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Rooftop to Underground: Two Places to Drink in SoHo

Armed with Foursquare and a squad of hip friends, we navigated the late night drink options in SoHo. He didn’t trust the unwashed masses over at Yelp to make suggestions, instead relying on places where his friends had checked-in before. This would’ve been a bit useless for me solo since my friends who’ve been to New York don’t use the app. It was past midnight and we were on the hunt for cool places to have a drink in SoHo.


JIMMY at the James Hotel |

Photo: JIMMY

JIMMY at The James Hotel

“Do you like cocktails? Rooftop views of Manhattan?” Um, yes, yes I do. Our first stop was JIMMY, a rooftop bar located on the 18th floor of The James Hotel in SoHo. The decor was refined, the cocktails painstakingly made (so service can take a while), the views stunning. The bar has 14’ windows that give you panoramic views of Midtown, Wall Street, the Hudson River, and the East River. They also have an outdoor patio, complete with pool, which was perfect on a late summer night.

“How often do you think someone falls into the pool?” I asked. Not 15 minutes later a big splash got my attention. Apparently, it’s not uncommon, though this guy had intentionally jumped in, and was promptly escorted out of the bar.

JIMMY at the James Hotel |

Photo: JIMMY

I sipped my $17 watermelon mule and took in the September 11th memorial lights shining bright from lower Manhattan. When you think about how each drink uses syrups and bitters made in-house, fresh-squeezed juices, and garnishes and herbs picked fresh from the hotel’s own organic garden, the price makes some sense. Plus those stunning views are worth a premium.

JIMMY was fantastic but it closed at 2am, something this girl from St. John’s isn’t used to. “What? That’s so early!” Our evening wasn’t done yet so it was back to Foursquare to find a new late-night spot.


The Ship |

Photo: The Ship

The Ship

What we next found was an underground cocktail lounge on the border of Little Italy that was open until a much more Newfoundland-friendly 3am. The Ship is a blink-and-you-miss-it spot. If you don’t have the address or directions, you’ll never stumble upon it. It’s a modern speakeasy sandwiched between metal-shuttered storefronts. A single flag on the door the only indication that it’s even there.

They really go all in with their industrial nautical theme, but not in a kitchy way. My favourite part were the giant ventilation funnels-turned-art hung from the ceiling.

The Ship |

Photo: Robert Bryant courtesy of The Ship

Reading over the list of cocktails in the dim light was too daunting a task so I just went with a whiskey sour, always a safe bet. Another safe bet? The bartender’s choice. If you don’t like it you can send it back – no hard feelings. If you’re hungry, they also serve some small bites. We slid into a sail-covered booth near the non-functioning fireplace, sipped our drinks, and proceeded to close down another bar.

It was a good night in SoHo.

What other hip bars should I check out in New York?

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  1. nestor says:

    December 20th, 2015 at 2:47 pm (#)

    High class! nice bars.

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