For as long as anyone can remember the northwest corner of First Avenue and First Street was held down by Boca Chica, a perfectly pleasant Latin American cantina with solid vegetarian quesadillas and tasty gratis plantain chips. Well, it closed earlier this year for reasons that remain opaque, and now we have The Golden Cadillac, a retro cocktail lounge which you might be tempted to give a kneejerk dismissal, but that would be your loss. The room's new aesthetic is pretty boss, and the cocktails are quite delicious.

The atmosphere evokes the style of a mid-to-late 1970s dive bar, with wood paneling, reflective surfaces, silver stripper poles centering some of the cocktail tables, and swank backlighting. “It was a time best depicted as ‘faded glory’ or ‘sad glamour’,” says bartender Giuseppe Gonzalez, who opened the lounge last week along with cocktail historian Greg Boehm (owner of Cocktail Kingdom). Cocktail options include:

  • Dirty Martini - vodka or gin, dry vermouth, olive brine
  • English LIT - gin, rum, tequila, Early Grey tonic, cinnamon
  • Miami Vice - Frozen Piña Colada with a float of Strawberry Daiquiri
  • Buttery Nipple - whisky, lemon, brown sugar, milk
  • Sour Apple Bellini - House-made Granny Smith apple juice, champagne
  • Banana Nuclear Snaquiri - rum, lime, Jagermeister, Green Chartreuse
  • Hot Grasshopper - crème de menthe, crème de cacao, mint, heavy cream

There's also a small food menu from Chef Miguel Trinidad, who's created a menu of classic New York dishes inspired by vintage editions of Gourmet Magazine. A Hunter's Stew serves four and comes with a loaf of bread, the Shrimp Louie is served on a bed of iceberg lettuce, tomato wedges and Treasure Island dressing, and a comforting bowl in Tomato Soup has grilled cheese bites on the side.

13 First Avenue at the corner of First Street // Open Sunday to Wednesday, 5 p.m. to 2 a.m.; Thursday to Saturday, 5 p.m. to 4 a.m., with plans to launch weekend brunch service later in the fall.