88929803_0582a4092c_m.jpgWe are sick of winter. Even if it is not that cold, we're sick of all the seasonal things- the layering of clothes, the sneezing in public, the lack of roof bars.

Seriously. We miss the drinking plus art of the Met roof garden, we miss the fake fronds, the fake everything really on the roof of the Delancey. But, mostly, we miss that drinking in that rare, only sometimes available space is an option. We do not miss the drunken walk down the stairs. Plummeting to our death was never that romantic of an idea.

Trying to get out of the cold the other evening we wondered if the opposite were true- are there basements that are just open for the winer? Maybe not, but the advantages of a basement area are really in full view at 88 Orchard. More cafe than anything else the wine and beer are affordable (around $5 and $6, respectively) and the building, adjacent to the Tenement Museum, is quirky and full of weird little nooks. And board games! Along the walls of the basement are shelves of board games and the longest, most group-friendly table is also the warmest spot in the place. We played Pictionary and drank Brooklyn lager ($5), hoping it would be at least May when we emerged. It wasn't, but we were happy- it is much harder to fall up stairs than down.

88 Orchard
88 Orchard Street at Broome
(212) 228-8880