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Louie & Chan
303 Broome St.
New York, NY 10002
Certain things you have to look long and hard for: the fountain of youth; pride after drunk-texting an ex; and a new Asian-influenced LES cocktail den tucked below a set of hidden stairs.
How about we point you in the right direction?
First, you’ll have to enter Louie & Chan, a tribute to downtown’s evolving Italian and Chinese neighborhoods that opened up late last year and is equal parts Neapolitan trattoria and Asian-influenced cocktail lounge and music venue.
Then, you’ll encounter the “Louie” part, a candlelit space featuring a marble-top bar, intimate booths, and a menu of dishes like white truffle pizza, house-made squid ink pasta, and fennel-infused Tuscan salami.
Now that you’ve made it this far, it’s time to discreetly venture toward the back of the restaurant to find the aforementioned hidden stairs, dimly lit by antique-looking wall sconces. Stifle the urge to conspirationally wink at fellow adventurers and slowly descend into the hazy darkness of the303, the subterranean lounge that’s now dispensing handmade Chinese-inspired cocktails seven days a week.
Inspired by “Chan’s world of curiosities,” the space’s secretive vibe comes from details like dark brown wainscoting, subtle Chinoiserie accents, exposed pipes, and a tiny four-person bar. But it’s not all whispers and furtive glances in the corner – a backroom dance floor, well-known DJs and hooked-up sound system ensure that you can get down till the break of dawn with no one the wiser. To do so, you’ll need a few potent tonics to keep your energy up, like Chan’s Dram (cognac, simple syrup, 5-spice bitters, house mandarin bitters), the Jasmine Milk Punch (jasmine-infused applejack, heavy cream, St. Germain, 5-spice bitters), or the Chinatown Daiquiri (rum, lime, ginger syrup, honey syrup, Sriracha sauce, muddled strawberries). Or simply quench your thirst with a Tsingtao beer (or Brooklyn Lager, you local, you).
Your search is officially over.
By Arielle Sachar
Arielle Sachar writes and edits E.S.P. Eat. See. Play. lifestyle content for CBS New York.