Find classic cocktails and downtown flavor in this
By Jessica Dufresne
Photography by Bill Brady
Imagine a hideaway where plush, maroon curtains give way to an intimate, dimly lit boÃ®te that serves original-recipe cocktails and food, all amid a soundtrack of soulful R&B and jazz-infused rap.Â Such an oasis does existâ€”and itâ€™s in Harlem.
Entrepreneur Karl Franz Williams conceived 67 Orange Street, a months-old 19th-century-inspired speakeasy that seats 30 guests (plus a private chef â€™s table), to bring a sexyâ€”but not naughtyâ€”energy uptown.Â â€œI get tired of going downtown whenever I want to go out, and I like going to distinctive places,â€ says Williams, who also owns Harlemâ€™s Society CafÃ©.Â â€œIâ€™m not sure that there are any other classic cocktail bars above 14th Street.â€
Named after the onetime New York City location of a black-owned, prohibition-era bar, 67 Orange Street evokes that period through its decor, drinks, and undercover vibe.Â An
unmarked door on a nondescript street makes for an exclusive experience Ã la Milk & Honey or La Esquina, whose locations were once top secret.Â Once inside, expect appetizer-size plates that cost no more than $11 and raw bar selections available at market
price.Â Chef Adam Bazaldua whips up tasty delights such as Sweet Potato Wedges ($9), served with slivers of red onions, smoked turkey, and New York cheddar, evenly smothered with apple gravy, and Orange Roasted Duck Leg with Cinnamon Mashed Potatoes ($11).Â But this is mainly a bar, and house mixologist Kali Erwin, who created the drink menu, will take care of you.
Cute cocktail names such as Side-by-Side Car, Olâ€™ Fashionista, and Ben Down belie the drinksâ€™ potency.Â Plus, the dessert libations, Wild Hibiscus Royale (complete with an edible version of the flower) and Raspberry Truffle, are also highly intoxicating.
Typically, youâ€™d be hard-pressed to find such an elegant yet laid-back space uptown where grown, professional folks can lounge, drink, eat, and listen to great music.Â But if you look hard enough, youâ€™ll be glad you discovered 67 Orange Street.
67 Orange Street. 2082 Frederick Douglass Blvd. 212.662.2030. 67OrangeStreet.com