After a miserable year of back-to-back restaurant and bar closings, we’ve finally got a few things to celebrate. Some of our favorite NYC bars have officially reopened. So if you want to stay up to date on the places that have managed to rise from the ashes in 2021, check out the places on this list.
Bemelmans Bar is essentially a New York City landmark. The walls inside this classic establishment at the Carlyle Hotel on the Upper East Side are covered in whimsical murals of Madeline and her schoolmates (hand-painted by Ludwig Bemelman himself). And the candlelit booths are the perfect place to order a martini, watch an anonymous piano protege do his thing, and glare at people in true New Yorker fashion. The dimly-lit lounge reopens for limited indoor seating on May 11th — bringing the musicians, pricey-but-worth-it martinis, and legendary wallpaper back with it. But one thing will change at this classic establishment uptown: Bemelmans Bar is taking reservations online for the first time since it opened in 1946.
Opening Sometime In May
For years, Union Pool has been a classic Williamsburg bar that’s sort of like a big town square. Everyone there is always kind of drunk and looking for someone new to date (or simply make out with). It’s historically a great place when you want to meet people, and it’s also great for when you want to get vomit on your shoes while you wait in line for the bathroom. In other words, you might have a storied relationship with this place (like we do). They’ve been closed since the second half of 2020, and, according to their Instagram, are planning on reopening sometime in May.
Not Open Yet
If you asked us to name our all-time favorite place for drinks and oysters in Brooklyn before the pandemic, we’d have confidently chosen Maison Premiere. So when we saw the bar’s Instagram announcement stating, “We will soon open our doors once more,” we nearly threw our phone out a window. This fancy cocktail spot in Williamsburg is the kind of place where drinks are made with things like falernum shrubs and tobacco-barrel-rinsed alcohol and bartenders wear suspenders with pride. The restaurant hasn’t announced a specific reopening date just yet, but we’ll be watching their Instagram closely until we officially reunite with their lush backyard garden.
Most beer gardens aren’t the kinds of places where you’d get sloppy on the dancefloor. But that’s what made Franklin Park in Crown Heights a little different. Their big outdoor patio with picnic tables operated like a beer garden during the day, but after 10pm on weekends, the bar room inside became a sweaty club scene. But Franklin Park was more than just a fun place to hang out — it’s been the go-to spot in the neighborhood for things like canned food drives, clothing swaps, and even a weekly reading group. Just three months after closing its doors, the neighborhood bar welcomed everyone back for crisp IPAs and local drafts outside. So if you live in the neighborhood, or just need a relatively quiet place to meet up with a few people outdoors, consider supporting this exceptional beer place.
Regardless of the fact that you’ll probably see one baby for every three adults at Threes on a weekend afternoon, this brewery in Gowanus is one of the best places to drink with a group in Brooklyn. It reopened for the first time in over a year on April 5th, and in addition to great pilsners, Threes brought back the same great food from The Meat Hook, too. Expect to eat gooey cheeseburgers, meatball parm subs, and fried chicken sandwiches in a big backyard with two high walls for optimal shade. And if you’re looking for a new bar with a similar feel in Greenpoint, check out their second location on Franklin and Kent.
Shoving your way to the DJ booth in the back of Mood Ring around 2am was like a sweaty rite of passage in Bushwick. The astrology-themed dive bar was fun and ridiculous, with a crowd that skewed toward stylish people in their 20s. But as of March 26th, Mood Ring is officially back with a few big changes. You can now book a booth inside the bar, they’ve got tons of new outdoor seating, and the whole operation closes at midnight. Check out their Instagram for more information.