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banker hangouts

10 Best Hangouts for Bankers

Future players looking to break into the high-powered NYC banking and finance world, your social guide has arrived

Not all networking happens from behind a keyboard. When you’re looking to break into an industry, it helps to know people, and to get to know Wall Street titans you’ll need to frequent their bars, their restaurants and venues that cater to their luxury lifestyles, many of them in the Financial District, of course. So get pampered, overindulge in steak and sushi and learn where to rub shoulders with the men and women who hold the economy in their hands.


Ulysses Folk House

Meet and greet at Ulysses Folk House, which like many FiDi spots, has outdoor tables on Stone Street

Ulysses Folk House
You can’t belly up to the bar at this downtown Irish classic without bumping into day-ending bankers and money-makers squeezing in a few rounds before heading home. They’re likely raising a 20-ounce imperial pint or a glass of Macallen 18 year old to the financial gods and not to the bar’s literary inspiration, James Joyce. Nevertheless, the cavernous interior and 130-foot bar presents many get-to-know-you opportunities, and don’t miss its rear alley, Stone Street. The quaint cobblestone lane is dotted with communal tables from this and other banker-frequented bars and restaurants, and its convivial atmosphere creates a natural opening for making new friends. 95 Pearl St., 212-482-0400,


Fraunces Tavern

George Washington ate at Fraunces Tavern, the oldest building in Manhattan.

Fraunces Tavern
That the oldest building in Manhattan is a bar will come as no surprise to anyone who has spent time in New York. This longstanding tavern (it’s also a restaurant and museum) has a storied history that includes a turtle feast dinner for Gen. George Washington in 1783 after British troops evacuated New York. These days, though, it’s the perfect locale for budding bankers to prowl for connections. The multi-roomed venue packs in a post-work FiDi crowd working its way through the 18 craft beers on draft and nibbling on fish and chips. For quieter conversation, duck into the tavern’s more intimate Dingle Whiskey Bar and unwind with a cocktail by the fire. 54 Pearl St., 212-968-1776,


The Dead Rabbit

The Dead Rabbit got its name from an old New York gang; its cocktails are period, too

The Dead Rabbit
It opened in February, but this old school-styled Irish bar and restaurant is already attracting a bursting-at-the-seams happy hour crowd of financiers, FiDi residents and cocktail enthusiasts. Named for an old New York gang (Scorsese would be proud), the Rabbit features historically accurate cocktails from the mid-nineteenth century in two settings—the intimate upstairs parlor room with an extensive drink menu and the more raucous taproom, with a still impressive menu of mixed drinks, beers and wine. To rub elbows with the Gordon Gekko crowd, swing by from 12 to 2pm weekdays for a power lunch of steak and stout pie. 30 Water St., 646-422-7906,


The Growler

The cozy basement bar at The Growler, a Stone Street staple

The Growler Bites and Brews
Another Stone street staple, this classic New York pub is more low-key than Ulysses and smaller than Fraunces Tavern, but what it lacks in punch and size, it makes up for with a 20-deep draft beer list, cocktails on tap and an inventive grub menu with standouts such as a kale Caesar salad and grilled shrimp BLT. If you’re looking to connect with someone after work and have an in-depth conversation about your next job, try the cozy basement bar. 55 Stone St., 917-409-0251,


Vintry Wine and Whiskey

Whiskey and wine lovers will find much to celebrate at this Stone Street hang

Vintry Wine and Whiskey
To avoid the drunken frat party atmosphere that often permeates FiDi hangouts, try this bar, the most sophisticated of those lining Stone Street. Vintry caters to whiskey and wine lovers with a lengthy barrel-aged liquor menu, deep cocktail list and solid by-the-glass wine selection. Offering elevated small plates (foie gras torchon and fluke crudo among them), this tiny bar is geared for those who don’t mind paying a little more for quality over quantity. As the crowd skews more female, it’s a good place for those looking to network with women. 57 Stone St., 212-480-9800,



Members of the upscale FiDi Equinox enjoy access to a juice bar, physical therapy and an eucalyptus steam room

Equinox FiDi
Equinox is known as an upscale gym for good reason (several of them, actually, including a eucalyptus steam room, juice bar and professional physical therapy), and it’s never crowded in the morning when the market is open. Stop after 5pm, however, and you’ll find brokers crushing it in this impeccably maintained facility. Classes can be a good way to develop a relationship with a potential contact, and Equinox has them all, including indoor cycling, boot camps, martial arts and boxing. Of course you will have to pay those pesky monthly membership dues, which are $156 a month, plus fees. 14 Wall St., 212-964-6688,


Setai Club

Book a spa treatment at the Setai Club’s spa for a chance to rub down with Wall Street players

The Setai Club and Spa Wall Street
Access to many of Manhattan’s top private clubs often requires thousands of dollars, an Ivy League degree and serious connections. The Setai is no exception with high fees and a limited membership list that requires an application; however, unlike the Harvard and Yale clubs, the Setai has a spa that’s open to the public, making mixing with the members a real possibility. And although you’ll have to pay dearly for the privilege (a 30-minute massage starts at $95), you will get to contemplate the habits of the 1 percent in style, as use of the steam room, sauna and Jacuzzi is included with treatments. 40 Broad St., 212-762-6193,


Living Room Lounge W Hotel Union Square

The Living Room Lounge inside the W Hotel Union Square draws a slew of financiers

The Living Room Lounge at the W Hotel Union Square
The Living Room Lounge is a boisterous NYC nightlife mainstay, handling hotel guests and overflow from Todd English’s Olives restaurant. It also attracts a slew of well-dressed financial types who keep it crowded from post-work through midnight. The ingredients for easy mingling are all here: a comfortable lounge-like space, strong drinks and eye candy if the conversation lulls. 201 Park Ave. South, 212-253-9119,


Nobu Fifty Seven

Sake-based cocktails are the drink of choice at Nobu Fifty Seven’s sceney bar (Photo: Scott Frances)

Nobu Fifty Seven
The Nobu name is synonymous with chic Asian fusion dining, and the Midtown branch of the original Tribeca restaurant attracts its share of bankers to a showy, expansive upstairs dining room. Don’t be surprised to see financial gurus and celebrities enjoying Nobu’s famous rock shrimp tempura and some expensive vino in the rollicking space. The best bet for chatting it up with the monetarily minded, however, is at the downstairs lounge with its impressive abalone shell chandeliers and delicious sake-based cocktails. 40 W. 57th St., 212-757-3000,



Power players like steak and this Village steakhouse delivers it in bordello style

Strip House
Cliché or not, bankers love a good steakhouse—who doesn’t? Change the game and skip the obvious FiDi stops such as The Capital Grille, Delmonico’s or Bobby Van’s, and instead seek out this sleek and bordello-looking Village restaurant with serious chops (veal rib ones with wild mushrooms, in fact) for after-work drinks and oysters. From about 6 until 9pm, the bar is packed with back-slapping power-player types. Pro-tip: If the bar is too crowded, try the more subterranean Strip House Next Door, which offers burgers, in addition to the full Strip House menu, for more casual socializing. 13 East 12th St., 212-328-0000,

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