It's Officially Summer - Drink Like It!

As of June 21st, it’s officially summer, which means you **officially** have an excuse to spend as much time outside as possible. Whisking up to the mountains is one way of enjoying the great outdoors, but if you’re tethered to New York during the week, rounding the outdoor bar scene is a convenient way of exploring the city’s hidden gems. Finding a good outdoor bar can be a bit like searching for El Dorado, so we’ll save you the trouble. Below, you’ll find six of the best places downtown to catch a cold one outside. From here on out, you’ll never have to drink indoors again—until fall rolls around, that is.

Randolph Beer | Soho Grand Hotel

The Randolph, 343 Broome Street, (646) 383-3623

The Randolph has made its mark on New York’s bar scene since first opening in 2007, and its downtown location is still a certified summertime hangout. Perfectly inset on Broome Street to avoid the bustle of Bowery, the outdoor seating area is the perfect place to enjoy something from the bar’s selection of more than 60 beers.  

Pier A Harbour House | Soho Grand Hotel

Pier A Harbor House, 22 Battery Place, (212) 785-0153

A lot of bars claim to have good views, and if you’re happy staring into a Midtown condo, it’s true—there are no shortage of good views in Manhattan. But if you’re looking for an unmistakable viewpoint, head to Pier A Harbor House. The restaurant lives inside a 130 year-old building, which was completely gutted and renovated in 2014. Today, the elegant outdoor dock offers a majestic 360º perspective of Battery Park, the Statue of Liberty, and Ellis Island. Oh, and the inside is beautifully decked out in wood, brass, and amber details—a suitably warm interior for when the sea breeze kicks up at night.

Gottino | Soho Grand Hotel

Gottino, 52 Greenwich Avenue, (212) 633-2590

It’s no secret that Italy takes its wine seriously, and having practically coined the term al fresco, we’ll trust an Italian restaurant when it comes to drinking outdoors. Nested in the tree-covered backstreets of the West Village, Gottino is our go-to destination. Seasonal rose, prosecco, and pinot noir flows freely at the easygoing establishment, which features a charming backyard garden. Take some friends to tell midweek stories, or just enjoy a book to yourself—the quietude of the back area feels like visiting the villa you never had.

Sweet And Vicious | Soho Grand Hotel

Sweet & Vicious, 5 Spring Street, (212) 334-7915

In a way, Sweet & Vicious is exactly what it sounds like. No, it’s not that the staff is in any way backhanded—it’s that the margaritas, the bar’s signature drink, are deceptively strong. As a result, it’s easy to lose afternoons chatting in the backyard patio as the empty mason jars pile up. Now, a forewarning: if you’re looking for a glamorous atmosphere, keep heading west—Sweet & Vicious preserves a sliver of dive-y vibes, but the bar’s potent concoctions are a strong, and very convincing, redemption we all need from time to time.

Loreley | Soho Grand Hotel

Loreley, 7 Rivington Street, (212) 253-7077

Although biergartens have existed in New York City since 1824, many New Yorkers are giving them new life this summer. Loreley, located on the western edge of the Lower East Side, represents the next chapter of urban biergartens. As you might’ve guessed, it’s fully stocked with imported beers, which are perfect to enjoy in the expansive outdoor patio. Bear in mind that the European soccer championships are concluding this month, and even if you don’t like the sport, you haven’t lived until you’ve celebrated a goal with a room full of chanting Germans.

Mulberry Project | Soho Grand Hotel

Mulberry Project, 149 Mulberry Street, (646) 448-4536

Mulberry Project doesn’t take the whole “speakeasy” concept that seriously. Sure, it lives inside an unassuming, revamped Little Italy building, and yes, the bartenders sling delicious craft cocktails in a moody, brassy interior. But the outdoor patio—known as La Isla Escondida—isn’t all that inconspicuous. It’s lively, modern, and frankly, always pumping. Vibrant street art decorates the walls, and the variety of frozen drinks is just as colorful—meaning the bar is a wonderful surprise every time.

Gilligan's At Soho Grand | Soho Grand Hotel

Gilligan’s, 310 West Broadway, (212) 965-3271

Not all of us can escape to a sand and wave-laden retreat on the weekends, so it’s a relief to know that a something resembling the seaside is within our reach. Gilligan’s, the pop-up bar and eatery from restaurateurs Nick Hatsatouris and Lincoln Pilcher, returns to Soho Grand this Summer, complete with tiki decor and cocktails on tap. Post up on the communal deck or take a seat at the bar and momentarily transport yourself out of the concrete jungle. Word of warning – the notorious watermelon margaritas are back, and fresher than ever.

Words by Josh Davis.