If you walk into the middle of the Garment District and look up, you’ll see a bunch of tall office buildings. They’re filled with people who work in the area - and if you’re one of these people (or ever spend time in the neighborhood), you’ll find this guide useful. It has all the spots that are perfect for drinking with your coworkers, with a bunch of big bars that are great for groups and a couple of smaller ones for when you need to grab a cocktail and complain about work with one other person.
The Houndstooth Pub
If you’re with a group that extends beyond your actual office friends, Houndstooth Pub is a good choice - it’s large and loud enough for a non-awkward experience. Plus, it’s close to Penn Station, and you can make reservations. Come during Happy Hour (every day until 7pm), when cocktails and bar snacks are $8, and take over a few high tops near a TV. It’ll be like your department does this kind of thing all the time.
You want to be outside and drink something that isn’t absurdly expensive, and a nice view wouldn’t hurt. Suggest Refinery Rooftop, which is at the top of the Refinery Hotel and has a big indoor area with a U-shaped bar and a little terrace. This place is just about as casual as your favorite neighborhood bar that isn’t on a rooftop, and it tends to draw a good crowd even early in the week.
Maybe your boss kept your team in the office past 10pm three times this week, or maybe you’re celebrating Marcel’s promotion (don’t worry - yours is coming any day). Regardless, a few beers at a dark bar playing Mets reruns isn’t going to do it for you. Go to Magic Hour. This cocktail bar on the roof of the Moxy Hotel calls itself an “urban amusement park,” which starts to make sense when you see the spinning carousel in the middle of the dance floor and the mini golf area filled with giant pink animals. It’s over the top, but if you’re willing to embrace that, you’ll have a fun time.
Castell Rooftop is perfect for grabbing a drink with someone who makes more money than you do and will hopefully pick up the check. It’s at the top of the AC Hotel, and it’s a somewhat upscale cocktail lounge with big windows, nice banquette seating, and an outdoor area with booths and a view of Midtown. Cocktails here can get into the $20 range, but not a lot of people know about this place, so it’s usually pretty easy to get into.
You meant to suggest post-work drinks to just a couple of your colleagues, but you accidentally put it in the full team Slack channel, and 30 people replied with firework emojis before you could delete it. Rather than uninviting everyone from accounting, just make a reservation at the Monarch Rooftop. The huge wraparound terrace has plenty of tables and couches for the whole team to drink colorful cocktails overlooking the Empire State Building, and there’s room inside, too, in case the weather’s not ideal.
It’s your coworker’s birthday, and despite that break you took for cupcakes at 4pm, everyone’s a little hungry. Try The Rag Trader. It’s a big restaurant that sort of looks like it belongs in Vegas, and it has a very large bar area in the front and a dining room in the back (with additional seating up a flight of stairs). There’s a full dinner menu with stuff like burrata, octopus, and steak, and the big tables up front are perfect for groups.
If you like good cocktails, dark rooms, and the sound that a piano makes, Bo Peep is where you should be drinking. It’s a little bar beneath The Rag Trader, and it feels like a speakeasy from the 1920s. There are velvet chairs and antique light fixtures, and there’s also live piano music every night. Come with a small group when you want to have a quiet conversation and drink something strong. As an added bonus, all the employees seem to be Broadway-ready, and they take turns singing songs at the piano.
Winnie’s is on the ground floor of the Refinery Hotel, and it’s another spot where you can listen to live music, have a cocktail, and sit on something comfortable. It’s in a little lounge space just off the lobby, and it has a couple of couches, a little bar, and some big leather chairs. There isn’t really enough room for a group, but if you’re getting a drink with just one coworker and aren’t looking for a scene, it’s ideal.
Skylawn is a rooftop bar on top of the Embassy Suites on 37th Street. And while that might not sell you on it immediately, it’s actually pretty fun up here. To get to the roof, you have to take a special elevator that has only one button (it’ll feel a little like you’re sneaking into the hotel). Once you’re there, they have a few giant versions of games like Jenga and Connect Four, and during the summer, there’s also a rooftop movie series you can buy tickets for in advance.
District Tap House is a big room with high ceilings, a very long bar, and a borderline-unnecessary number of beers on tap. There’s also an area in the back with tables and booths, and the largest booths have their own little flat-screen TVs mounted on the walls next to them. So if you want to experience the bar equivalent of flying first class, grab one of those. If you’re looking for something a little quieter, there’s a semi-separate cocktail bar in the back that they open on weeknights.
This is District Tap House’s sister spot, and it’s a large space with lots of different seating options. You can hang out at the big bar up front, sit in the dining room in back, or head upstairs to the mezzanine where there are some tables and couches. The full dinner menu here ranges from salads and flatbreads to roast chicken and steak tartare, and there’s also a 10-person table in a curtained-off area on the ground floor that you can book in advance.
The Liberty is like the nicest pub in your neighborhood, just five times bigger. The ceilings are high, there’s a big wraparound bar, and there are also some massive screens for watching sports. The bartenders here make very good cocktails, and the big tables in the front are great for groups.
You might not expect to find a German beer garden on 37th Street, but Reichenbach Hall is here to defy your expectations. It’s on a block full of big office buildings, and once you walk inside, you’ll probably feel like you’re no longer in New York. The big space is filled with columns and picnic tables, and it’s where you want to go to drink draft beer and eat a large pretzel with a bunch of other people who are slightly stressed out and would like to pretend the office isn’t two blocks away.
Juniper has an extremely long bar. So it’s perfect for when you want to drink with a large number of your coworkers, but would rather not make eye contact with most of them. If you’d rather sit at a table, this place has a lot of those as well, along with some banquette seating in a raised area at the back. Essentially, Juniper is just a big, nice pub - and it’s the sort of spot where you can either eat a good burger or a piece of salmon, or just drink whiskey while you watch people play sports on a big flatscreen TV.
Even on a weeknight, the music at Printers Alley is usually pretty loud. So if you need an after-work place with a lively environment, bring a group here and listen to some top-40. This Nashville-themed spot has high ceilings and enough seating for very large groups, plus a menu with Southern bar food like fried pickles and popcorn chicken. There are also lots of TVs, and they do Happy Hour from 4-8pm daily.
Carragher’s is a pub on 39th Street, and we mostly appreciate it because of its size (it has two big floors and a rooftop). The rooftop isn’t very high, so there isn’t much of a view, but it’s great for when you want to drink outside with a small group - and if you’re drinking inside, there’s enough room that you’ll pretty much always be able to get a table.
Beer Authority is just across from Port Authority, and it’s secretly one of the biggest bars in the area. Walk inside, and you’ll just see a tiny room with a small bar - but up a flight of stairs there’s a huge open space filled with tables, and up one more floor, there’s a rooftop. Beer is (as the name would suggest) a priority here - there are almost 100 kinds on tap, in addition to another 100 bottled options and a full bar.
Rattle N Hum West is another good spot for people who consider themselves to be beer nerds. They typically have around 40 beers on tap, and some more bottled options. They also serve wine and cocktails, and it’s overall an easy place to get drinks with a group. It’s nicer than a dive bar, but it isn’t too pricey, and they have a weekday Happy Hour starting at 11am. So if you’d rather have that 2pm expense meeting over a beer, that’s possible. (Whether or not to expense the beer is up to you.)