A few weeks back, I was trying to find a fun spot for drinks with a friend during the week. I haven’t tried a ton of places as of late that I’ve loved for cocktails, so I was determined to find something new to me that would likely be fabulous. I came across several mentions for a spot in the West Village by the name of Slowly Shirley, and I was curious to give it a go. I love the West Village. I do. But I’ve yet to find a good go-to spot in the neighborhood that doesn’t come with the likelihood of an involved wait. Until now…
See this massive mob of people? You will likely see people waiting outside to go in. Don’t think – like we did – this is Slowly Shirley. Instead, it’s a bar by the name of The Happiest Hour, which is part of the same establishment as Slowly Shirley. Likewise, don’t wonder if you should go here instead. Oh no no … let me let you in on a little secret. Instead head slightly to the right to a door labeled “Slowly Shirley”. Knock or wave at the worker standing right there at entrance, and they’ll let you in. Don’t think that the need for someone to help you get in means this is a stuffy place. Not true by any means.
When you walk downstairs, you’ll find yourself in a fabulous cozy spot. The music is fun and retro. They’re trying to recreate the vibe of Hollywood’s Golden Age and the California lounge scene post-WWII. I love the refreshing unexpected change of pace.
An unexpected change of pace and a fabulous cocktail menu on par with the best I’ve tried in the city. Their signature cocktails do come mostly with a $16 pricetag, but they are well worth the investment. My favorite is the “Village Bicycle” – vodka, blanc vermouth, kaffir lime, lychee, ginger, and lemon. They can also make it with Dorothy Parker Gin, but I elect for the less herbaceous alternative. If you’re looking for something a bit more punchy and tropical, give the Five Finger Death Punch a try. It comes in a rather imposing skull mug – but fret not. It’s delicious.
I was impressed by the food as well. The side of broccoli here is surprisingly amazing. It’s been fried up until it’s super crispy and is served with a fresh ranch dipping sauce. Also don’t miss out on their fontina grilled cheese, which comes in 4 smaller segments along with a cup of tomato soup for dipping.
Slowly Shirley – 121 W. 10th Street – 212.243.2827
Reservations via email – firstname.lastname@example.org (not required at the bar area)