By Sophia Hsu
What do most people want to do when it’s really hot outside? Stay hydrated, stay inside and play hide and seek with the sun. Or, some people may want to hang out in bookstores, while others search for shade while shopping. Some people also like to enjoy the outdoors and worship the sun. One thing you and your friends might do together to try and stay cool this summer is bar hop. At some bars, you can stay inside to keep cool, or enjoy the great concrete jungle that we New Yorkers call outdoors. Let’s take a moment together to sample what’s around!
Cooper 35 Asian Pub on Cooper Square (not far from Cooper Union) is a great bar for the summer with a little something for everyone. With its garden and indoor seating, there is both the great outdoors for the sun worshippers and the air-conditioned seating for those of us who find the summer heat and sun oppressive. With a happy hour that seems to last forever, you’ll find $1 off on all frosty, ice cold alcoholic beverages. You’re sure to find a flavor to suit everyone. No matter where you choose to sit at Cooper 35, the staff is friendly and greets you with a smile as they bring you a complimentary plate of wonton chips and fresh salsa (also known as pico degallo). They make it difficult to decide what to enjoy first. During happy hour, the regular dirty martinis are $3 each, and the single lycheetinis are $4 each. Save time and room on your table for appetizers by ordering a large drink which comes in a pint glass. My favorite is the large whiskey sour at $6, but a lot of people seem to enjoy a large glass of the Blue Hawaiian. The appetizers are also cheap, so come a little early to avoid the wait for seating and take full advantage of the happy hour prices.
If you enjoy your cocktail arriving at your table in a container made of fruit, then Song 7.2 in the East Village is the place for you. The pineapple soju arrived at our table so cold and refreshing, it hardly tasted of alcohol. The pineapple seemed bottomless as my party continued to serve ourselves these tiny glasses of almost pineapple slush. The seating outdoors is shaded by trees and the surrounding buildings, offering a cool respite from the direct summer sun. The indoor seating is spacious and comfortable. Song 7.2 is one of those places that understands hydration is key in the summer, especially when drinking, so they leave a carafe of ice water at your table while you decide on your beverages. The best part about coming here in the late afternoon, while most people are still at work, is getting to watch part (or all) of a Korean drama while you enjoy a cheap and tasty bibim bap at an outdoor table or a deliciously cold and fruity beverage.
Other recommendations to enjoy something novel this summer: Mad about Chicken in Koreatown. Here you’ll find an unnervingly crispy Korean fried chicken and a beer serving apparatus lit with multi-colored lights all set in an industrial bar atmosphere. You might want to head to Forbidden City in the East Village for some dancing while you enjoy your Asian fusion cocktails. Also in the East Village is Cha-An. a tea house with a refreshing take on tea infused cocktails and, in my opinion, the best bathroom in all of New York City. But don’t take my word for it..go see for yourself!