Where to Drink This Summer: The Hottest Bars in Lower Manhattan 

There’s nothing like summer in the Big Apple. The sun is shining, rosé-drinking New Yorkers have emerged from their winter cocoons, Central Park is practically buzzing, and more than any other time of the year, the streets are packed with people just enjoying the city. Couple that with NYC’s undeniably awesome food and drink scene, and in the summertime, visitors are in for quite a treat. But with so much to see and do in sprawling Manhattan, it’s hard to know where to go for a good time. Try these Lower Manhattan bars below--they’re some of our favorite watering holes for the 2017 warm summer months.

The Blond

This see-and-be-seen hotel bar, located at the bottom of SoHo’s 11 Howard hotel, is where celebrities and A-list drinkers go to sip haute cocktails and mingle with NYC’s finest. Run by nightlife gurus Angelo Bianchi and Julio Montero, who’ve worked with big-name spots like Beatrice Inn and Le Baron, this modern spot is as attractive as the people lining up outside its doors. Picture this: curvy couches, giant mirrors, neon wall art, and anchoring the grand staircase, a mixed media sculpture by Dan Attoe made of neon lights, animation, wires and transformers. Then picture the sexy people and standout DJs whirling through it, and you’re in glamorous NYC heaven. The Blond is located at 11 Howard St, New York, NY 10013.

BlackTail NYC

Sitting on the second floor of Pier A Harbor House, in Battery Park, this Havana-style lounge is a throwback to the roaring ‘20s and the fabulous decades that followed. Walk through its dark interior and you’ll see what we mean: there are stained glass ceilings and an intriguing mural of Christopher Columbus landing in the West Indies behind the bar, and the bartenders are wearing fedoras. Order up a haute twist on a classic cocktail--like a Rum & Pineapple from the “Highball” menu, a mix of pineapple rum, falernum, ginger, lime, allspice and pineapple soda--and pair it with American comfort food by hot-stuff chef, Ryan Schmidtberger. The Sloppy Joe Empanadas, for one, are not to be missed. They’re stuffed with braised short rib ragout, pickles, jalapenos, Manchego, and for an extra kick, smoked paprika aioli. BlackTail NYC is located at 22 Battery Place, New York, NY 1004.  

Kind Regards

Once a no-frills dive bar called Cake Shop, today, the same bar front has been transformed into Kind Regards. In a mid-century setting filled with early 19th-century bohemian decor, this fun, avant-garde spot is where those craving an after-work drink can get a cocktail that instantly puts them in vacation mode: like the Cinnamon Girl with aged rum, banana, cinnamon and tiki bitters, or the Airmail with rum, strawberries, lime and sparkling wine. Of course, playing to its origins, Kind Regards knows that sometimes, there’s nothing like a casual beer. That said, $5 Miller High Life is always in the beer cooler, and a rotating roster of $6 to $9 brewskies are always on tap. Don't miss out on the downstairs level where weekly DJ's light up the dance floor with deep house and hip hop tunes. Kind Regards is located at 152 Ludlow Street, New York, NY 10002.

The Lately

The spot where Don Draper would hypothetically meet a mountain getaway, The Lately is LDV Hospitality and Den Hospitality's newest NYC spot. Drawing from the allure of at-home entertaining, this is where NYC patrons can sit around the fireplace and sip on a modern twist on classic cocktails: like The Jaguar Shark with strawberry-infused gin, aquavit, aveze, lacusta rojo and celery shrub; Coconut Avocado Margaritas; or in true NYC fashion, a Manhattan. To satisfy your hunger pangs, pair any one of those with bar bites like Curried Chicken Skewers, Quinoa Hush Puppies, or even "Shaken Popcorn" with everything from sriracha or dill pickles, to white cheddar, black pepper or Asiago. With its throwback vibes and modern concoctions, The Lately is a spot for everyone. The Lately is located at 357 West 16th Street, New York, NY 10011.

The Flower Shop

Don’t let the name confuse you: this Chinatown spot is anything but your neighborhood storefront. Relaxed and inviting, The Flower Shop is actually the latest project of bar guru Dylan Hales (who’s a partner in NYC’s Randolph Beer bar franchise!) and partners William Tisch and Dave Turner. Decked out with wood-paneled walls, floral banquettes, almost too many tchotchkes and even posters of Bad-era Michael Jackson, this modern-American bar is all about nostalgia. Want to come back to 2017? Try the food. The very-NYC Ricotta Toast with cauliflower, anchovies and capers is a starter hit, and the Fried Chicken with curry sauce and burnt lime will be a spiced pair to whatever perfectly-chilled cocktail the bartender whips up for you. (Pro tip: Make sure you get there right at 5 p.m. to put in your order--this bar fills up fast.) The Flower Shop is located at 107 Eldridge Street, New York, NY 10002.