You can’t help but wonder where do all of the young, black professionals in New York City go for drinks and conversation without paying $20 covers, listening to overly loud music and or having to deal with expensive restaurant tabs.
And where’s our “Cheers?” Where can we go where everybody knows our name, no matter the time of day, or day of the week?
Basically, it comes down to, “Where does the young, black professional crowd go in NYC?”
Well, believe it or not, there are a few bars and watering holes that have a predominantly black clientele, so you don’t have to feel like the odd one out afterwork or late at night. We came up with a few places that maintain a simple atmosphere, a plentiful “bar food” menu, and plenty of alcoholic beverages for black professionals, singles, couples, visitors and regulars.
So without further adieu, here are the places where black people can drink, eat and be merry.
185 Saint Nicholas Avenue, Harlem
There is no doubt that Mojo is one of the sexiest bars in town. Although Mojo is rarely crowded, the select clientele is habitually on point. Young, black professionals from all parts of the city flock here for the eclectic menu and unparalleled service. Admittedly, Mojo’s Mediterranean menu does not go over well with everyone, but the drink menu, with creative concoctions such as the Savoy and Harlem Mule, let’s everyone leave happy and satisfied.
Tillman’s Bar & Lounge
165 West 26th Street, Fashion District
Tillman’s is like a modern-day speakeasy with forward-thinking gourmet soul food. Quite a mix, huh? Although many know Tillman’s for its eclectic and delicious menu, it is the atmosphere that drives most of the acclaim Tillman’s receives from its patrons. With unique cocktail mixes, a discerning crowd and gracious service, Tillman’s will not disappoint your afterwork needs. Then again, the place does get a little overcrowded on weekends, making it a tough place to get a fair shake on Friday and Saturday nights. But if you leave your patronage to Monday through Thursday, we assure you that you will have a good time with other like-minded, black professionals.
Nectar Wine Bar
2235 Frederick Douglas Blvd, Harlem
The best thing about Nectar is that it’s a freaking wine bar! Sure, you could go for your usual cocktail at the midtown watering hole, or you could come to Nectar and try out an assortment of wines and champagnes that will surely help you sleep just a little bit easier. Located in the burgeoning section of Central Harlem, Nectar is near plenty of young, black professionals and graduate students living in the area. You can find all of them at Nectar on weeknights and even during the day on weekends. The scene is continually laid-back, soothing, with nothing but lively, yet moderate, conversations going on in the background—the perfect place to have a drink and just chill.
2271 Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard
Shrine is one of the most frequented uptown bars, and for good reason. They have a happy hour every day from 4 to 8pm that consists of $4 draft beers, $6 orders of wings, and on Thursdays, ladies get 2-for-1 drinks. The vibe is always great, the music is always hip, and Shrine’s live bands are always phenomenal. There is rarely a cover, especially during the times you will want to be there. Best of all, Shrine is open into the wee-wee hours of the night—you know, just in case you need to drown your sorrows in alcohol after a long day.
Of course, there’s more where that came from. Check out our “Young, Black Professional Scene” page.