Every night bar-goers around the world have to make a tough decision—whether to drink at the bar or sit at a table removed from the action. There’s now a simple but elegant solution to this age-old dilemma: the bar cart. When you need another round, instead of heading up yourself or ordering from a server, a bartender pushes a mobile bar stocked with spirits and all the fixings to your table. The best part? From the comfort of your chair, you have a front-row seat for the mixology show. From New York and San Francisco to Vancouver, bars, restaurants and hotels are offering tableside drink service. Try it out at these five spots.
Bar Seven Five, Andaz Wall Street Hotel, 75 Wall Street, New York, 212 590 1234:
Bar Seven Five, in the brand new Andaz Wall Street Hotel, offers an extensive menu of classics and new creations. It’s particularly impressive given that most of the drinks are made or finished tableside and there’s no traditional bar.
Burtons Grill, 1363 Boylston Street, Boston, 617 236 2236:
Nothing goes better with brunch than a fresh-made Bloody Mary or Bellini. The Burtons Grill in Boston recently introduced a drinks “buggy” that makes the rounds from 11 AM to 3 PM on Sundays. It’s stocked with fresh ingredients and a range of spirits.
Fairmont Pacific Rim, 1038 Canada Place, Vancouver, 604 695 5300:
Vancouver’s new Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel opened just before the Olympics and offers guests an art deco bar cart located in its lobby lounge. Relax in a cushy leather chair in front of the oversized fireplace while your cocktail is made.
Fifth Floor, Hotel Palomar, 12 Fourth Street, San Francisco, 415 348 1555:
Since January, a bar cart has been rolling through San Francisco’s Fifth Floor restaurant, bar and lounge area serving a range of classic cocktails. If you want a Macallan 12-Year-Old on the rocks, the cart has a Japanese machine that turns an oversized cube into a giant ice ball.
Surrey Hotel, 20 East 76th Street, New York, 212 288 3700:
At the Surrey in New York, tableside service also means bedside service. Guests can request a bartender come to their room (at any time of day) with all the ingredients to make one of the hotel’s 11 signature cocktails, including a Blood and Sand and a Moscow Mule. Each order is enough to make four or five rounds and costs between $45 and $68.