For cocktails with a convivial atmosphere, hit the Bar Downstairs: Review
Expect a professional crowd at the Bar Downstairs, a cocktail bar and restaurant in the Andaz 5th Avenue, an upscale Hyatt hotel at 485 5th Avenue, just steps away from Bryant Park.
Accessing the bar takes ingenuity and a trek through the hotel lobby, where you will need to ask the
concierge how far “downstairs” you have to go on the elevator — if you don’t already know the ropes.
An open kitchen, communal seating, and dim lighting work to counteract the grim fact that you are about to pay $18 for a cocktail (some are even more expensive). The bartenders shake and pour and stir with the real gusto and appear committed in every possible manner to the alcoholic craft.
Once I sat at the bar, my server Josh (a nice guy!) recommended the cocktail Taken to Task (vodka, cocchi americano, lemon, raspberry, strawberry, and blackberry). The drink was tasty and fruity, but I detected no vodka — although that’s sort of the point. Josh told me that the bartenders make all the syrups and juices in-house, and it was interesting to watching them mix and stir multiple drinks, a skill that at once gave me hope that bartending could one day be an Olympic sport.
The service was great, and the bartender left his drinks in-progress to come around the bar and refill the probably-liter-sized bottle of water that greets each guest. Understandably, the demographics here skewed older. Thinks professional types in their 30s. Beers start at $9, and happy hour is nowhere to be seen. No PBR or its relatives exist here. Come for a very fraternal vibe, and make sure to take a phone call and excuse yourself just as the check arrives if you’re a good sprinter.