What do you get when two seasoned cocktail bartenders take over a prime NoHo location to create a spot that’s all about having a good time? Something like Sweetwater Social, which opened on Wednesday in the former Vault at Pfaff’s.
The Story: Tim Cooper (GoldBar) and Justin Noel (1534 Bar), NYC bar vets both, have cocktail cred and then some, but they didn’t want to open an overly serious cocktail bar. “We’re not your typical tie and vest bartenders,” says Noel. “We wanted to create a space that would allow us to offer people great cocktails, great beer and great food — but in an environment that was less stuffy, less clubby and less pretentious than some of the spots known for those things.”
The Look: There’s no shortage of room in this massive underground space, which until recently housed the Vault at Pfaff’s. Cooper and Noel are aiming for a slightly throwback New York look (think displayed subway tile), with no shortage of entertainment. “We put things in the bar that people love to do,” says Noel — “foosball, shuffleboard, videogames, TVs, photobooths.”
The Drinks: While the vibe at Sweetwater is quite casual, the drinks are anything but. Try the Wu-tea-ki — with black tea-infused dark rum, lemon demerara syrup, and Angostura and Hella citrus bitters, served in a ceramic Greek coffee “takeaway” cup over crushed ice — or the Dirty Hipster, with rye, Calvados, Unita Baba Black Lager, egg, and maple syrup. Prefer beer or wine? There’s plenty here for you, too.
The Scene: Expect everyone from cocktail geeks to neighborhood drinkers to shuffleboard fans to find their way to Sweetwater; with such a wide range of drinks and activities, and a cavernous space to host it all in, there’s room for every kind of bar-goer.