Speakeasy Madness! is a new biweekly column on Inside New York showcasing the best speakeasy bars in New York. Get your flapper dresses, smoking jackets, and mysterious airs on and prepare to try some creative cocktails!
Overheard at the Stone Street coffee shop counter (the cover-up for Bathtub Gin) at 11PM on a Friday night:
Unsuspecting pedestrian: “I’d like a latte, please.”
Stylishly suited bouncer: “We’re closed.”
Unsuspecting pedestrian: “Then why are the doors open and why are there people outside smoking?”
Stylishly suited bouncer: “I’m sorry, sir, but the coffee shop is closed.”
This speakeasy bar is cleverly hidden behind Stone Street coffee shop. When you walk into the cafe, there is an outline of a door but it almost blends in with the back wall; the only giveaway is the bouncer standing in front of it. After exchanging a few words with the friendly bouncer (a rare find in New York), I walked into the speakeasy to find a long, crowded bar, and further back, an elegantly decorated dining and sitting area at the newest speakeasy to open in New York. The atmosphere: all class and pizazz.
On Friday night, the crowd was a sophisticated, attractive New York cross section, averaging 25-35. There was a healthy ratio of men and women for those who’d like to do some flirtatious chatting. This chatter was also aided by the music, loud enough to eliminate an awkward silence, but not loud enough to obliterate conversation.
The cocktails have clever names such as La Louisiane and Sloe Gin Flip, and the bartenders will be happy to help you decide which drink to order based on your preferences. But somehow, the flavors missed the mark. They lost points for average quality of ingredients, the rough flavors, and lack of creativity. The champagne and alcohols weren’t of the highest caliber, and for $15 or $16 a pop + tip, we expect the best.
Entry was fairly easy, but it probably won’t stay that way. It’s worth noting that this area is fairly quiet, so plan to make a night of it or cab it to the next place.
Bathtub Gin. 132 9th Ave (between 18th and 19th St). A/C/E/L to 14th St-8th Ave. 21+