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Your Key to Bar SixtyFive

By Karen HudesJun 21 2017
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Editor’s Note: Bar SixtyFive is no longer open to the public. Learn more about reserving Bar SixtyFive for private events here, or purchase a ticket to the Love Above All Ball on June 24, where you can enjoy exclusive cocktails with a view from the Rainbow Room.

If you’re looking for other places to drink around Rockefeller Center, check out City Winery and Other Half Brewing.

Boasting the highest bar terrace in the city, SixtyFive is beyond compare when it comes to NYC nightlife. The handsome lounge, surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows, is charged with energy, the cocktails are sensational and the views are astonishing. It's a hot ticket that never fails to impress, whether you're sharing an intimate evening with a seemingly seen-it-all New Yorker, unwinding with friends after work or entertaining guests from out of town. But before you go, here are some handy tips so you can sail right in and have a fabulous night.

Next door to the Rainbow Room at the top of 30 Rock, SixtyFive is a find in a legendary locale. It's 21-and-up only, and while walk-ins are accepted when there's room, the surest way to go is to book a table in advance. Head here to reserve online, or call 212-632-5000. Know that outdoor tables are only available seasonally, and cannot be guaranteed with a reservation; you'll need to request one when you arrive, and if one is free, the per-person minimum on the terrace is $65. Reserve early for the best odds of nabbing one, beginning at 5pm on weekdays and 4pm Sundays (the bar is closed on Saturdays). That said, sitting inside by the windows or on the loungey couches—or standing and soaking in the vibes right at the heart of the space (where there are central stand-up tables)—is a glorious way to spend an evening too.

You've booked a spot, you've dressed to the nines, now here's where to go. First, you'll enter 30 Rock at 49th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, at the entrance beneath the NBC/Rainbow Room marquee. Next, you'll take the escalator up to the second floor, and walk up to the host stand. (There's also a coat check on this floor.) The staff will direct you to the elevators. Step in and relish the anticipation (plus those lovely Art Deco details) as you zoom up to the 65th floor. When you've reached the top, turn right, walk down the hall, and you'll be greeted at the door to Bar SixtyFive.

No matter who you are, those views are a thrill. Once you settle in and glance over the menus, you might go for a classic—such as a world-class Manhattan—or something refreshing like a 1915 Gin & Tonic or a Pomegranate-Blood Orange Sparkler. There are also group-friendly punches and pitchers, like the Amburana Caipirinha and the passionfruit- and pineapple-tinged Pisco Punch. Also check out the champagnes, by-the-glass wines, and rare spirits, as well as local beers and ciders. To eat, think small bites like oysters, short rib sliders, crostini, and Kobe pigs-in-a-blanket; charcuterie, cheese, and other boards for two or more to share; and full main dishes ranging from beer-battered fish 'n' chips to pan-roasted free-range chicken to an over-the-top burger topped with grilled Maine lobster. Desserts and after-dinner drinks complete the picture, while the polished, genuine service is the icing on the cake.

There's not a bad seat in the house, whether you're on the terrace or in the lounge. To the south, you'll come face-to-face with the Empire State Building, joined by Midtown landmarks, rivers, and bridges, with the Statue of Liberty further in the distance. To the north you'll see Central Park in all its splendor, with vistas rolling out past the Tappan Zee Bridge. Sip your way through sunset to a sparkling nighttime skyline. And while you're swooning to the sights, don't miss the beautiful people all around you—they're the ones who really make SixtyFive shine.

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