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Secret Sip Spot

March 18, 2014
From Will Malnati and Doug Jacob, the prodigious duo that had a hand in popular cocktail concept Willow Road and rave Spanish success Toro, comes Backbar, a new 50-seat bar-cum-lounge resolutely concealed behind the unmarked steel doors of former biscuit factory Nabisco’s on the river edge of Chelsea. This latest venture takes form in an industrial Spanish-inflected space of polished concrete walls covered in carved-out candle nooks, a bull’s head (and doffed cap to Toro), lined with sleek black and burnt orange leather sofas, and a heavy Tennessee marble-topped bar.

Along with the Spanish vibe borrowed from neighbouring restaurant Toro, they’ve also brought over mix maestro Caitlin Doonan who is so confident in her flavour combinations that she offers only five signature cocktails. Her drinks program is constantly evolving, and is about as obscure as the location itself, but has in the past included a to-die-for whiskey ginger, a cheeky twist on a Cosmopolitan and a sinfully moreish rum punch. However, the cat is well and truly out of the bag on this secret sipster – well-heeled New Yorkers have been flocking in to secure a coveted spot under the flowering wisteria vines that hang over the horseshoe banquette back room. Prepare to queue!

85 10th Avenue, (entrance at 16th Street and 11th Avenue)
+1 646 449 9280
Wednesday: 10:00 pm - 4:00 am
Thursday - Saturday: 11:00 pm - 4:00 am