New York, for all of its flaws, does do one thing right: its drinking culture. When it was just a small Dutch trading post that didn’t go north of Wall Street and didn’t have a population of more than 400, there was still roughly one bar for every 20 people. 390 years later, New York’s subway system means you can get home whenever you want without having to get behind the wheel. No matter what type of alcohol or environment you’re into, whether you like drinking craft beer in a dive or cheap beer in a fancy spot, New York City has got you covered.
While New York is home to the country’s oldest drinking culture, it’s hardly the only city with awesome bars, although New Yorkers would like to think so. One of the best cocktail bars in the country is Chicago’s Aviary, filled with innovative drinks whose names are just as clever as the drinks themselves, and that’s not to mention their unique presentation. One drink is even served in a glass ship in a bottle! If you’re a particularly jealous New Yorker, who would like to experience these but would rather it be in New York, then you’re in luck, because the Aviary is coming to Gotham! This summer, it’s getting its second location at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel by Columbus Circle.
The bar is owned by the same people behind Alinea, a Michelin three-star restaurant in Chicago with a famously innovative approach to cuisine that’s earned plenty of attention. The menu will be headed up by chef Grant Achatz and bartender Micah Melton. Drinking at the Aviary is just as much about good-tasting drinks as it is a truly unique experience, much how Alinea isn’t just about eating good food. Speakeasies throughout the city offer an exciting and unique way to enjoy craft cocktails, but the Aviary brings it to a whole new level. The bar is set to open up on the 35th floor of the hotel, and will be accompanied by an even posh-er bar, “The Office”. While it remains to be seen if these Chicago bars will overtake some of New York’s famous establishments, without a doubt they’ll add a new and exciting flair.