The resurgence in "gentleman" culture has worked out well—our clothing has grown up, we've largely chosen quality over quantity when it comes to our sneaker collections, and we've developed a taste for well-made cocktails. Sure, there's a time and a place for all types of drinking (watered down beer and sports go together like Snoop Dog and product endorsements), but when it's time to go out, we take a page from The Playboy Club playbook, and do work in cocktail lounges. Whether you're trying to rock a business associate or kick it to a beautiful lady, check out 5 of the coolest cocktail bars and lounges from around the country. These places will most definitely be able to mix you up a drink to match your swag, or whatever new word the kids are using these days to talk about how awesome you are.
CHICAGOCurio, at Gilt Bar230 West Kinzie StChicago, IL 60654312-464-9544
You know what's cooler than taking a date to a "cool bar"? Taking her to the cooler bar underneath the cool bar. And that's what Curio is, a speakeasy-style spot that's as chill as they come. Curio allows for conversation—the owners keep sound levels reasonable enough that you can hear each other talk, and sometimes they bring in live jazz—and the drinks are top notch. If you're a whiskey drinker you'll be psyched on the selection of ryes, single malts, and bourbons, and if you want something a bit more mixologized, have the bartender pour you something off of the menu of tiki cocktails that they crafted for summer.
MIAMIEl Bolero Room, at The Electric Pickle2826 N Miami AveMiami, FL 33127305-456-5613
If you want a quiet night in Miami, get a boat and drive it 10 miles off shore. But alas, that would be a waste. A gentleman in Miami knows how to party but he also knows how to choose a good drink and to take a few minutes at a Prohibition-era bar before moving to dance-your-face-off mode. El Bolero Room is in the same building as the Electric Pickle, which is also tons of fun, but this upstairs lounge that takes styling cues from a 1946-era officers' lounge gives off that VIP type of feel.
NEW YORKMulberry Project
149 Mulberry St
New York, NY 10013646-448-4536
New York is full of places for the modern gentleman to unwind (or wind up?), and any good man worth his salt knows where to grab a quality cocktail in any given neighborhood. If you find yourself near Little Italy, stop by Mulberry Project, a downstairs bordello-esque mini lounge that mixes cocktails specifically for you. There's no drink menu, just a man behind a bar who can make you anything out of an arsenal of fresh fruits, herbs, spices, and booze. You can try to stump them if that's your thing (it won't work, these guys are really good at what they do), or you can chill, ask for something strong, and enjoy yourself.
BOSTONDrink348 Congress StBoston, MA 02228 617-695-1806
Boston is a town known for beer and fighting. Not fair? Sorry boys, we're not from there, and you know how we feel about you badmouthing our sports teams. Buuuut, we do wind up in the city of drunken angels from time to time, and when we do, we pop by Drink. It's a refreshing alternative to the drunk college girl-filled Irish Pub, and they know how to make a good cocktail. The bartenders make their own ginger beer, so try a Moscow Mule or something like it, you classy fellow, you.
LOS ANGELESThe Spare Room7000 Hollywood BlvdLos Angeles, CA 90028323-769-7296
There are times when you want to do something while you drink, and for Los Angelians, The Spare Room is half bowling alley half most-awesome-lounge ever, and it's the classiest place for a person to have a cocktail while throwing strikes or ordering a bottle of champagne and admiring your better half duke it out with an associate over the finer points of the post-post-post modern art nude photography books on the shelf. This place is an ultra-sheik clubhouse with all kinds of games (including exotic versions of Connect Four and Scrabble) you can use to entertain yourself and your guests, and if you find yourself here, entertain you will. It's located in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, and unfortunately it's just as exclusive as you think. But that's never really been a problem for a modern man of leisure.