The ideal neighborhood hangout is an elusive creature, but The Roost, a combo coffee shop-drinking den recently opened on Avenue B, is just the sort of place we need more of in New York City.
The Story: The bar’s owners took their inspiration from a Jacob Riis photograph, “Bandit’s Roost,” showing a number of men down a Lower East Side alley, their makeshift hideaway. The Roost has that same sense of casual intimacy, a place to hide away from the world.
The Look: In front, a pleasant coffee shop with light streaming in the front windows, a place to settle in for Brooklyn Roasting Co. coffee and Balthazar pastries. Head farther back and you’ll find a cozy parlor with brown leather sofas in front of the fireplace; and through sliding barn doors, you’ll find the bar itself. It’s a pleasantly low-lit space with exposed brick walls, a reclaimed wood bar and a sexy-rustic vibe.
The Drinks: Craft beer and whiskey are the main draw here — local beers like Coney Island’s Mermaid Pilsner and Kelso’s seasonal winter ale, and plenty of brown spirits for a stronger sipper. Cocktails and wines by the glass round it out.
The Scene: The East Village can always use another drinking den. Expect a neighborhood crowd to discover the coffee shop, and then the bar behind it, although the space is good-looking enough to become a destination.
222 Ave. B.