by Mo Brady
On a recent rainy summer night, I dipped into Winnie’s Jazz Bar to escape the inclement weather. Armed with a drenched umbrella and a cocktail, I sought refuge from the kind of uncomfortable summer weather that only the City can offer. But what I found was an idyllic enclave.
Located inside the Refinery Hotel, Winnie’s Jazz Bar is more like an artist’s den than a hotel bar. The dim lights and the wood paneled walls felt like the perfect escape from the bustling city. When I attended, the room was bustling with young professionals and tattoo-covered visitors in slick attire enjoying the darkened vibe of the room.
The vibe was chill but buzzing as the room never stopped flowing with new attendees to enjoy the music and atmosphere. Dark green velvet drapes and warm wooden walls give the space a cozy vibe, as if to transport us back to Gatsby-era NYC. While it wasn’t easy to find an easy seat, I was able to relax into a darkened corner while couples conversed around me.
As a Broadway lover, Winnie’s instantly felt like home. From its Main Stem-themed artwork in the restrooms to its steady stream of standards from the Golden Age, it’s the perfect spot for anyone looking to elevate their night visiting the Great White Way.
Living up to its name, Winnie’s features live Jazz Music to entertain the bustling room. The trio of musicians at the center of the room kept the crowd entertained with their performance. The lively renditions of standards kept the energy high but relaxed, like a room could sink into for hours. Playing songs including the Gershwin’s’
“Someone to Watch Over Me,” the room felt suspended in time. The set list flowed as the drinks poured, providing the perfect environment to settle into conversation.
Attentive servers grazed the room, knowledgeably offering suggestions to the clientele. The couple next to me ordered a bourbon flight featuring three bourbons on a custom board, complete with ice tray. The three sniffers, including local favorite Hudson Baby Bourbon Whiskey, each looked ripe for the tasting.
I could have stayed at Winnie’s for hours, indulging in the relaxed ambiance and delicious cocktails. While plans required me to head out once the wet weather let up, Winnie’s is definitely a place I intend to return when I have more time to relax and disappear into its timeless haven.