The best new bars to visit this fall, from nightclubs to new dives


In an industry particularly affected by the shock waves of the pandemic, it is a welcome change – after years in which closings have exceeded openings – to once again take stock of what is new and noteworthy in the world. from the bar. Unsurprisingly, the list that follows reflects a drinking landscape that has been radically changed by the events of recent years. The comforting cocktail reigns supreme, though it now exists in an environment designed to up the nostalgia factor thanks to a growing neo-diver bar culture, an oxymoron business that nonetheless manages to offer solace through familiarity and accessibility.

In the world of wine too, a general relaxation of dogmas which dictates everything right up to the glassware label gave birth to the natural wine bar, a place and way of life– that eschews tradition in favor of wines with minimal intervention and good vibes. It’s a philosophy shared by the dominant aesthetic of new cocktail bars: disco aperitivo, which shows that a DJ booth and a dance floor are as important for having a good time as a list of surefire Italian classics.

But perhaps the most exciting thing to see among the openings this fall is how many bars have closed during the pandemic, only to reopen – in new spaces and with renewed purpose – to bring us more of what we have. always loved.

Here’s a list of trends to look out for this season and the new bars that best represent them.

King Leroy, Seattle

Milady’s, New York

Sunset, Boston

In 2019, Justin Theroux, owner of Ray’s Bar in Manhattan, a carefully curated mimetic dive decorated with cheap paneling and campy touches. But this year, perhaps due to a pandemic-induced back-to-basics mentality, expect to see a lot more bars cut from the same cloth. Notably, in Seattle, Renee Erickson (Barnacle, The Walrus and the Carpenter, Deep Dive) opened King Leroya neo-dive that pairs ultra-casual bar staples like chicken wings and jalapeño peppers with a cocktail menu that nods to the dark ages of mixed drinks, like its own take on Long Island Iced Tea, all against the backdrop of vinyl booths, a jukebox spinning records, and plenty of Rainier and Olympia beer memorabilia.

In New York, Julie Reiner (partner of the former Flatiron Lounge and Pegu Club, as well as Brooklyn’s Clover Club and Leyenda) took over At Milady’s, one of the last remaining dives in the SoHo district. She intends to maintain the laid-back atmosphere of the original while offering an accessible cocktail menu, some drawn from her own list of classics (like the C3 Apple Martini, which will debut under a new moniker, the Big Apple Martini) and others with universal recognition, such as Jell-O shots and whiskey highballs.

Let’s Go Nightclub and Cocktail ClubLos Angeles

Discolo, New York

Midnight Cafe, New York

Disco balls, illuminated dance floors, DJ booths: a quick overview of the latest bar openings reveals that disco aperitivo is not just about us– it’s on the rise. Following on from Ciao Ciao Disco in Brooklyn, which opened earlier this year, Let’s Go Nightclub and Cocktail Club, a new bar by Lee Zaremba and the team behind De La Nonna’s Pizza, will open at the end of October in Los Angeles. The venue channels late 1970s and 80s Italian nightclub with drinks like the Garibaldi Spritz and Fizz Italiano, served in a dusty pink stucco space that will house a DJ booth, vinyl-filled shelves, a 24 foot green marble bar and Mario Bellini style sofas. Back in New York at West Chelsea, Discolo also takes inspiration from the 70s and 80s with multicolored lighting setting the tone for bar manager Matt Reysen’s menu of updated disco drinks like Blue Hawaii, Apple and French Martinis and a Cape Cod Cosmopolitan.

Among the most anticipated is the opening of midnight coffee, a “high-energy aperitif bar” located in the new pan-Asian restaurant Hidden Leaf, from Iain Griffiths of Dandelyan and White Lyan. At his first outpost in the United States, Griffiths created a menu of technical twists on appetizer classics and house originals. The first will feature cocktails such as the Milano Carousel, a play on the Giostra d’Alcol made with orange wine, clarified citrus fruits and seltzer water, and Tjorget’s Milano, made with infused Aperol, clarified citrus fruits and tonic, all set to Italian disco music from the 1990s 70.

Slug Bar, Oakland, California

Bitches, San Francisco

Panda Disco, New York

In recent years, the traditional wine bar has been replaced by the once rebellious, todayubiquitous natural wine bar, dedicated exclusively to wines with low intervention. In a short time, a new model emerged, characterized by a certain aesthetic similarity that signaled, against all odds, an alternative.

Now a new generation of natural wine bars is breaking the mold by prioritizing an ambiance first of all. Early adopters of the trend include Bar Part Time, which opened in San Francisco in fall 2021, and Nightmoves, which opened in New York in early 2020 by the team behind the famed Four Horsemen. Growing the scene in their wake are meeting places like Slug Bar in Oakland, which describes itself as “a late-night natural wine bar” made “for the after-party.” A sibling of the natural wine-focused Snail Bar, the Slug Bar adds a shimmering disco ball and DJ booth, telltale signs of the spirit of the new space: a youthful, exuberant atmosphere shared by neighbors. Slutsan extension of Oakland’s Hi Felicia restaurant, and the next Panda Disco of Miguel de Leon (wine director, Pinch Chinese) in New York.

Agricultural Bar, San Francisco

Cellar Door Provisions, Chicago

Power House Bar, Los Angeles

At the start of the pandemic, people across the country came together to support their favorite bars however they could, buying merchandise, gift cards and cocktails to go. But for many beloved institutions, the burden of the closures was too heavy to stay afloat. While some of these bars are gone forever, others are reappearing in new spaces under the same name, creating second acts as ambitious and enchanting as the originals.

Chief among them is the new iteration of Agricultural Bar, Thad Vogler’s James Beard Award-winning San Francisco bar focused on small producers. Despite the accolades, at the time of its closure in 2020, the bar was facing financial difficulties which led to statements of unpaid wages. The closure allowed Vogler to reimagine what the space could be without a traditional hierarchical structure. Instead, the focus is on the single-origin spirits that defined the original concept and will continue to guide the beverage program in this new iteration, which serves up drinks like a clean and forward agricultural rum punch. – guardian.

Lobby bar, New York

Hotel Lucine, Galveston, TX

Pacific Standard, Portland, Oregon

The hotel bar has long since shaken off its reputation as the last resort option for cocktails. Over the past decade, boutique operators have transformed declining hotels into lively micro-cities filled with multiple drink and eat destinations designed for customers to move money around the building.

Today, it is no longer enough to have a usable drinks menu. With hotel bars continually dominating the top spots on ‘best of’ lists, it’s imperative that any new operation offers a serious program, even if the drinks are playful. A host of new openings, with some of the biggest names in the industry behind them, demonstrate this. In New York, Brian Evans of Sunday Hospitality (Sunday in Brooklyn, Rule of Thirds, El Quijote) concocted an ultra-classic menu at the new Chelsea Hotel Lobby barwhile Mattos Hospitality with the help of Stacey Swenson opened corner bar and Lobby Lounge at the new Nine Orchard hotel. Bobby Heugel (Anvil, Better Luck Tomorrow, Tongue-Cut Sparrow) oversees drinks at Lucina Hotel, a future beachfront hotel in Galveston, Texas. Meanwhile, in Portland, Oregon, Jeffrey Morgenthaler (Clyde Common) brings what he calls a “whimsical lobby bar menu” to Pacific Standard at the KEX Hotel, serving drinks like a passion fruit Ramos Gin Fizz and Aperol Spritz on tap, underpinned by more edgy options like the Vieux Carré-inspired Terra Firma.

Related Articles

More stories you might like


Comments are closed.