Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Outside’s In: Best New Outdoor Bars

Its that time of year again. Time to report on the best new outdoor bars!

Summer, summer, summertime! Well, not quite yet, but with a slew of outdoor spots suddenly making their debuts, it sure feels like it. Get out with the in-crowd at these haute new bars ready to lube you up and help you maintain that spray tan you insisted on getting to cure your cabin fever.

68 W. 47th St. (8th Ave. & Broadway) Midtown 212.398.3800
Is Midtown the new downtown? With a new rooftop lounge in Times Square, this is one attraction the tourists will have a hard time getting into. Expect top DJs and a hot, modelicious crowd at Eden, part of the makeover of the massive, 24-year-old China Club (now known as Opera). The launch party for Eden on May 22 kicks off JoonBug’s after-work St. Tropez Thursdays, from 5 to 10 p.m. every week. Half the lounge is a rooftop deck with two giant trees sprouting through the roof, and the other half is indoors for those non-summery days.

700 5th Ave. (@ 55th St.)Midtown 212.956.2888
Party like a Shanghai socialite high above the spires of the Manhattan skyline at Salon de Ning. This sexy new incarnation of The Peninsula Hotel’s 23rd floor rooftop bar—the glass and beige Pen-Top was a magnet for gray-haired execs—simmers with Eastern accents inspired by 1930’s jet-setter Madame Ning. Moroccan lanterns, Chinese daybeds, and Venetian mirrors set the tone for yet another overpriced outdoor cocktail experience. So be careful not to spill your $20-plus drink over the terrace while peering down into the MOMA Sculpture Garden.

44 W. 63rd St. (@ Broadway)Upper West Side 212.265.7400
Even though you live in NYC, make like a tourist and book a room at the Empire Hotel just to take advantage of the private, guest-only roof deck that just opened. The place has it all. Cool off and stay warm at the same time in the deck's heated pool, or lounge poolside in a private cabana outfitted with plasma TVs, internet, and mini fridges. Soon to come is a menu from the hotel's restaurant by Jeffrey Chodorow, making it that much harder to leave and return to your humble dwelling.

259 Banker St. (Meserole and Calyer Sts.)Greenpoint 718.389.1880
Brooklyn's two-year-old nightclub Studio B has grown out of its shell. Hard to do when you are a 9,000-square-foot space, but they’ve done it with a new rooftop level. With its own bar and sound system, expect the same level of boomtastic partying the club is known for. Over 40 palm trees and a retractable roof complete the package and give a nod to the original Studio A in Miami. Raise the roof, yo.

618 St. John's Place (Classon & Franklin Aves.)Crown Heights (no phone)
Twelve kinds of beer are on tap at what is sure to be this season's go-to beer garden (hooray—no long train rides to Astoria). Franklin Park, once a giant garage, also serves up a large list of bottled beers for those of you who prefer to suckle. The backyard vibe is enhanced by the picnic-style seating and outdoor BBQ serving meat and fire-roasted marshmallows—it’s like summer camp, minus the stupid songs and ghost stories.

251 W. 48th St. (@ 8th Ave.) Hell's Kitchen 212.956.1300
This Hell’s Kitchen high-rise makes its debut on May 20, and with all of the hype, we predict it won’t be long before its white leather banquettes turn tarnished cigarette beige. Panoramic views of the Hudson give way to urban chic decor of daybeds, bamboo cabanas, movie screens, and, as a bold f-you to global warming, outdoor AC. Get to Highbar soon before it’s cool-factor slips to the endangered species list.

Coming soon.... The Patio @ Brass Monkey
55 Little W. 12th St. (Washington St. & 10th Ave.)Meatpacking District 212.675.6686
Just in time for Brass Monkey's new summer menu comes a brand new roof deck. One of the Meatpacking District's O.G.s, Brass Monkey already keeps the house packed without opening a window, so expect the deck to impress. Overlooking the Hudson River, the place will not just offer amazing views, but also a long list of beers. Think beer garden but with penthouse views.

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