When bartenders Wade McElroy and Jeff Donahue (Sportsman’s Club, Estereo) took on a transformation of Orbit Room last summer, it didn’t quite stick. Turns out the decade-old dive bar needed more than a kitschy refresh. So when they started over, they put their mark on it. The result is Ludlow Liquors, a refreshingly chill lounge with the low-lit allure of its dive-y predecessor combined with really good drinks priced for the proletariat. Half of the menu is available per ounce—shot, single and double—which is an excellent way to try a new cocktail before committing. There’s also a menu of standards (which are, well, standard), canned and draft beer and “no-bullshit” wine.
THE DRINK TO DRINK: The Careless Whisper: Rittenhouse rye, Apologue aronia berry liqueur, Peychaud’s bitters and absinthe
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO: The food, which is served under the name Old Habits, is getting rave reviews, especially the rib tips.