Murray Hill is perhaps the only district in Manhattan that eludes the ‘trendy’ tag that almost always comes with the territory of a youthful population. An influx of recent college graduates has brought with it a penchant for late-night libation, in celebration of no one and nothing in particular. Despite the masses of post-grads, Murray Hill still plays host and caters to a range of tastes and cultures, and features some of the finer cocktail lounges and bars the city has to offer – more than suitable to accommodate anyone wanting to escape the buzzing street scenes and still enjoy a night out on the town.
The Standard is an aptly titled venue, setting the bar high in all respects: food, drink and entertainment. The dinner menu is provided by Blue Smoke BBQ restaurant on the next floor up from the Standard, so patrons can enjoy pulled pork sandwiches and ribs while listening to world class musicians in a cool, comfortable setting. Open seven days a week and playing two to three sets a day, the venue is a regular fixture for both aficionados and weekenders alike.
A speakeasy style cocktail lounge with an authentic air, Middle Branch immediately takes you back in time with its low ceilings, candle-lit tables and frosted windows. The cocktail list consists of Prohibition-era drinks, and the bartenders pay special attention to your needs, making each drink to the customer’s exact specifications. It’s an intimate atmosphere with rustic aesthetics and two floors with a bar on each.
Rare View Bar & Grill
After a recent renovation, Rare View’s Lexington location will reopen just in time for Summer, offering rooftop views of Midtown - just a short walk from The Vetro. Patrons can take in sights of the Empire State and Chrysler buildings by starlight over expertly mixed cocktails and margaritas. A live DJ and strands of lights set the mood for an upscale evening without the pretentiousness that tends to come with rooftop bars.
Cask Bar & Kitchen
Dimly lit rooms, wooden floors, and an antique bar echo a bygone era. Cask conditioned beers and a wide variety of craft beers are something of a specialty here, though the wine selection is equally impressive. The food continues on a theme of simplicity without sacrificing variety on the menu. Less than five minutes walking distance for residents of The Charleston and 303 East 33rd Street.
A chique basement lounge complete with comfy leather sofas, Persian rugs and table lamps, La Biblioteca exudes class. True to its Mexican roots, blue agave-based spirits, mezcals and sotols are specialty here – over 400 bottles coming from artisanal distillers to famed haciendas. A small menu of well priced Mexican dishes serves as the perfect compliment to a Tequila lover’s dream bar.