In the hustle and bustle business ecosystem of New York City, staying ahead of the curve means crafting long-term relationships with customers and vendors. Dining and the custom of after dinner drinks have long accompanied dealmakers on their quest for a successful conclusion. When it comes to a business dinner in New York steak comes to mind and when it comes to late night libations, often the domestically prized bourbon or imported Scotch are the two staples. Let’s look at a few places that specialize in these spirits — and do a great job at it. Here are some of the best whiskey bars in NYC:
The Flatiron Room
Prepare yourself for a glimpse into an era by entering this 1920’s speakeasy-style whiskey parlor. There is live jazz in the background every night of the week and good bar food. With a collection of over 1000 whiskeys this is a true mecca for connoisseurs and a good starting point for novices. The venue often has on offer rare and new releases like Macallan Ed. No 6 in Lalique. You can also have a classic or seasonal cocktail. You can purchase one of their bottles and they will store it in a locker for you until your next visit. The staff is highly knowledgeable and eager to educate. Address: 37 W 26th St, tel 212 725 3860, reservations recommended.
Brandy library is an elegant piano lounge with hundreds of brown spirits on its menu, including whiskey, brandy, run and tequila. It is an institution favored by many locals with love for the thinking drink. Its walls are covered in shelves with bottles with rolling library ladders. The food menu is short but well executed with cured meats and cheeses. The venue also offers classes and private tastings for those who would like to learn more about what is in the glass. Address: 25 N Moore St, tel 212 226 5545, reservations recommended.
Keens is one of the oldest restaurants in the city dating back 1885. It used to be an inn and smoking house and owns the largest collection of churchwooden pipes in the world. It is an establishment known for its rustic décor and fine meats but it also offers more than 300 whiskeys. Its stock is finely selected with mostly bourbon and scotch but also Japanese and some other off the beaten path drams. You don’t have to join them for dinner, you can enjoy a dram and a snack in their warm barroom. Address: 72 W 36th St, tel 212 947 3636, dinner reservations recommended, walk-ins welcome in the barroom.
Highland is true modern Scottish gastro pub in the West Village with perfectly executed food menu and fine selection of spirits. It sports a very finely crafted cocktail program with a Scottish flare and fine draft bear list from local and Scottish brewers. Its spirits selection is not the vastest but it’s well balanced and everyone will find a dram that suits his or her fancy. The ambiance is warm and homey with vintage wallpapers and fine art. Address: 150 W 10th St, tel 212 229 2670, table reservations recommended, walk-ins welcome at the bar.
Noorman’s Kil is the only selection in our list of whiskey bars in NYC that is not located in Manhattan. If your office is in Dumbo or you don’t mind a cab ride this bar is a must visit. It is in the lively neighborhood of Williamsburg in Brooklyn. It is the casual home of over 400 whiskeys and a select menu of grilled cheeses to balance it off. It is a fine place with friendly and knowledgeable staff that will guide your palate on a journey through the whiskey making process and how the flavors come about. The atmosphere here is a little more local neighborhood-like and so are the prices. The venue also hosts regular whiskey tastings. Address: 609 Grant St, Brooklyn, tel 347 384 2526, no reservations.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our list of the best whiskey bars in NYC. For ideas on where to take clients for dinner, check out our article here. If you’re looking for a great office environment to meet with clients, Workspace by Rockefeller Group has great spaces in Manhattan to fit your needs.