When craft cocktails first took off in New York, they were associated with a particular kind of bar—the speakeasy. Invisible to passersby, these bars often had hard-to-find entrances and a feeling of secrecy, accessible only to those in-the-know.
Today, many of these bars live on, but take a more relaxed approach—no “secret codes” needed to get in. Such is the case at Slowly Shirley, an underground bar below Happiest Hour in the West Village. According to Jim Kearns, co-owner of both bars, “The fact that these bars feel hidden away makes them somehow more cozy and inviting. Even though you don’t need a secret handshake to get in, there’s always that initial moment of wonder that comes with that first discovery.”
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We asked Kearns about his other favorite hidden-away bars in New York. Here’s what he had to say: