As New Yorkers face brutal cold weather, the idea of venturing outside may seem daunting. However, restaurants and bars throughout the city have transformed their spaces into winter getaways in hopes of enticing New Yorkers to brave the cold and come out for a drink or two. From Midtown to the East Village, here are some of the best pop-up bars to patronize this winter.
The Roof at Viceroy Central Park
124 West 57th St.
New York, NY 10019
Boasting stunning views of Central Park, The Roof at Viceroy Central Park is transformed into Winter Room for the season. As you enter the rooftop, you will be welcomed with scenes inspired by a New York winter. From the white snowy branches in the corners to the large seasonal floral arrangements and the cozy seating areas, New Yorkers can snuggle up with a fuzzy blanket and a warm cocktail. Try the Rooftop Toddy or the Belvedere-spiked hot chocolate. Partnering with a renowned champagne brand, The Roof also features a Veuve Clicquot In The Snow pop-up bar offering glasses of their signature style and Veuve Clicquot Rich, or a bottles of Veuve Clicquot Magnum. There are also seasonal bites, including a Vermont cheddar fondue, chocolate fondue and bubble waffles.
The Lodge at Gallow Green
542 West 27th St.
New York, NY 10001
New Yorkers can escape to a mountainside ski cabin atop the McKittrick Hotel at The Lodge at Gallow Green. The popular overgrown whimsical secret garden was turned into a cozy winter lodge secluded by a forest of pine trees. The lodge exudes a homey and relaxing feel with Scottish-inspired booths, fireside seating, sleeping bunks, warm plaid blankets and a library. While inside, people can enjoy hot spiced cocktails and large format drinks, including the Smoking Bishop with Ruby Port, red wine, honey liqueur, ginger and allspice. To complement the seasonal sips, people can order one of their specialty pizza from a wood burning oven, including the mouthwatering Tarte Flambee made with bacon, onion, nutmeg and topped with gooey Gruyere cheese.
LOCL Bar at NYLO Hotel
222 West 77th St.
New York, NY 10024
A golden ticket is not needed to enter this chocolate factory on the Upper West Side. Nestled inside the NYLO Hotel, LOCL Bar becomes the Cocktail Factory inspired by Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Full of oversized lollipops, handrails wrapped like candy canes and festive cocktails, the pop-up bar serves deliciously sweet drinks in whimsicals styles and festive snacks, including Banana Split Chips with Cherry-Chocolate Dip and Rainbow Popcorn. New Yorkers can start their Cocktail Factory experience with the That’s The Ticket cocktail made with vodka, grapefruit juice, hibiscus and topped with edible gold and Pop Rocks. Among the selection of seasonal libations, people will want to order the Instagram-worthy, Goodie Goodie Gumballs. Served in a miniature gumball machine, the tequila-based cocktail is mixed with St. Germain, lemon bitters, white cranberry and gumballs. Instead of sitting by the bar, people can enjoy their cocktails in an area near the bar inspired by the Fizzy Lifting bubbles, which has a cascading sculpture of bubbles over the piano and onto the floor. New Yorkers can unleash their inner Violet Beauregarde with The Violette made with tequila, pineapple and Creme de Violette, which might turn your mouth blue.
PHD Terrace at Dream Midtown
210 West 55th Street
New York, NY 10019
There’s a Danish getaway high above Manhattan. Located atop the Dream Midtown, PHD Terrace turned into The Hygge for the winter months and feature comfy decors, including cable knit blankets, pillows and white birch branches. New Yorkers can warm up with their spiked hot chocolate complete with vanilla ice cream or a spiked milkshake with caramel. Overlooking the hustle and bustle of Times Square and Midtown, people can indulge on their delectable warm s’mores dip with graham crackers.
100 Third Ave.
New York, NY 10003
A winter oasis can be found below a popular East Village hotspot. The basement bar at The VNYL is transformed into a snowy forest with LED stars sprinkled throughout the ceiling and a sheets of snow covering the space. Whether you are a local or visiting the East Village, people can try some of their various seasonal cocktails, including the Holiday Hot Chocolate and the Gin Stock. There is also a limited supply of The VNYL’s one-year aged rum milk punch.
John Friia is a freelance journalist and native New Yorker writing about food, drinks and lifestyle. You can follow his adventures on Instagram.