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Entries in rooftop bars in NYC (1)

Friday
Jul022010

Friday, July 2nd, 2010—Bar 173

Day 173—Thursday, July 1st, 2010
The Local Cafe (Originally headed for The Distinguished Wakamba Lounge)

Tonight I wanted to go to a tiki bar. Originally I was thinking about this place, Painkiller, but then I was a little concerned I might not be able to sit at the bar, because it’s small, new and it’s Thursday, a popular night out. It’s not a rule that I have to sit at the bar, but I’ve found I have a better experience if I do. So I’m still going to go here, but I’ll go at the beginning of the week, when it’s a little slower. But while Googling around I think I found a real gem. Get the name of this joint: The Distinguished Wakamba Lounge. I love that name and it looks like it’s trying to be a tiki bar, but is really just a dive bar with some aquatic knick-knacks thrown in for good measure. From the reviews I’ve read, it’s a bar that resembles a ‘70’s era, Taxi Driver period. Who could ask for anything more? You talkin’ to me?

And we're off, down 30th Streeet...

And up 8th Avenue.

And here it is in all its glory: The Distinguished Wakamba Cocktail Lounge. Sadly the owners not only told me I couldn’t take pictures, I got the feeling that my legs would get broken if I stayed there much longer after asking if I could do my 365 thing in there. This is sad for me, because this is a classic NYC bar. It’s a Spanish themed place with tiki touches and the bartenders are Spanish women with short shorts, skimpy tops and little mastery of the English language. Even though I was given my walking papers (I still plan on trynig this place again, though) I suggest you stop by for a beer. It’s one unique bar and a slice of old school New York I hope that never goes away. Okay, on with the crawl.

Okay, time for a lonely walk back down 8th Avenue.

I saw this bar on my way to the Distinguished Wakamba Cocktail Lounge (God, I love typing that name!) and put it in my back pocket in case the Distinguished Wakamba Cocktail Lounge (LOVE typing that name!) didn't work out. It didn't and here we are.

They just called last call at the downstairs bar, but i'm told that there's a rooftop bar that stays open later. So let's go, up on the roof!

Wow, a nice little rooftop oasis.

And a cute bartender at the helm. Vicki serves up an ice cold beer.

There's a good crowd here enjoying the nice weather and the view.

Tables line the rooftop patio perimeter for a drink and a view of the city.

Which is exactly what Erin and Amanda were doing.

This quartet were enjoying beers and happily posed for the 365 camera. From left: Fernando, Natalia, Liliana and Mark.

Meanwhile back at the bar...

I met Mark, Ollie and Andy who are soccer coaches in town from the U,K. Cheers, guys!

This waitress didn't want her name revealed, so we'll call her the Anonymous Waitress.

Jordan and Jeanette were seated next to me and wished me the best on the bar crawl. A really nice couple!

Goodnight, everybody!

Review
The Local Cafe is a hidden gem near Penn Station. The downstairs bar is nice enough with a small bar and communal tables but the big surprise is the upstairs rooftop bar that is open during the spring and summer. It’s a horseshoe bar with a nice view of Penn Station and the surrounding streets and office buildings. The crowd is a mix of tourists and commuters and it’s a big after work draw for those in the know.

They have a full bar with a good selection of draft and bottled beer. They also offer up signature specialty cocktails such as: Dragon Punch which is Bacardi Dragon Berry, Barcardi Select Sour, Orange Juice, Grenadine and Passion Fruit Puree, Garden Breeze which consists of Grey Goose Orange, Pineapple and Cranberry and 3 Sheets which is a mixture of Hendricks Gin, St. Germain, Fresh Lime Juice and Club Soda. There’s food available too incuding: Eight varieties of burgers, hot dogs, boneless wings, calamari and a Local Pu Pu Platter with Red Hot Boneless Wings, Chile Salt Calamari, Ketchup Meatloaf Meatballs, Mini Grilled Cheese and Potato Pancakes.

Stop by and enjoy this bar with a view.

The Local Cafe
1 Penn Plaza (near Eighth Ave.)
212-629-7070