Bar of the Week: Smith and Mills

Jonathan Durbin

Pedigrees don’t come much more impeccable: This enticingly moody Tribeca bar is courtesy of Akiva Elstein and Matt Abramcyk (Beatrice Inn, Employees Only), and serves classy cocktails of the Hoover regime to women with vintage handbags and men who’ve cultivated the facial hair of silent-movie villains. The bar itself is tiny, but so low-lit you’ll hardly notice how small it is. Shadows and 30-watt Edison bulbs are complicit in helping to create a dramatic atmosphere, though the space has plenty of narrative to begin with: Smith and Mills is in a 200-year-old building that once housed a coffee roaster, a seafarers’ inn and a horse stable. The current decor is remarkable, from the drainpipe mirrors behind the bar to the ship blueprints that adorn the walls to the bathroom, which is actually a vintage elevator. Everything seems rusty, which lends Smith and Mills a blue-collar, proletariat feel. They’re open until three a.m., too, so if you’re working in the downtown salt mines of film or publishing, rest easy, you’re all set. The bar offers a menu, as well—oysters, caviar, a charcuterie plate—which only adds to the appeal. Couple all this with the bar’s signage, which is nonexistent, and you have a genuine sensation, the type of place hidden enough to feel secret but well-appointed enough to draw the fashion crowd. 71 N. Moore St., (212) 966-2764.

Photo from Eater.com

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