There are any number of New York City bars we could describe as “sexy.” But few deserve that title as literally as PLAY, recently opened at the Museum of Sex near Madison Square Park.
The Story: It’s a bit odd that an entire museum dedicated to gettin’ frisky didn’t have a place to loosen your inhibitions through drink. The Museum of Sex has been around for a decade, but only just opened PLAY, a supremely titillating bar-restaurant whose owners intend it as a “transformative experience that arouses the senses, exploring the relationship between food and sex.” Like the museum, though, PLAY stays on the right side of the racy/raunchy divide — as sex-centric bars go, this is a classy one.
The Look: Low-lit and sultry, lit in red and black, with bookshelves and couches to section off private nooks, and volumes on the shelves you’re allowed to take down and scribble all over.
The Drinks: While this bar could run on concept alone, they’ve taken the drinks seriously, enlisting Jim Kearns (formerly of Pegu Club and the NoMad) to design the menu. Cocktails under the categories “demure,” “curious,” and “kinky” run from the comfortable to the cutting-edge — perhaps a Cherry Oh Baby (Jamaican rums, cherry liqueurs, Barolo Chinato) for the more reserved and a Loose Women & Pickpockets (confit-washed Cognac, Cointreau, lemon, bay leaf) for the more daring.
The Scene: A range of patrons, from curious New Yorkers to visitors who’ve just toured the museum.
At the Museum of Sex
233 5th Ave.