The Garret: West Village Speakeasy

One of my favorite things to do in NYC is explore the speakeasy scene. We have some seriously fun speakeasies spread all throughout the city, each boasting its own hip identity and hidden charm, and I’ve asserted before that I want to make it my goal to hit as many of these as possible.

Well, the boy and I checked another off the list on Saturday night: The Garret in the West Village.


This intimate attic-style libations joint is located on the corner of Bleecker & Barrow (right at 7th Ave), but if you’re looking for a sign, you won’t find one. Instead, you have to walk into the Five Guys burger joint, past the counter, and take a hard left — and find a dark, narrow set of stairs leading up to the bar.


I love when life tucks little gems just out of sight and you feel like you’ve stumbled upon a secret, don’t you?

We liked the space from first sight: it’s cozy and chill, with massive vaulted skylights that support the whole “garret” nomenclature, a long copper bar, and a little Victorian living room style set-up at the far back (which is where we parked ourselves for the entirety of our cabernet-sipping stay).


The crowd and atmosphere were laid back and unpretentious, and the intimate set-up lent itself nicely to making friends, and conversations flowed across tables quite easily. In contrast to this back section, there were some little wooden two-person booths directly across from the bar, but we weren’t able to snag one of those. Goal for next visit, it seems.

I liked the space a lot; it felt very indie and elemental, with exposed brick walls and lots of wooden pieces, and the skylight and tin ceilings were sweet touches. We didn’t try their cocktails — the cocktail list was the one thing that really didn’t wow me — but we’re both wine people anyway, and were pleasantly surprised by how much we enjoyed the one red wine they had on their menu: Owens & Vaughn Cabernet. We hadn’t heard of it, but agreed we’d definitely buy it – so drinkable and easy.

This place was a cute, fun little find, and we both agreed we’d return. It was lively and comfortable and exuded a “stay and hang awhile” vibe, and I think it works well for groups of friends or a date. They don’t serve food, but you can buy burgers & fries from downstairs if you so choose and chow down while sipping your cocktails. This partnership seems to work well for Five Guys, as we saw quite a few people doing just that.

Another win for the West Village in my book.


2 things Tuesday

peace copy
ONE: write. because creative writing has, and will, always be my first love, and i neglect it to an embarrassingly high scale lately. i mustn’t do that anymore. it needs to come out. i’m determined to be more committed to this love of all loves.

if i self publish a book, y’all better get one. 🙂


TWO: double date. when you and one of the best friends meet each others’ new (best) boyfriends, it becomes the best date night out ever. this was seriously one of the most fun nights i’ve had in NYC in a long time. my little heart was just bursting with happiness to be in the company of such fabulous humans.

we went to my two fave speakeasys, Dear Irving & Apoteke,
so i really couldn’t have asked for anything better. fave people in fave places?

fave life.

you know it’s a good night — and better friendship — when 4am finds you mirror images of each other, entirely unawares.

the boys were pretty proud of themselves for this photo opp…and i can’t say i hate anything about it, either. kinda obsessed with this picture. #kindredspirits

Tell me something making you happy on this Tuesday.

What’s your fave mixology cocktail to order? if they have a cucumbery-clean-and-refreshing-not-sweet-lime-or-minty-concoction, you can bet i’ll order it. Apoteke has an amazingggg one of those, and i also love their kale drink (made with organic quinoa vodka!). it tastes like a green juice, and i love itttt.

Friday Five: What I Love about NYC

this week’s Friday Five linkup makes my lil heart so happy, because i get to gush about one of my favorite things in the whole wide world: my city. which, in my biased view of the world, happens to be the very best city of all the cities that ever were. (okay, so i haven’t been to all of them, but mine’s pretty darn wonderful!)

ONE: Everything.

annnnnd we’re done here.

sike. (or is it psych? i’m going with the first.) but seriously, that’s one of the best things about NYC: it has something for everyone. and if you’re the outdoorsy type and don’t like being stuck in the city, we have beaches an hour away by train and mountains to hike an hour the other way. you’d be hard pressed to want something here that you can’t find: any type of food, any type of clothing, any type of theater, any type of job, any type of bar, any type of person. i really love that about my city: if you can imagine it, you can find it. (except maybe unicorns. i’m still on the hunt.)

TWO: Diversity. i grew up in a rather non-diverse part of NY state, and i feel soooooo blessed to live in one of the most diverse cities in the world. i mean, my friend group alone is a testament to that: we’re Irish-American, Canadian, Russian Jewish, Thai, Vietnamese, and as Southern Belle as they come. as someone who values people and relationships over everything else in my world, i feel so incredibly fortunate to meet so many people from all over the world and country and hear their stories and learn about different cultures first-hand. it’s incredible.

two Asians, a Jew and an Irish girl walked into a wine bar…photo
have i mentioned that i’m surrounded by Canadians at all times? & how much i love them, eh?friends
THREE: Speakeasies. if you’ve been reading RTA for a bit, then you might know that i am a huge fan of these Prohibition-style bars and am on a mission to hit as many as i can. i love the cozy, dim-lit atmospheres; the oft-clandestine entrances; the “mixologist” drink menus; the throwback vibes.

Photosome great speakeasys (or sort-of speakeasys, with the same type of vibe) i’ve been to, in case you’re in NYC and into this scene:

Employees Only
Bathtub Gin
Death & Co
Little Branch
Lantern’s Keep (drinks pictured above)
The Back Room
The Dead Rabbit (not really a speakeasy, but similar historical concept & awesome place so i’m adding it)

there are a bunch i haven’t been to that i really want to hit, like Raines Law Room and Dear Irving and Milk & Honey and Angel’s Share…good to have things to work toward, amiright? 🙂

FOUR: Theater. i don’t go as often as i’d like, but when i see a show, i love it. i did musical theater in high school and college and so often wish i’d pursued theater with a dogged passion, because i love it so, so much. i live right in the theater district and really would like to make more of a point to see shows, especially when there are so many ways to get discounted tickets. i made it to a record two shows in December — Fuerza Bruta Wayra and Once — and both were absolutely amazing and gave me that “transcending my every day life” feeling, which i just love.

FIVE: The different neighborhoods. i can only speak for Manhattan, as i’m not very familiar with the other boroughs, but i just love how the different neighborhoods of Manhattan each have their own personalities and vibes (i totally overuse that word but it’s the one i want). the West Village is my fave, with its quaint little streets and lovely brunch places and wine bars and tucked-away-out-of-the-craziness feel; then there’s the gritty, hipster-ish sceney vibe of the Lower East Side and all its late-night glory; the lovely brownstone-and-blossom streets of Chelsea, and the hip “scene” of the Meatpacking District, with its clubs and high-end shops and boozy brunches; the grungier, so-many-little-places-to-go-all-squished-together feel of Hell’s Kitchen; the cleaner, wider-streeted, stroll-around-and-enjoy-yourself atmosphere of the Upper West Side; the hustle-and-bustle, wait-is-that-a-celebrity, i-think-they’re-filming-a-movie-down-that-street electricity in the air in SoHo; the cool, raw, darkish casualness of the Bowery.

every neighborhood has a distinct look and feel, and i love how there are always so many things to catch your eye and places to stumble upon and drop into on a whim. i can’t imagine ever getting bored here, or tired of this city i feel so utterly blessed to call home.


that time i went to alllll the speakeasies

oh heyyyy, friends. apparently it’s easy as 1-2-3 to just take a whole week off blogging sometimes. to be honest, i didn’t feel like i had a ton to write about, and i had a busy week, so that combo certainly didn’t make for much on the blog scene.

i did, however, start getting back into my first love of creative writing (namely poetic prose) more this past week, which i’m really hoping i am able to sustain. if you follow me on Instagram (and if you don’t, well, why don’t you? :)), you might have seen a few of the lil snippets i posted. i really love to write short little snapshots of moments and scenes, so i’ve taken the leap and started posting them on Instagram. i hope to post a few a week, and i plan to include them on my blog, too.

so, after not writing for a week, we’ve come full circle, back to my mahhhhhvalousss Monday.

*the writing. yep, have to talk about it first, as i’m really quiet excited to have a focus for it and hope to do more with it in the future. TBD, but i have some ideas. floating around.

here are two i posted on Instagram last week:

two sticks and we burn

love&fire - Copy

the things we leave behind

*city living. this weekend, i actually did something entirely unusual for me: took advantage of my city and packed the entire weekend full of allllll the things and kept myself busy out of the apartment from morning til night. i was thoroughly, utterly exhausted by 3pm yesterday and was making delirious and semi-mean-in-a-funny-way comments about every celebrity possible during the AMAs last night and cracking my roommate up…but it was entirely worth the exhaustion. i had such a great freaking weekend, it was almost unbelievable.

there was some West Village rambling & a new addition to my feet-in-the-shot sidewalk art collection,

followed by an awesome brunch with some sick live jazz at Garage in the West Village. i really dug everything about it: the food, the unlimited mimosas, and the music were all awesome. such a great spot to chill and enjoy some mid-day music and drinks.


*speakeasy tour of Manhattan. one of my favorite things to do in NYC is visit speakeasies, of which we have plenty, all offering their own cool vibe and charm. i totally dig that whole Prohibition-style decor and atmosphere, not to mention the deliciousness of the cocktails. i had the best drinks i’ve ever had in my life on Saturday night at the final spot we landed at.

here’s a rundown of our tour:

Friday night we went to a late dinner, so we just hit one speakeasy after: a hip & totally hidden Roaring 20’s style joint called Bathtub Gin in Chelsea, of which i’d never heard before that day and stumbled across on an online search. the cool thing was that you’d never know it existed at all if you weren’t looking for it, as it’s set behind a real coffee shop on 9th Ave and the bar itself has no street entrance. the not-cool thing was the 30 minute + wait at midnight in the cold. thankfully we got a table, as i definitely wouldn’t have enjoyed this scene so much had i not been nestled into a corner. it was completely unexpected: super loud, throbbing music, people dancing and being sort of wild, and not the easiest place for a conversation. the drinks were great, however, and the interior was way cool. i really, really wanted to like it more than i did, and i think if i’d been there at a tamer time and gotten to see more of the space and just chill, i’d have loved it. it was so crowded, i didn’t even see the bathtub. fail.

photo from

photo from

Saturday night we started our speakeasy ventures much earlier, and were out and about by 7pm.

first stop: Death & Co. in the East Village. this was another first-time for me, and everything about this spot was a yes, from the friendliness of the staff to the loungey oldies music (“Earth Angel,” anyone?), to the fab marble bar and the expertise and personalities of the bartenders — it was all seamless and lovely. it wasn’t crowded, it wasn’t loud, it wasn’t cheesey — it all just worked. it was definitely the classiest of the places we went, and i felt very much so tucked away from the rest of the world in a true throwback to the Prohibition era. i had one of their new drinks, which was some sort of refreshing appley thing topped with champagne, and it was great. this is pretty much the perfect cocktail bar, in all aspects.



next stop: The Back Room in the Lower East Side. fun fact about this super-hidden spot: it’s one of only 2 speakeasies still existing today that operated during Prohibition, and has been in existence in the same location for over 85 years. the entrance is cool, as you go through a little fence on the street and walk down a dark hidden alley to a random door, and the vibe is really chill and authentic, with the high-backed couches and old school atmosphere. one of my fave parts is that they serve the drinks in tea cups; one of my least fave parts is the drinks themselves. nothing special, especially in comparison to every other speakeasy i’ve visited. but i’ve been a few times, and i dig it.



the final stop: Apotheke. to say we saved the best for last is an understatement here, as this place was absolutely the coolest experience of the night. located on the most random of all random streets imaginable in Chinatown, it’s nestled into a little bend in the road and marked by a “Chemist” sign, as though signifying an old school apothecary. everything about this place is so dope: the decor is awesome, and the cocktails are all made with local and organic produce and ingredients from either local markets or the bar’s own rooftop herb garden, and i’ve never tasted drinks like this in my life. they are so meticulously crafted and unique, it’s really quite incredible and definitely deserves the comparison to a chemistry lab experiment. oh, and the bartenders wear chemist’s coats, too, just to make it even more rad. we hunkered down here in a cozy little corner for a good little while, having our best drinks and conversation of the night (don’t you just love when those two things go so well together??). my fave drink of the evening was my final one:

yes, i believe i just took health freak to an entirely new level with this one, and it was like Heaven in a glass. this was the perfect drink for me.

oh, and check out this place:



’nuff said, i do believe.

i think i’m about good for today with this — enough marvelousness to go around, i’d say.

and, well — after such a full weekend, i’m pretty darn tired and writing this is about all i can muster. 🙂

off to leave work and bake some pumpkin peanut butter oatmeal cookies to bring home to my fam!

Weekend highlights for you?
Does your city have speakeasies? Are you into that vibe?
What’s marvelous in your Monday?