Greenwich Village

Employees Only

The name of this railroad cocktail bar plays on the notion that the staff has more fun, and the clientele gets off on an insider's feel without the labor. Deco details of terraced lighting around the pressed-tin ceiling and overhead luggage racks in the elevated dining room are of a piece with the dapper service and drinks. Bartenders with anachronistic parted hair and handlebar mustaches, suited in white chef's jackets, prepare Golden Age renditions of the Pisco Sour, Manhattan, and Bloody Mary, and shake and muddle fresh ingredients for the throat-tickling Ginger Smash, fragrant strawberry Fraise Sauvage, and the Hemingway Daiquiri, which has a smoothness that’s often missing from grapefruit-tinged cocktails. An abundance of single malts, tequilas, and even ryes gleam from the bar shelves, but a few bottled beers are available for diehards. Seating is scarce on the weekends, when a polished crowd with flickers of downtown style fills the room, and a pat eighties soundtrack throws the general conceit to the wind. Guests seeking a bit of escape can chance a tarot card reading in the small foyer. — Karen Hudes

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New York Lexikon