Bar Spotlights Grub/Spirits — 11 July 2014
The Ides at Wythe Hotel- Williamsburg: Drink Here Now

Our correspondent vowed to have a drink at every single bar in Hoboken and did so successfully with Spirits in the Sixth Borough. Every Friday morning, we’ll pick up where he left off, showing you distinctive bars in each New York City borough perhaps for the very first time, perhaps to refresh your memory of a fun place you’ve ducked into, or perhaps to suggest a new spot for you to check out as you gear up for the weekend. You can follow our sudsy travels every week with’s “Drink Here Now.”

The Ides at Wythe Hotel
80 Wythe Avenue at North 11th Street, Williamsburg
Getting There: G to Nassau Avenue; L to Bedford Avenue

The run of rooftop bars continues this week as I’m doing all I can to have a beer in sunlight. First things first, if you either live in or often find yourself in Williamsburg and you haven’t grabbed some delicious and casual fare at Reynard, the first floor brasserie at the chic but approachable Wythe Hotel- then shame on you. Up on the Hotel’s sixth floor though sits The Ides, an equally relaxed bar run by the same team behind the aforementioned Reynard, Diner and Marlow & Sons and also offers awesome rooftop views of both Brooklyn and Manhattan.

What’s probably the most interesting facet that differentiates The Ides from the other rooftop bars in Manhattan is the absolute lack of pretension. It’s first come-first serve, and while it’s certainly a scene, there’s none of the snobbery that you might find across the river. That said, they also aren’t cutting you much of a deal on prices either- where beers are $7-$8 and cocktails are right in the $12 range. Hopefully you’re ducking into the bar when the weather is nice, where the communal seating is plentiful amid a much larger space than you’d expect that wraps around the building nicely.

Green plant life acts as partitions around the roof with benches lining the entire open-air space. Even if the weather’s not ideal, the bar area, a bit smaller, allows in plenty of natural light with its floor to ceiling windows and the views are even exceptional in there, despite seating being at more of a premium. Currently the bar is also serving small plates upstairs, but with such a variety of eats in the borough, your best bet is to grab a “Harvey Wallbanger” ($10) or a tasty and summery “Hemingway Daquiri” ($14) before dinner- enjoy the ambiance for a bit before heading out for the evening.

The Rundown

Bar Type - Among the best rooftop views you’ll find in any borough inside of Brooklyn’s coolest and most versatile space.

When to Visit – For our money, it’s all about Happy Hour. Not that there are many drink specials to speak of, but there’s something about kicking back on a rooftop that’s not oversaturated with people as the sun goes down. This is Brooklyn’s quintessential spot for pre-dinner drinks.

Value - You can snag a handcrafted cocktail here for $10 and $11 so I suppose that’d be considered competitive. But cost of drink is certainly not your incentive for checking out The Ides.

The Lowdown – You’d be hard pressed to find a rooftop scene as laid back as this one and The Ides manages to pull it together inside of Williamsburg’s most popular settings. The views are remarkable and the drinks are especially refreshing especially when there’s ample daylight. The opening of the Wythe Hotel was one reason to bring folks out to Brooklyn, but finding The Ides is an entirely new one altogether. In the throngs of summer, leave your judgment at the door and grab a seat on the roof with a seasonal beer in hand. You’re welcome New York.

- Alex Corrine

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