As the nightly queues suggest, the Happiest Hour in the West Village is one joyful lair. This is because against a backdrop of transcendent palm-tree wallpaper it is possible to unwind with a Daiquiri or a Gibson and sink one’s teeth into a hefty double-patty burger. Jim Kearns’ straightforward cocktail list is arguably the most flexible in town, suggesting different spirits for each drink. Don’t dig pisco? Try the Loose Lemon (lemon syrup, house-made soda) with gin instead. Vodka may not be listed, but all of the signature quaffs were created so they could alternatively be made with the white stuff if a guest so desires.
THE DRINK TO DRINK:
With its vegetal blend of celery, Suze, lime, cane and soda, the quenching Link Ray is a go-to at the Happiest Hour. Ask for it with vodka if the rum, gin or jalapeño-infused tequila options don’t compel.
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO:
Downstairs awaits Slowly Shirley, a far less boisterous and seductive ode to more nuanced libations. Its Art Deco allure also makes it a choice spot for date night.