Here at CBSNewYork, we can’t overlook the cougar invasion at some of the city’s most popular watering holes. They say with age comes wisdom, so perhaps that’s why these sultry, single, middle-aged women on the prowl know just what it takes to discover the fountain of youth. If you’re a piece of young prey out to take on this bold breed, we’ve pinpointed some of the hottest spots we call “cougar caves,” where you’ll find them ready to attack.
Yes, it’s a chain restaurant…sort of. Forgetting the whole “We’re not Houston’s no more” menu-calorie controversy, there’s no denying that the bar inside the snazzy jazz lounge is often bustling with trendy cougars on the lookout for single men participating in the after work drinks parade. With a spacious, cushy dining room and a fabulously delicious menu to boast, Hillstone is almost always packed from happy hour until its early closing time at 11. Finding a spot at the bar may prove difficult, that is, until you’ve spotted the wild cougar waiting for you to squeeze in and buy her a drink.
Consider it the hidden gem among the cougar caves. Our wildlife experts tell us it’s not uncommon to find a cougar perched at the bar inside this West Village trattoria. One could argue it’s the impressive Italian wine list or the mouth-watering bar menu that draws the cougar near, but we think they’re really scanning the restaurant for the fashionable, young men looking for more than just some tasty antipasti after work.
Plunge (Gansevoort Hotel)
18 Ninth Avenue (At 13th Street)
New York, NY 10014
You may find yourself waiting in line for a half hour, and if you’re not bringing some lady friends of your own, you might not be allowed in if you get there too late. But arrive early to the penthouse of one of the hottest cougar havens in the Meatpacking District, and you’ll soon be entrenched in a Sex & The City-esque crowd of single, older women sipping on expensive cocktails and hoping to walk out with a dashing young stud by her side. Make sure you look your best. Plunge is as beautiful and pretentious as the Meatpacking gets, so if you don’t come with your game face on, the cougars will go feasting elsewhere.
See Also: NYC’s 10 Best Rooftop Bars
It’s certainly known for two things: the tremendously large rooftop deck that offers such a spectacular view of the city, you feel like you’re hugging the top of the Empire State Building; and small drinks that will break your wallet in half if you stick around long enough. But let it be known that many a cougar hide out at 230 Fifth, ready to feast on the usually 20-something crowd, making those pricy drinks worth every penny.
35 East 76th Street
New York, NY 10021
Located inside The Carlyle Hotel, Bemelmans Bar proves that a middle-aged Upper East Side woman isn’t always toting a stroller and BabyBjörn. This exquisitely decorated bar draws a crowd equally as beautiful, and we promise it won’t just be the live piano that’s music to the ears of the young single male and the feisty cougar waiting for him. Buyer beware: there’s a $25 cover charge after 9 p.m., so don’t waste time. As they say, the early bird gets the cougar.
It’s best to frequent Gemma in the summertime when the outside of this Bowery Hotel trattoria is lined with two-person tables, leaving the solo cougar to take a seat by the bar inside, sipping on a glass of red wine and sampling some formaggi. Make no mistake about it, though, she’s waiting for the salumi. Watch out gents: Gemma is jam-packed with fine diners and it doesn’t take reservations, so there’s plenty of competition leaving your work cut out for you.
Bryant Park Grill
The outside patios of the lavish Bryant Park Grill and its less-snobby sister, the Bryant Park Cafe, overflow with a hopping crowd of after-work singles mingling over Coronas or white wines. Tucked behind the New York Public Library at the east end of Bryant Park, the restaurant’s dainty digs often beckon a bounty of cougars in search of the young, executive Midtown male. We recommend arriving early if you want to grab a seat outside, otherwise, head indoors to the Grill’s bar for some happy hunting.