New York City-Lower West Manhattan
May 11, 2018
Little Branch is another fine edition to the cocktail empire of Milk and Honey’s Sasha Petraske. More accessible than the bar that made his name, this low-lit subterranean gem is hidden down a flight of stairs in a nondescript corner of the West Village.
The Little Branch atmosphere is a little warmer and more relaxed than its predecessor, helped along by the vivid yellow walls and low ceilings constructed from corrugated steel painted orange. Plenty of booths mean there shouldn’t be a problem finding a table, but the serious cocktail connoisseur will want to stand at the bar for a master-class in mixology.
As one would expect given the Petraske connection, the bar staff are smartly suspender-clad and on the ball, producing some superb, perfectly presented cocktails. The classics are delivered in style, poured over ice freshly chipped from large blocks, and they will happily create a customized drink for the more adventurous. Just name your favourite liquor and they’ll reel off a list of old-fashioned cocktails and egg flips it features in. The music is calm and chilled, ditto the crowd.
The usual Milk and Honey rules still stand raised voices and bad behaviour are frowned upon but here they are applied a little more loosely. And the laidback vibe is enhanced by the regular live jazz sessions, often making use of the bar’s old upright piano.
Insider tip: Visit at around 10:30pm from Sundays through Thursdays and you’ll catch performances in an array of different styles, from standards to Brazilian.
What their peers say
“Little Branch is one of the few bars in the universe to strike that oh so challenging balance of electric environment and extraordinary product and service. A lively bar area allows for conversation and a touch of hootin’ and hollarin’, while the booths offer the perfect shelter for fleeting whispers and stolen kisses.” Ryan Magarian