My Favorite NYC Date Bars with Fireplaces

Here’s the deal, there are countless lists out there that aggregate all the bars in NYC with fireplaces, and they’re cool and all, but have the people writing those lists actually been there. More importantly, have they actually been there on a date? Sure, Zombie Hut has a fireplace, but I wouldn’t actually take a date there. No shade to Zombie Hut, but it’s more of a “let’s get rowdy with friends” sort of bar to me. I’ve seen dates happen there, and if you like drinking scorpion bowls on dates, it’s definitely a date spot for you.

There are tons of bars in NYC with fireplaces, but in order to avoid making this list a rehash of the 100+ “bars with fireplaces” lists out there, I’m only listing bars I’ve actually been to on dates at, platonic or otherwise. You’ll notice that the bars are in similar areas and it’s because I rarely if ever go on dates in the Bronx, Staten Island, Queens, Anything North of 23rd St in Manhattan, and so on. Sorry folks, no shade to bars in those areas either though. Without further ado, here’s MY Favorite NYC Date Bars with Fireplaces.


Ninth Ward

Where: East Village

Pros: 2 for 1 drinks until 8pm everyday

Cons: The aforementioned 2 for 1 special makes it a pretty popular date spot and it may occasionally be hard to get a seat.

Ninth Ward is a NOLA themed bar in the East Village that is maybe the bar I’ve been on the most dates in. The lighting in the bar is perfect for dates, the decor gives off a “this is a nice date spot” vibe, and the prices wont break the bank. They have a full kitchen that serves New Orleans themed bar fare (burgers, po’boys, fried pickles, etc) and have a pretty decent beer list as well. There is outdoor seating in the back, several booths that have curtains, you know, for privacy ;), and a fireplace directly across from the bar so you can hang around it fairly unobstructed by seating. There’s lots of standing room, lots of seating, and I did I mention the 2 for 1 drink special? Of course I did! Obviously I’m a big fan of the two-fer deal but more importantly, they set you up with these awesome wooden chips on your first drink that you have to trade in for your second. Full disclosure: I’ve kept my free drink token on numerous occasions because of how cool they look. I’m a sucker for a good fleur-de-lis.

Fun fact: There are three bathrooms in this fine establishment. Their names? “Sex”, “Drugs”, and “Rock and Roll”. Choose your water closet wisely.

 

The Back Room

Where: Lower East Side

Pros: In terms of style and presentation, this is one of the better bars on this list. This bar looks gorgeous.

Cons: High cost, can get exceptionally crowded, pretty sure you can’t wear fur here (not kidding)

While speakeasy bars focused on cocktails are no longer the phenomenon they were in the early 2000’s (ugh, I hate myself for even acknowledging this), The Back Room remains one of the best “speakeasy” type bars out there. It’s highly stylized in both its decor as well as it’s presentation of its cocktails. Who serves drinks in tea cups? The Back Room does. If you’re looking for a date venue that says to your date “I am both cool and in the know and don’t mind spending $15 for a drink” The Back Room is the spot for you. The fireplace is surrounded by seating, so unless you get there early, or on an off-night, don’t expect to warm yourself by the fire. The Back Room should not be confused with Dark Room, a nearby dark, basement bar that is quite frankly, very sketchy (It’ll go on the “My favorite sketchy bars where you’ll get offered coke by a wannabe gangster with two prostitutes on his arms” list for sure)

Fun fact: Besides the whole “they serve cocktails in tea cups and they serve beers in paper bags” thing the one major feature a newbie might not realize about this bar is that the entrance is nondescript and leads toward an alley. It’s a basement entrance manned by a bouncer right next to another great bar (Nurse Bettie). It looks like the entrance to a sketchy bar but I promise you, the gruff bouncer and creepy alleyway entrance are worth it.

 

Hot Bird

Where: Clinton Hill

Pros: No frills fun

Cons: CASH BAR 🙁

Besides the fact that it’s a cash only spot, I can’t think of a bad thing to say about Hot Bird. It’s a very chill atmosphere, like if your chillest friend who had outdoor space that used to be an auto-shop setup a space with picnic tables and invited everyone they knew. That’s Hot Bird. If your date likes low-key fun, this could be your spot. The “fireplace” is actually an outdoor fire pit, but whatever, tomato, tomahto, right? They’ve got some decent cocktails, and a food truck, so what’s not to love about this place. Besides being cash-only. The do have an ATM on-site, so I guess that’s worth noting.

Fun fact: Okay, maybe not so much a fun fact for some people, but Hot Bird banned babies. Seriously, no babies allowed. If you’re planning on bringing a date and doing a Brady Bunch thing where you incorporate the families, this might not be the bar for you.

 

Shoolbred’s

Where: East Village

Pros: Two for One drinks, amazing free bar snacks

Cons: Sort of on the small side, so if it’s crowded it’s REALLY CROWDED

An unassuming East Village fireplace bar that’s a step above a dive bar, but a step below a cocktail lounge. Yes, the beers are good and yes, the cocktails are good, and yes, the ambience is good, but this place doesn’t scream “This place is impressive” so much as “this is a very solid spot”. It’s a bit on the small side in terms of seating and standing space, but Shoolbred’s charming as all hell. You can’t beat a two-fer obviously, but they also serve one of the best bar snack out there. It’s fried, seasoned with some sort of spicy red spice, and it is, quite literally, the perfect snack for when you’ve had one too many 2 for 1 beers. Apparently, it’s a Scottish themed bar which I just realized after years of going here. I guess that explains the pictures of old white dudes in kilts on the walls. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.  Anyway, standard bar fare, nothing particularly Scottish about it, unless the Scots are big on quesadillas and I’m just ill-informed, and the fireplace is surrounded by pretty beautiful leather seating that you’ve got a good chance of sitting  in Shoolbred’s is usually the first stop for a lot of people’s East Village night out.

Fun fact: A Tony award-winning set designer designed the decor at Shoolbred’s.

a casa fox

Where: Lower East Side

Pros: Absolutely delicious food. Seriously. Try a mini-empanada and thank me later

Cons: You might like small plates, but I don’t so it’s a CON. Deal with it, it’s my list.

More restaurant than bar, but small and low-key enough to function as a date spot is a casa fox in the Lower East Side. Here’s the deal, I love good food and drink so I’m okay taking a date here, even though I’m not the biggest fan of dinner dates or the whole small plates model. That’s how good this place is. If you’re doing a date in the Lower East Side and want good food, a fireplace, and reasonably priced drinks without feeling like you’re in a “scene”a casa fox is a great choice. The fireplace is close to 3 different tables so you might get lucky and be able to get toasty by the fire while enjoying some mini-empanadas, which I’d highly recommend.

Fun fact: They are one of the few places I can think of that stocks a Nicaraguan rum named “Flor de Cana”. You should try it, in moderation of course.

CAMP

Where: Carroll Gardens

Pros: IT LOOKS LIKE A FUCKING SUMMER CAMP INSIDE! ALSO, S’MORES!

Cons: Minimal seating, some of which is very low to the ground which sucks when you’re 6’2” tall.

Okay, setting aside the obvious appeal of a bar that looks like a summer camp and all the nostalgia that comes along with it, this is a solid bar with a great fireplace. The beer selection is pretty good, the drinks are strong, and if you couldn’t tell by my enthusiasm, the s’mores are a big hit. Here’s how it works: they give you the ingredients for s’mores, then they scoop the flammable hydrocarbon jelly out of a sterno can and place it in a stone bowl, light it, AND YOU MAKE YOUR S’MORES AT A BAR IN BROOKLYN. If that doesn’t sound amazing to you we can’t be friends. If you can think of a bar that lets you make s’mores while drinking beer, I’m all ears. (Seriously, I legit want to know if there are more bars like this).

Fun fact: I dunno how I can top “looks like a summer camp” and “s’mores” but they’ve got board games, and have a dedicated karaoke night on Tuesday, and a big ass canoe in the bar.

Union Hall

Where: Park Slope

Pros: It’s like the bar version of a mullet. Nice bar in the front,  party in the back.

Cons: If I had to pick any cons it would be that it’s sort of out of the way for me to get to because I need to go toward Manhattan, then transfer to a train going the opposite direction. I’m just being nitpicky though.

What can I say about Union Hall that could possibly convey how cool I think this place is? Well, as I mentioned above, Union Hall is sort of like a mullet. When you enter the bar, you’re treated to a very cool bar scene. Fireplace, wall of bookshelves, long bar counter, and luxurious leather seating. In the back? Indoor bocce ball court and a comedy and music venue downstairs! I’ve been to more than a few shows in the basement including: 90’s sing along party, a comedy show where we had a surprise performance by an SNL cast member, and I’m pretty sure I saw an improv show here but you know, memories are hazy. Drinks are reasonable priced, with a fairly big selection of beers on tap as well as bottles, the space is great because even when it’s crowded it’s not “crowded”, and there’s almost always a fun thing happening downstairs. This place makes for a great date venue as well as just hanging with friends.

Fun fact: This place is huge. Like 5,000 square feet huge. Also, an amazing taco truck sits right outside and it’s worth trying at least once.

Bluebird

Where: Prospect Lefferts Garden

Pros: Besides all the things I’m about to list, this bar is steps away from the Q train, the Franklin Avenue shuttle which connects with the 2,3,4,5, and C line, is close to the Brooklyn Zoo,  Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Prospect Park, and some of the best places in NYC to get doubles and jerk chicken. Also, walking distance for me 🙂

Cons: They close at 11pm 🙁

I can almost guarantee that none of the other fireplace bars lists in NYC included this gem, so suck it THRILLIST! Not that Bluebird doesn’t deserve a spot on those lists, because trust me, it’s a great spot. First, a caveat, it’s more of a “restaurant with a bar and venue space” than strictly a “bar” but trust me, this spot is awesome. Besides the fact this is a neighborhood spot for me, this is also legitimately a great date spot. I’ve only ever gotten drinks here, but apparently the food is awesome. There’s outdoor space (maybe not ideal for winter, but it wont be winter forever beloved), a downstairs space where dance parties/live music/comedy shows happens, a fireplace, a pool table, and some very well priced beers, wine, and cocktails, and very cheap brunch cocktails. I’m a sucker for $5 Bloody Mary’s if we’re being honest here.

Fun fact: The space currently occupied by Bluebird was for awhile occupied by a West-Indian lounge called “Prestige Lounge” which apparently had some crazy wild parties going on. Seriously, this guy made a promotional video for his birthday there and it sounds awesome, and apparently they had at least one night of “adult entertainment” where folks were encouraged to bring singles.

So there you have it. I’d love to hear about your favorite bars with fireplaces, because dates are tough when you’re shivering. If you choose one of these spots, let me know how the date goes.

Good Luck Out There.

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