Keep Warm All Winter Long at NYC’s Best Fireplace Bars
Is the weather outside frightful? You know what to do.
Take heed, friends: the first official day of winter is fast approaching, and while it may bring with it frigid temps, it also provides us with an entire season to participate in the coziest of drinking scenarios.
Winter drinking might conjure visions of scenes where warm whiskey cocktails, worn leather seats and a burning cigar each play a role, but the lead always belongs to a roaring fireplace.
A toasty fireplace can singlehandedly elevate any bar or restaurant space into a wintry haven. It’s also a feature that’s uniquely hard to find in New York City thanks to a whole host of legal reasons. But if you know know where to look, you can find them, which is exactly what we did to put together this list of our favorite bars in New York City where you can cozy up next to a fire.
Upon first sight of the petite pink historic building that houses Tiny’s, you can tell with a glance that it’s a special place. Nestled in between two much larger townhouse buildings, the bar and restaurant doesn’t necessarily look grand or modern — it’s much better than that. It’s full of character, original details and has a crackling fireplace as the centerpiece of the main dining room on the first floor. Our suggestion is to post up next to it with a Tiny’s Negroni in hand, and prepare for an evening that feels like a warm hug.
If you haven’t been spending time in Gowanus lately, you’ve been missing out. An underrated neighborhood known for its watery canals, Gowanus is home to a number of unique bars that are worth repeat visits. One of our favorites also happens to have a charming fireplace: Black Mountain Wine House. Arriving at Black Mountain, you might feel as if you’ve accidentally driven all the way Upstate, as the bar is housed in what literally looks like a wood cabin, complete with rustic wooden Adirondack chairs outside on the porch. Step inside, and you’ve entered a tiny lodge decked out in wine bottles and charm galore, with a fireplace in the back corner keeping everyone toasty. All that’s left to do is dig into their well-curated wine list, which they sell by the bottle or half bottle.
Why go to a place with one fireplace when you can head to a place with two? Perhaps because that’s very rare to find, but tapas bar Alta has you covered. This one of a kind spot has two levels to their dining room, and soaring ceilings from which a candlelit chandelier hangs. Two wood burning fireplaces sweeten the deal, making Alta the perfect winter date spot for when you two really want to cuddle up.
Achilles Heel is the epitome of a hidden gem, tucked away on a quiet street by the water in Greenpoint where there isn’t much else to see or do. The bar’s facade is also discreet, with a dark, arched entryway and a metal sign hanging above. Enter Achilles Heel, though, and the vibe totally shifts. It’s definitely a small place, but that just adds to its intimacy, as does the wood burning fireplace that illuminates the bar. Because of the close quarters, the woody smell of the fireplace also carries across the whole space, making you feel like you’re drinking right by a campfire. The uber-curated cocktail menu is just about as tiny as the space itself, but that luckily means that none of them are a miss.
Park Slope might have a reputation as the family friendly haven that Manhattanites escape to once they’re ready to lay down roots, but it’s actually so much more than that. One of our favorite bars in the area is Union Hall — a gentlemanly lodge located in a former furniture warehouse. Ample bookshelves give it a library feel, and pressed-tin ceilings provide major character. Nestle into a leather Chesterfield sofa with an old fashioned in front of the fire, play a round of bocce (they have two courts) and then stick around for a comedy show. The perfect winter evening, sorted.
You might not expect one of the most romantic bars ever to be located in a train station, but that’s exactly what The Campbell is. Soaring 25-foot hand-painted ceilings and a stone fireplace are just a couple of the touches that make this unique cocktail bar found within Grand Central Terminal a must-visit. The bar pays homage to John W. Campbell, the Jazz Age financier who converted the space into his private office. Now it’s a stunning bar, perfect for an evening of sipping Penicillins by the admittedly faux fireplace, which housed (and still houses) Campbell’s giant steel safe.
This iconic Greenwich Village restaurant has been around for decades (since 1973) for a reason. Situated within a historic carriage house, it absolutely oozes charm. A prime example? They claim that more people have announced their engagement at One if By Land than at any other restaurant in Manhattan. Arched panel windows, a baby grand piano, a private garden and ample candlelight definitely help, but you can’t forget about the two brick fireplaces that add a warm glow to the space. Next time you plan a special dinner there, you’d do well to request a seat by the flames.
Celebrated cocktails aren’t the only thing on the menu at Grand Army Bar, which also boasts an ample raw bar complete with oysters, crab legs, shrimp and more. There, a clean, open vibe is grounded by a long wooden bar that is constantly frequented by neighborhood regulars. If that’s not enough to get you in the door, their cozily crackling fireplace might be, as well as their inventive and seasonally rotating menu of tipples.
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