Posts Tagged ‘retro bar’

Retro Bars Around the World: San Francisco

Hello Darlings! We’re starting a new weekly series reviewing classy retro cocktail bars around the planet. Our first feature is a new lounge in San Francisco called Swank.


  • Juniper Blossom $10 (Hendrick’s Gin, wild elderflower, lemon juice, orange juice)
  • Wandering Saint $9 (Sake, St-Germain Liqueur, orange blossom water)
  • Woodford Sidecar $11 (Woodford Reserve Bourbon, maple syrup, Cointreau, lemon juice)

This bar lounge lives up to its name. Decor and all. Swank is… truly, rather swanky. The place is the perfect combo of hip and down-to-earth. Upon entering you’ll discover a dashing ’60s-era vibe with an imposing Sputnik-inspired light fixture orbiting overhead (ah, the warm glow of the Cold War), crimson-colored walls on one side and a textured fabric wall on the other with the classic mahogany bar separating the two (and thankfully no shag carpets).

Slide into the plush seats by the tiled fireplace and start with classic cocktails like an Old Fashioned.. If your date prefers bubbly, you’re in luck, because there’s a page full of champagne-based cocktails like the French 75 and a slew of Bellinis.

Of course, this cozy fifty-seater spot offers a dozen beers and fifteen wines by the glass, if you’re looking for something a little more straightforward.

Don Draper would approve.

Retro Bars Around the World: Chicago

Hello Darlings! This week’s feature is a delightful lounge in Chicago called The California Clipper.

• Purple Martini (Grape Soda, Coconut Rum, Lemon)

A bit off the beaten path in Humboldt Park (just south of Wicker Park), the Clipper is well worth seeking out. It’s a throwback cocktail lounge that’s been operating since the 40s and the only bar in Chicago to have grape soda on tap. The rest of the cocktail menu is made up of things you expect your grandfather to have ordered in places like this back in the day. For the past couple of years, this beautifully restored 1940s tavern, with its gorgeous Art Deco bar and red walls bathed in dim light, has been colonized on the weekends by the young and terminally restless. Friday and Saturday nights feature live music, mostly rockabilly and “country swing. The music lineup changes every month and they do a great job of keeping their website up to date with who will be performing. Oh yeah, and there’s no cover!

Open 5pm-2am, Mon-Fri, till 4 am on Fri & Sat. No cover.

Top 5 Hotel Bars in the World

If you’re at one of the world’s best hotels bars, your classic cocktail will always be good.

Depending on the occasion, the hotel bar is the place for an after-hours meeting or a celebratory toast. It’s the one place in a foreign city where you can feel like you belong or accomplish work at any hour without feeling like you’re working.

What makes a superb hotel bar is a place where the bartenders are knowledgeable and friendly, where the bar is frequented by locals (a sure sign of quality), but where you won’t find strobe lights or novelty drinks with glowing straws. The hotel bar is an oasis, a place where the only worry is what to order. These welcoming spots are destinations in their own right, offering memorable combinations of sublime cocktails, lovely views, and storied pasts.

The next time you’re out of town, may we suggest these five fabulous hotel bars.

Hemingway Bar, Paris

Happiness!  Oh, should I say more?  Bar Hemingway is my liquor-ravaged liver’s favorite place in the world!
Part of drinking in Paris is getting to know the history of the bar scene. The bartenders at Hemingway are among the most charming in the world.  Ladies are especially well attended to at the bar (as a token of the past, they receive a flower with each cocktail). While they excel at gin-based drinks, I encourage you to see what they can do with bourbon and whiskey (ooh, order a “Whiskey Cobra”!).

Hemingway Bar
Hotel Ritz
15 Place Vendôme
75001 Paris
+33 14 31 63 030

Rock Bar, Bali

The Rock Bar is located at Ayana Resort & Spa which was the former Ritz Carlton at Jimbaran. To access to the bar, guests have to board and inclinator which could only take 4 guests at a time going down and 3 guests at a time when coming up. There is only one inclinator down to the Rock Bar which was perched on the cliffs, hence the long queue. I would definitely say it’s worth the wait.

Ayana Resort & Spa Bali

Jalan Karang Mas Sejahtera

Bali 80364, Indonesia
(0)361 702222

Open Daily 24 Hours

Redwood Room, San Francisco

Lovely, lovely! A classy bar with fabulous decor – barmen who are knowledgeable and friendly and mix a mean cocktail – what’s not to like? I have to say the cocktails are probably on my list of the best of SF…they are simply perfectly put together. Good ingredients, a perfect counterbalance of flavors, and enough gentle punch to get you going, without compromising on taste. One of my favorites. One point though – it gets crowded, and it’s definitely a place to sit and savor your bevvie of choice, which can become challenging when seating is all occupied by the bottoms of SF’s pretty people. Aaah nevermind, if you wait awhile, there’s usually a nook you can squeeze into, and it’s worth a little wait!

Overall: Still a cool spot after being open more than 100 years.

Cliff Hotel

495 Geary Street

San Francisco, CA 94102
(800) 406-6690

K Bar, Mykonos

Candles flicker, crickets chirp and the Aegean Sea laps lazily on the shore of the pebble beach. If you end up taking a Greek holiday then at the end of the day you simply have to be sitting in this exact spot: the K Bar of the Kivotos Hotel. ‘Kivotos’ translates as ‘ark’ and in this spot one does indeed feel saved. Since 1993 this 5-Star establishment has indeed lived up to its name as a luxury haven and boasts such special features as the 25 ft. yacht, “The Prince of Neufchatel” or the tranquil pool with underwater music. In K Bar you’ll find caviar from Iran and cigars from Cuba – or simply just an ice-cold Retsina.

K Bar
Kivotos Hotel
Ornos Bay
84600 Mykonos
Tel: +30 22 89 02 40 94

Star Lounge, New York

A lovely intimate private lounge underneath Chelsea Hotel. This place doesn’t have any promoters, so be ready never get inside unless you happen to get an invitation from  people who are hanging out here a lot.
Great to see people and to be seen, very nice and good-looking crowd, though the interior design could be a bit more expensive. The karaoke nights during the week are always fun.

Star Lounge
The Ritz-Carlton New York
Central Park, 50 Central Park South, New York, NY 10019, USA
Tel.: +1-212-521 61 25
open daily: 11 am – 12 am