New York's Newest Gin Joint Is Hidden Behind The Walls Of A Chelsea Coffee Shop

bathtub gin

Photo: Business Insider

These days, speakeasy-themed bars are a dime a dozen in New York City. Manhattan’s east side is stuffed with them, from bar-behind-a-phone-booth PDT to the Back Room, a speakeasy-within-a-speakeasy on the Lower East Side.The team behind the city’s newest Prohibition Era-style bar, Bathtub Gin, was intent on bringing the trend west. And while the concept may not be new, we were still impressed by their execution when we stopped by to check it out on opening night.

The cocktail lounge, which is stowed in a hidden room behind an unassuming coffee shop on 9th Avenue, soft-opened yesterday. Thanks in part to a banner promotion on Urban Daddy, it was pretty packed.

The drink list, of course, is heavy on gin, and the food menu features an eclectic mix of pub staples and small plates. The kitchen is overseen by the chef from Harry’s Steak on Stone Street (one of Bathtub Gin’s many investors is Peter Poulakakos, who operates Harry’s and several other downtown restaurants along with his father).

As far as decor, Bathtub Gin is standard speakeasy: curvy booths, dim lights and a tiled tin ceiling. The centrepiece of the room is a massive, claw-footed bathtub that was filled with drunk patrons when we stopped in, but which the owners say will more often be filled with ice and gin.

If you’re in the neighbourhood — and can manage to find the place — it’s worth checking out.

Special thanks to photographer Anton Tabakov.

From the front, the place looks like a typical storefront coffee shop

But this sign in the window tips off thirsty patrons

The coffee shop is open all day

And at 5pm, the red light turns on and the lounge opens for business

Here's what the door looks like from the other side

Inside, the lounge is speakeasy-chic

At the bar, bartenders mix classics like Pimm's Cups and dry gin martinis (it's super dark)

The menu was eclectic, but the food looked tasty

The BBQ short rib sliders -- one's already missing

Patrons on opening night gave the drinks rave reviews

Here's the namesake bathtub

There are lots of cozy nooks

And plush sofas

Even the bathroom keeps with the bathtub theme

Now check out the new futuristic hotel in Midtown Manhattan

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