If you'd like to sip a cocktail outdoors, but you don't want to empty your wallet to do it, or be asked to don a plush robe as you head outside (yea, some bars actually do that...), head to Mé Bar, on the 14th Floor of the La Quinta Inn, located at 17 W. 32nd Street. This cool, laid-back bar offers a chill vibe unlike any other rooftop bar I've been to in this city. The clientele are friendly and unpretentious, and I'd bet most could not tell a Gucci from a Louis Vuitton. The air feels crisp, the drinks are subtly strong (and nearly half the price of most other rooftop bars), and there's no bouncer judging your attire and/or attitude to make sure you're "cool" enough to enter.
The rooftop is not large by any means, but it is spacious enough to accommodate a fair number of guests, sitting or standing. There is only one small bar, which is often manned by bartender Julian, who is embarking on his seventh summer serving up cocktails at Mé Bar, and his easygoing approach to tasty concoctions keeps customers returning. (Make sure to also ask around for some free spiced popcorn while you enjoy your drinks, or have some food delivered -- Mé Bar has no kitchen).
|View of the Empire State Building from Mé|
The actual bar area is inside a vestibule, or windowed hallway of sorts, which also offers some seating and has wi-fi. From this area, as well as from certain areas of the rooftop, if you know where to look, you can catch a pretty splendid view of the Empire State Building.
So next time your friend or relative is visiting and you want to take them "out on the town," skip the overpriced, overhyped club-style atmospheres at the other midtown bars, and relax on the roof at Mé Bar, which opens everyday (even in the winter, thanks to heat lamps!), at 5:30pm.