Summer Guide '09: Do it outside at these new bars
A kitsch-free beer garden? It's true! LIC's Studio Square seats 1,000 and is devoid of lederhosen and glockenspiels.
Now that Memorial Day's around the bend, it's time to consider viable alfresco options to take you through the summer. Since nothing beats the glamour of sky-high rooftops or the charm of sweeping balconies, we've highlighted a handful of outdoor spots to heighten your open-air cocktail sensibilities.Water Taxi Beach Governors Island
An expansion of Long Island City's popular and (very) crowded water taxi beach is set to open on Governors Island on July 4. Amenities will be pretty similar to its predecessor, with the addition of beach volleyball, an outdoor grill, a stage, basketball courts and a cafe serving food with a focus on "sustainability." (Still no swimming.) The Governors Island Ferry leaves from the Battery Maritime Building.
Water Taxi Beach South Street Seaport
Clearly, Water Taxi beaches are taking over the city this summer, with another one set to preview this weekend at the South street Seaport, at the North end of Pier 17 (in the space previously held by the beloved Spiegeltent). This version will have a mini golf course, Ping-Pong, Skee-Ball and a boatload of summery grub, such as hot dogs, a raw bar and beer-battered fish and chips. The official opening is May 30, but tickets Saturday's preview party are available for $20.
Scenesters have been lapping up Above Allen's hipper-than-thou vibe since January, but this summer, the space located atop of the Thompson LES hotel will open its retractable roof Sundays through Wednesdays. You might want to head there on the early side, when the doorman is more likely in let you in.
190 Allen St., 212-460-5300
Cooper Square Hotel
Grab a cocktail at this intimate, glass-enclosed bar perched on the second floor of the sleek new Cooper Square hotel. The patio, which seats about 50, serves up a variety of concoctions, including sangria, house-made cocktails and wine by the glass. Voyeurs heed the fact that the terrace looks into neighboring apartments. For those looking to eat, theres no food at the moment, but Govind Armstrongs much-anticipated Table 8 is now open in the hotel.
25 Cooper Sq., 212-475 5700
The Sky Terrace
You might as well pretend youre in Miami at this urban oasis on the 15th floor of the perpetually chic Hudson hotel. It used to be only for guests, but now anyone can enjoy it, with reservations. The terrace itself is exposed to the sun offering daytime patrons an ideal excuse to work on their tans, while lazing in a hammock. At night, enjoy sweeping city views and tasty (if pricey) cocktails, light grub and a scene-y clientele.
356 W. 58th St., 212- 554-6000
If the thought of dealing with hordes of folks at Astorias Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden is exhausting, this new 18,000-square-foot Long Island City biergarden has emerged as a more-than-viable alternative with room for over 1,000 patrons. Devoid of lederhosen, faux glockenspiels and other German kitch, the industrial space offers 18 imported, domestic and craft beers on tap, a traditional beer garden menu (kraut, wurst, soft pretzels) and a vast indoor area, to compliment the outside.
35-33 36th St., Long Island City, 718-383-1001