One day while browsing Netflix, I came upon a documentary on the art of cocktail making called Hey Bartender. One of the bars featured happened to be a popular, yet rather secretive, award-winning spot called Employees Only. Of course, upon googling the address…how can this be? I pass by this place constantly, but never realized it was there!
Let me explain.
The bar/restaurant is nestled in the West Village and appears very lowkey from the outside. Blacked out with velvet curtains, the only thing visible from the window is a neon Psychic sign. The only clue that there MUST be some activity inside is a lone bouncer standing outside when open for business. Upon entering, it looks as if you’ve entered a speakeasy. The bar actually curves around the length of the dimly lit saloon, ingeniously made so that everyone who sits down at it can see each other without having to constantly maneuver.
It’s also very apparent that bartenders take their cocktail making VERY seriously, which is also evident from the documentary. The look of concentration and attention to detail is worth the price of the drinks. Everything about this place exudes roaring 20’s charm from the ambiance and cocktail glasses to the staff uniforms.
Arrive early to avoid the crowds and dress to impress considering the one obstacle (the bouncer) can keep you from entering.