Glass savours swish cocktails at Ophelia – NYC’s new rooftop lounge

PEOPLE go crazy for a good view and all the more so when seeking out dining experiences. Ophelia, a very charming cocktail bar that recently opened on the east side of Manhattan, is set 26 storeys high and offers 13-foot windows that boast 360-degree views of the bustling metropolis below it. So, come for the views – but also for the delicious drinks that are the brainchild of star mixologist Amir Babayoff.

Ophelia has an impressive history from which to evolve: in an earlier iteration, it was a favourite spot of Frank Sinatra (then known as the Top of the Tower bar) and the current art deco interiors, all checkerboard floors and dark navy walls, recreate a cool jazz age ambiance. Similarly, being situated in the Beekman Tower gives the space a certain weightiness. The stunning landmark building opened nearly a 10 years ago, in 1928, spearheaded by Emily Eaton Hepburn as a residence and clubhouse for working women in the city.

Ophelia, New YorkCity views at Ophelia, New York

The space is organised into discrete sections, providing various seating options. The central 24-foot-long pewter bar is an impressive first sight after the elevator doors open, buffered by velvet stools and vintage lights. The circular greenhouse terrace area (which absolutely feels novel) is where you’ll find the skyscraper views, yet there is cosy feeling created by banquet seating and surrounding foliage.

Ophelia, New YorkPrivate dining at Ophelia, New York

To top it off, there are two outside balconies which provide nice breathing space – when Glass recently visited, there was a pleasant hum of revelers enjoying the warm evening. As well as this, Ophelia offers an intimate private dining room that seats up to eight. You’ll spot it after coming out of the elevator  it’s a gorgeous little nook that would be perfect for any party.

Ophelia, New York The grand bar at cocktail lounge Ophelia, New York

Speaking of parties, the drinks on Ophelia’s menu are definitely worth celebrating. In reverence of the bar’s heyday in the 1920s and ‘30s, Amir Babayoff has touched on this period to concoct some truly exciting flavours. Start with the Beekman’s Classic Martini, which has an interesting addition of herbs de provence and a garnish of caperberries. Then, for some pleasing floral tones, go for the White Lightning, which places whiskey with lychee liqueur cointreau and rambutan.

Ophelia, New YorkSmoky cocktails – Ophelia’s Ascension

The star of the show, though, may be Ophelia’s Ascension, which is made with activated charcoal, bourbon, smoked pepper-infused mezcal and aromatic bitters, all of which are topped off with smoke burned from cedar wood. A drink like this is a sure sign of Ophelia’s reign. For first-rate libations within opulent environs, this is clearly the place to be.  

by Derby Jones

Ophelia, 3 Mitchel Place, 26th Floor, New York, NY 10017
Tel: +1 212 123 4567
Follow Ophelia on Instagram


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