As the popular, and only slightly creepy, holiday tune loves to remind us “Baby, it’s cold outside.” And if you’re like me, you’re pretty darn sick of slushy snow, freezing temperatures, and bundling up a la the little brother in “A Christmas Story” every time you want to go outside. February can be rough, and warm weather is a distant memory. Seems like now is the perfect time to find a great fireplace bar, set yourself up with a tasty cocktail, and hunker down ’til spring. Check our list for some of the best locales with fireplaces in the city.
Kingston Hall exudes a 1960s Jamaica theme, but also incorporates the best of NYC’s style as well with lots of dark wood, cozy booths, and dim lighting. There are great cocktails with classy names like the Jamaican Car Bomb and the Drunken Coconut (which, of course, comes in an actual coconut) and rum features heavily. They have very reasonably priced food as well, and the jerk chicken wings come highly recommended. If you’re looking to escape winter, however briefly, you should pretend you’re in Jamaica, right? Go on, get your coconut on.
149 2nd Ave.
Grab some friends, gather ’round Camp’s brick fireplace (complete with mounted deer head), grab a beer and a boardgame or two. Oh, and don’t forget to toast some marshmellow for s’mores, too. Everything about this place screams “summer camp nostalgia.” And hey, summer is great; especially in the winter. Camp also hosts a DJ every Friday and Saturday night, and Karaoke on Tuesdays.
179 Smith St., Brooklyn
Hidden behind a faux Toy Shop lies the Back Room. One of only two New York prohibition era speakeasies still in existence today, this bar brings you back to the 1920s for a night of freewheelin’ fun and drinking booze out of teacups. (How else were folks supposed to disguise their drinkin’ back in the day?) The decor is fabulous, with glittering chandeliers, velvet settees, art nouveau accent pieces, and, of course, a cozy fireplace. And if you go on a Monday, you’ll be able to catch some live jazz in Lucky’s Lounge.
102 Norfolk St.
A West Village fixture for the past twenty years, Art Bar is a fabulously quirky place to come if you’re sick of the average bar scene. The back room has comfy couches huddled around the fireplace, art exhibits by local artist, and lots of 80’s tunes playing. The food and drinks are inexpensive, and the kitchen is open late. And if you get tired of relaxing in the back room, you can always venture to the front bar where the crowd tends to be a tad more lively.
52 8th Ave.
Though it’s anything but cozy, with two levels and 5,000 square feet of space, Union Hall still manages to maintain a warm atmosphere. Grab a drink at the gorgeous bar before settling into the couches by the fireside surrounded by walls of books. If you find yourself looking for more action, head downstairs check out live music, or play bocce (bocce!) on one of the two courts available. Sometimes they have commedians and even the occasional Science Night. In the warm weather, they have garden seating, as well.
702 Union St., Brooklyn
A New York staple for more then fifty years, Molly’s praises itself on being the most authentic Irish pub in the city. And it’s no surprise why; the bar comes complete with a toasty, log burning fireplace, traditional Irish far, and even sawdust on the floors. Heck, it’s even named after the old Irish ditty “Molly Malone.” You’ll be hard pressed to find a cozier place to spend some time with friends over a pint (or three) of Guiness.
287 3rd Ave.
The lobby of the Bowery Hotel is certainly one of the most opulent rooms in the city. With huge Persian rugs, ornately carved wood panels, a mural of old New York along the walls, and art deco knickknacks all around, it’s easy to see why this is a super popular spot. Cocktails aren’t cheap, you can’t order food unless you’re a hotel guest, and you may have to get crafty in order to snag the coveted spot by the huge, stone fireplace; however, despite all this, the Lobby Bar is still a great place to come and experience some classic, old school New York luxury.
I’m sure we have plenty of wintery days left (boo..), but that means there’s ample time to check out these cozy fireside bars (yay!). Let us know which one(s) are your favorites in the comments below.
Lauren is a New York based actor/singer/writer. She is a graduate of the American Repertory Theater/Moscow Art Theater School Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University as well as the College of the Holy Cross. She’s a fan of beer, pasta, and academic establishments with unnecessarily long titles. Find her on stage, or online– she’s there often.