish people. There are a lot of small plates that are easily shared and the wine list is great.

Good For People Watching: The crowd is made up of hip, gorgeous people who are always entertaining.

Good For Girls’ Dinners: It’s not the cheapest spot but it’s a great place if you’re in the mood to dress up and have a few glasses of wine in the company of hot people. However, Acme is not for picky eaters so make sure the friends you invite are up for splitting a few adventurous dishes.

Bar Downstairs – Good For Business Drinks: Hidden below the crowded restaurant is a quiet bar and great place to wait for your table or, just go grab some business drinks. The decor looks like it was taken directly out of a scene from “Wall Street” and, in my head, there are always guys in power suits leaning back in the upholstered chairs while sucking on Cubans. Clearly that’s not true but that’s what you feel is missing when you walk in. Clearly, this makes it a great choice for closing deals over a scotch on the rocks or starting a big guys’ night out.

Bar Downstairs – Good For First Dates: The actual restaurant is a little too crowded and loud to get to know someone but the bar downstairs is the perfect trendy place to take someone for good conversation over wine. The seating arrangements feel like those that might be found in a living room so it offers some comfort to an often awkward situation.


BoBo - 181 W 10th St, New York, NY 10014

BoBo's Phone Number: (212) 488-2626

More Info On BoBo: Website

Inspired by the comfortability and casual nature you find sitting at the dinner table with family and friends, BoBo is an atmospheric townhouse revamped to be elegant yet funky.

Good For Outdoor Seating: Head up the stairs and out back to the unexpected patio seating area where you can eat or, often at night, just have a drink.

Good For Casual Dates: If you grab a seat at the bar, this is a good place for a relaxed yet intimate quick meal and/or cocktails.

Good For Romantic Dates: Getting a seat upstairs or outside turns the date a little more romantic but not to the point of making it uncomfortable as it’s not an overly fancy restaurant. It’s just cute with great lighting, a cozy atmosphere and good food.

Good For Groups: It’s not a huge place but if you book in advance, the dining area upstairs works well for big groups.

Good For Business Drinks: If you’re looking for something downtown, the bar space is one of the more “grown up” in the area. Definitely not the height of professionalism but quiet enough and charming enough that it works for casual business situations.

Follow Bobo @boborestaurant


Benoit - 60 W 55th St, New York, NY 10019

Benoit's Phone Number: (646) 943-7373

More Info On Benoit: Website

Benoit, modeled after the Paris original, is a modern yet traditional dining destination for upscale French cuisine.

Good For Big Groups: The restaurant is spacious enough that it can accommodate groups for brunch, lunch and dinner at pretty much any time of day. Also, the private dining room is beautiful and super cute and intimate.

Good For Lunch: Perfect for business lunches due to the midtown location and great for weekend lunches due to its proximity to MOMA and really good shopping.

Good For Small Bites: There’s a big selection of hors d’oeuvres for the table which can be ordered in groups of three or five. Plus they’re all really delicious so they’ll satisfy pretty much anyone.

Good For Business Drinks: Besides the great location, Benoit has a bar area that is adorable and perfect for casual business drinks. The cocktails are really inventive and the wine list is extensive. When (full disclosure) they were my client at a former agency five years ago or so I got them featured in the New York Times due to their awesome drinks. The bar space feels like a French Bistro and is a quiet yet not boring after work bar.


About the Creator

Frank White

New Yorker in his forties. His counsel is sought by many, offered to few. Traveled the world in search of answers, but found more questions.

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