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October 19, 2011

Inside New York’s The Double Seven

By Jessica Flint | Bars

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Courtesy of The Double Seven

It is a familiar New York story: Hotspot closes for a vague reason (“overcrowding;” “unpaid fines;” “licensing violations”). L.B.D-wearing patrons are displaced and migrate elsewhere. Bar owners band together in solidarity to open a new incarnation of the old watering hole. Cocktail king Sasha Petraske is involved somehow, whether in person or in spirit. Interior designer is instructed to bring in some high-low element. New establishment makes a splashy debut with a Cinema Society screening after-party. Boldfacers show up. Media blitz follows. Flock of L.B.D.s returns—and so does the sizzle.

The latest version of this tale as old as time involves The Double Seven, the buzzy bar whose 14th Street location died a grave death in January 2007 (“landlord fight”). Recently, the new location opened on Gansevoort Street with a Cinema Society after-party for the screening of director Pedro Almodovar’s film The Skin I Live In. So far Mick Jagger’s been to the lounge. So has Madonna, Steve Martin, Antonio Banderas and Daphne Guinness. And so have we.

Once you enter past the large brass door next to the graffiti painting of Bob Dylan, the ambiance is luxe to the max. The bar top is made of crocodile embossed leather. The base of the bar is made of laser cut steel. The low cocktail tables are Balinese teak. For a nostalgic tug at the hemline, the front seating area is adorned with hand blown glass from the original venue. The bar staff has been trained in none other than Sasha Petraske’s cocktail method. There’s even a dedicated staff member whose job it is to makes the specialty ice (large balls, perfect cubes and crushed).

Go for the cocktails. The Eastside Cocktail, which can be made with gin or vodka, is a favorite; it's a little tart but refreshing due to the cucumber. And go for the volume level. The bar is geared towards conversation, so the music plays only to add to the ambiance, not to make it hard to hear or enable dancing on the banquettes. The door is discretionary based on space (capacity is 160). We recommend dressing like you mean it—and, of course, being respectful to the door persons, Mina and Armando. 63 Gansevoort St.

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