New York City-Lower West Manhattan
May 11, 2018
Its rather grim name is taken from a place in Scotland where suspected witches used to hang, but this seems thematically apt for a bar a rooftop bar no less – at the McKittrick Hotel, the New York base of immersive theatre company Punchdrunk and site of their captivating theatrical experiment, Sleep No More. Punchdruk have always been adept at blending the commercial with the creative and this foliage-bedecked bar typifies that ethos. It’s beautifully designed, with greenery, twinkling lights, trellises woven with flowers and weathered wooden tables all combining to create a dreamy, magical atmosphere. In the early evening patrons are rewarded with captivating views of West Side buildings gleaming in the setting sun and clouds piling up on the horizon. And as the night goes on the sense of being somewhere outside time deepens. A brass band might break into a waltz as waitstaff in pure white uniforms appear from the shadows. Meanwhile, characters from the show below will occasionally breeze through the space, weaving between the tables as they talk in faux-British accents and engage customers in conversation. The canny drinks lists features an array of punches of course which are ladled by staff from copper bowls. Cocktails inspired by the show, such as the sweet, vodka-based Blonde in Peril, will further enliven your night. If you’ve a taste for whimsical kookiness then this is the place for you. It’s wise to make a reservation and, if you can, try to grab the best seats in the house inside an abandoned railcar.