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Top Three Low-Key Lounges

Lauren Oosterlinck
Concierge, W New York Hotel
Lauren Oosterlinck
Concierge, W New York Hotel
541 Lexington Ave.

SixtyFive bar and cocktail lounge at the recently revamped Rainbow Room

Sometimes it’s great to see and be seen at a packed NYC nightclub or restaurant; but, a lot can be said for spending and evening tucked away with friends at one of the city’s “chill” outposts. Here, Lauren Oosterlinck, who has been a concierge for five years, the past four of which she’s spent at at W New York Hotel (541 Lexington Ave., 212.755.1200), suggests her top three picks for low-key lounges to visit.

Lauren Oosterlinck, concierge at W New York Hotel

First up, Oosterlinck suggests a trip to the newly opened SixtyFive bar and cocktail lounge on the 65th floor of 30 Rockefeller Plaza—commonly known as “30 Rock”—at the recently revamped Rainbow Room. “Sipping cocktails sky high overlooking Manhattan just feels more fabulous,” Oosterlinck says. “The prices are a bit more steep than at other lounges, but the spectacular views are worth it for a memorable, glitzy night out. It doesn’t hurt that with your order you’ll receive a nice selection of complimentary, addictive bar snacks to munch on.” Guests can also opt for selections from the venue’s new sushi/small plates menu.

Handy Liquor Bar, under SoHo’s Chalk Point Kitchen

At the sky-lit Handy Liquor Bar, nestled under SoHo eatery Chalk Point Kitchen and named after 1800’s New Orleans bar keeper and mixologist Thomas Handy, you’ll find “refuge from the arctic winter temperatures in this elegant, yet cozy underground lounge,” Oosterlinck says. “The wood-paneled room itself is beautiful and catches natural light from the skylights—great and unusual in a subterranean space. The cocktails are a nice mix of classic with a twist. I especially love that the lounge has live music from local artists.” The Handy Liquor Bar opens daily at 5:00 p.m. Patrons can enjoy live music from 7 to 9 p.m. daily, with DJs spinning tunes Thursday thru Sunday. Email for reservations.

Maison Premiere

Across the river in Brooklyn, Oosterlinck says, “Maison Premiere is one of my favorite ‘speakeasy’ bars, in one of my favorite neighborhoods.” Resting in the popular hipster enclave Williamsburg, “Maison is a lovely place that has the quintessential ‘throwback’ vibe, with legit cocktails,” Oosterlinck continues. “The back garden is a picturesque hideaway, with vintage-style tables and delicate light bulbs hung all around; it’s particularly great on an evening in the summer or autumn.”