Secret Lounge Hides in A Tribeca Tavern

Secret Lounge Hides in A Tribeca Tavern

Some venues open with a murmur. Last week, Bandit's Roost, a new drinking hole hidden behind a secret door in the dining room of Church Street Tavern, opened with a bang. The kind of bang that eminates from a bandit's pistol in a late 19th-century alleyway (the place was named for a 1888 Jacob Riis photograph of just that kind of scene).

The tavern on street-level is warm and welcoming—rustic woods, glowing candles, cast-iron chandeliers and guests chattering over hot American small plates. Chat up a bartender, or get cozy with your waitress, and you'll be given a secret four-digit code that will lead you to a boozy night at the Bandit's Roost that lies below. An inconspicuous door in one corner of the dining room opens into a mirrored room with a coat check. Descend further, and you'll enter a dark lounge with black tile on the walls, black leather booths and black-and-white photos of rough gangsters. 

There's not too much vintage about the space apart from the method of entry—rainbow disco lights flashed while a DJ Don Juan spun old-school hip-hop tunes. But that doesn't mean you can't drink like it's 1888. During the opening, Vincent Piazza, a star of HBO's Boardwalk Empire, was on site, taking advantage of the open bar with the rest of the dancing crowd. 

» Bandit's Roose at Church Street Tavern, 313 Church St., 212.804.7766