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Bill's New York City

Bill's New York City 1 American Bars Midtown East

During Prohibition, Bill's Gay Nineties was one of Manhattan's most notorious speakeasies. Today, the laws have changed, but the old-fashioned atmosphere remains the same. Though the main dining room is underground, the front of the restaurant is open to the street, and we walked right into a dark room with low ceilings and a long bar on one side. The walls were covered with old photos and mementos, and ancient silver dollars were embedded in the wooden floor.

When we went exploring up several flights of creaky stairs in this 1890s townhouse, we discovered a stunning private room that can be rented out for special events. The decor was reminiscent of a gentleman's club, with a long central table, plush chairs, an ornate chandelier and even a fireplace.

The cocktails at Bill's are inspired by popular drinks during the Prohibition era, but the food is not exactly speakeasy fare, which was generally poor and took a backseat to the drinks. Bill's offers classic, upscale American cuisine - steak, burgers, fish, oysters, and pasta. "Drunkards may not inherit the kingdom of God," as a sign in the bar proclaims, but they'll certainly find solace here, and plenty to eat and drink.

In 2016, the restaurant came under new management and changed its name to Bill's New York City.

Bill's New York City 2 American Bars Midtown East
Bill's New York City 3 American Bars Midtown East
Bill's New York City 4 American Bars Midtown East
Bill's New York City 5 American Bars Midtown East
Bill's New York City 6 American Bars Midtown East
Bill's New York City 7 American Bars Midtown East
Bill's New York City 8 American Bars Midtown East
Bill's New York City 1 American Bars Midtown East
Bill's New York City 9 American Bars Midtown East
Bill's New York City 10 American Bars Midtown East

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Hudson Malone 1 Bars Brunch American Midtown East

Hudson Malone

When legendary bartender Doug Quinn parted ways with his longtime employer P.J. Clark's a few blocks north, he marched right over to 53rd Street and began creating what he describes as "an iconic New York saloon restaurant." Doug's goal is to make Hudson Malone, named after his two young boys, the kind of neighborhood spot where people can feel at home. Whether the customer is twenty-one or ninety, "I like people to mingle with one another," Doug told me. His hope is to build something that he believes New York lacks at the moment.A big part of this is Doug himself, as I witnessed while visiting. His warm greeting to familiar faces and new customers was genuine and charming as he quickly ran behind the bar to fix them their favorite drinks. It is also in the small details of Hudson Malone, particularly the decor, where Doug has collected photographs of New York sports legends including the 1938 Yankees, a twinkling jukebox by the front of the bar, and a chalkboard displaying Quinn's Laws - "They're all things your Grandma should have taught you," Doug demurs.I was particularly drawn to the upstairs room, which has its own private entrance and features an intricately carved nineteenth-century center-piece serving as the backdrop to the bar. This is just one more example of the classic saloon decor. In addition to a wide selection of beers and cocktails, Hudson Malone offers a traditional American menu held to Doug's high standards. "I like putting on a show every night," Doug excitedly told me. "I want the food coming out of my kitchen to cause people to turn their heads."