A new West Village bar opening next week wants to bring the cocktail back down where it belongs, with folks just looking to have a good time without any pretension. The Happiest Hour, a collaboration between Acme's Jon Neidich and Pegu Club/NoMad Hotel veteran Jim Kearns aims to be a "throwback to an era defined by vibrancy and optimism," as explained by Neidich. "Having a cocktail at the end of the day was something to be enjoyed, but not taken seriously. It was when tiki bars, country clubs and soda fountains offered diversion and community."

They'll accomplish their goals with a bi-level space, the main floor of which contains a horseshoe bar with room for 15, plus a dining area with additional seating for imbibing and eating. Expect a soundtrack of rock and soul for the funky upstairs, which also features jaunty wallpaper adorned with palm trees. Groovy, man. Downstairs, a more intimate area channeling an early era; think Ella and Gladys on the speakers, a terrazzo floor and a tiny cocktail bar for six.

Keeping with the everyman angle, the upstairs bar offers a "You Pick 'Em, We Pour 'Em" attitude, with customizable cocktails depending on one's spirit of choice. Much-maligned vodka isn't shunned for trendier whiskies; the staff is happy to substitute vodka into any of their signature cocktails ($12) or simply choose from one of their suggested spirits. The Little Red Dress, made with strawberry, cocoa and soda would go well with rum, red or sparkling wine, or keep it simple with the clear stuff. Classic cocktails ($12) include a Old Fashioned and a Tom Collins; American ($5), Imported ($7) and Craft ($8) beers plus a manageable wine list of Good, Better, Best or Sparkling round out the booze selections.

Food offerings are small but ideal for imbibing multiple spirit-based drinks in one evening. Nosh on sandwiches like a BLT ($10), Grilled Cheese ($8) and a Classic Burger ($8) with American cheese. Sides include the requisite fries, plus coleslaw, grilled corn, chips & dip and other classic Americana fare.

121 West 10th Street

Happiest Hour Menu