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Best NYC Bars for Outdoor Relaxing and Snacking (Plus a Couple Restaurants)

<p>All the high rise construction in Long Island City now has at least one benefit: a new rooftop bar with a spectacular view of the Manhattan skyline. The <a href="http://www.ravelhotel.com">Ravel Hotel Rooftop Bar &amp; Lounge</a>, which opened Monday, boasts 6,000 square feet of drinking space, with a garden terrace, a 40-feet-long bar, DJ, and summertime events like a professional guest cigar roller every Tuesday night, and salsa/samba on Wednesdays. For $25, the hotel will arrange shuttle service from anywhere in Manhattan to Long Island City. </p><p></p><em>Open Monday and Tuesday from 5:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m., Wednesday through Friday from 5:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m., Saturday from noon to 2:00 am., Sunday from 10:00 a.m. (brunch service) to 2:00 a.m. // 8-08 Queens Plaza South, Long Island City</em><br/><br/>


<p>Here's another fancy place with a weird name: The W Hotel on Lexington Ave and 49th Street has decided to let the public into its newly-renovated "Extreme WOW (Presidential) Suites," seventeen stories above midtown. Open on Sundays only, the terraces feature teak flooring, cedar cocoon chairs, reclining chaise lounges, a pool table, and, of course, a cash bar. It's open to all, but if you want in you have to sign up to receive invites and RSVP for admission. Email wny.summersundays@whotels.com to get on the list.<em>Sundays, 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. // 541 Lexington Avenue at 49th Street</em></p>


<a href="http://www.ortine.com/">Ortine</a> is near both the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and the Brooklyn Museum of Art. The spot is cozy, offering the usual suspects: complimentary WiFi, fair-trade coffees, fresh juice, and homemade Kombucha. Ortine's small number of garden seats make it a perfect place to take a break.<em>— Hugh Merwin <p></p>Ortine's garden is open until 10 p.m. nightly // 622 Washington Avenue, Brooklyn // (718) 622-0026</em><br/><br/>



<p>Williamsburg's destination bar <a href="http://www.spuytenduyvilnyc.com/main.htm">Spuyten Duyvil</a> specializes in excellent and obscure beer, wine, and cheese, and now they have a vastly-expanded backyard garden to enjoy it all in. We have nothing to add, except that even when it's packed, there are so many tables that they turn over pretty quickly. Don't be discouraged; drink and hover, drink and hover.</p><p></p><em>The garden's open Sunday through Thursday until 11:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday until 12:30 a.m. // 359 Metropolitan Avenue, Brooklyn // (718) 963-4140</em><br/><br/>


<a href="http://gothamist.com/2008/02/25/sneak_peak_gree.php">T.B.D. bar in Greenpoint </a>isn't new (it opened last year) but its massive, 5,000 square feet backyard garden is. The space debuted Memorial Day weekend, and co-owner Allen Welch tells us the landlord of the former parking lot had been turning down developers for years. It'll be open weekdays until midnight and until 1 a.m. on weekends, though Welch plans to consult with the neighbors after a few days to make sure the noise isn't keeping them up too late. <p></p><em>224 Franklin Street, Greenpoint, Brooklyn // (718) 349-6727</em><br/><br/>


<p>One problem with outdoor drinking is that the management inevitably comes out around midnight to shoo everyone inside. That's not a problem at the massive new <a href="http://www.studiosquarenyc.com/">Studio Square</a> in Long Island City; the sleek and modern twist on the classic beer garden stays open until 4 a.m. nightly. Check out <a href="http://gothamist.com/2009/05/14/studio_square_mother_of_all_beer_ga.php">more photos here</a>. </p><p></p><em>Open Monday through Friday 4:00 p.m. - 4:00 a.m. and Saturday &amp; Sunday 12:00 p.m. - 4:00 a.m. // 35-33 36th Street (between 35th &amp; 36th Avenues), Long Island City, Queens // 718-383-1001 </em><br/><br/>



<p>It's against our better judgment that we tell you about <a href="http://www.thediamondbrooklyn.com/">The Diamond</a>, our favorite hang in all New York. The place isn't that big, but their backyard is perfect, with space for rubber ring toss, tables, and a recovered ski lift ideal for canoodling and sipping one of the many obscure craft beers on the menu. (No spirits, but wine is also available.) The inside is just right too; husband/wife co-owners Dave and Alex Pollack have decorated the space with eclectic lighting, nods to ski trails, and a gorgeous shuffleboard table. But please don't go there—we've become accustomed to finding the ski lift unoccupied. </p><p></p><em>The Diamond is open inside and out Monday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m., Fridays from 5 p.m. to 2:30 a.m., Saturdays from 2 p.m. to 2:30 a.m., and Sundays from 2 p.m to 1 a.m. // 43 Franklin Street, Greenpoint, Brooklyn // (783) 383-5030</em><br/><br/>


(Katie Sokoler/Gothamist)

Katie Sokoler/Gothamist

<p>Besides booze, beer (six on tap), wine, and sake, Williamsburg's <a href="http://nitanitabk.com/">Nita Nita</a> also does brunch and small plates. Jen Carlson had her birthday party there last year and everyone sat outside talking about Obama. Not to name-drop or anything, but the woman who played Becky on <em>Roseanne</em> was there; her boyfriend poked a stick at an enormous spider web, and we thought he was destroying it, but he swore he was just trying to get the spider to move. Anyway, the web survived.</p><p></p><em>Nita Nita's garden is open weekdays until 11 p.m., weekends to midnight. // 146 Wythe Avenue, Brooklyn // (718) 388-5328 </em><br/><br/>


<a href="http://huckleberrybar.com">Huckleberry Bar</a>, your East Williamsburg destination for classic cocktails in the Milk &amp; Honey mold, is also your go-to spot for outdoor drinking and snacking. On weekends they fire up the backyard grill, and everyone shares the good times. <p></p><em>Huckleberry's garden is open until 1 a.m. nightly // 588 Grand Street, Brooklyn // (718) 218-8555</em><br/><br/>


<p>The 48-seat back patio at Vutera includes a semi-private corner nook with a overhead, vine-clogged trellis. Decor succeeds by not trying too hard: antique metal chairs line the space and a big chalkboard lists wines. Molly Del Monte, Vutera's <a href="http://gothamist.com/2009/05/26/molly_del_monte_chef.php">chef</a>, might even personally deliver your food, and on a quiet summer night, the restaurant's proximity to the BQE results in one odd phenomenon: traffic moving through the highway bounces over the space, sounding (if you imagine) a lot like the ocean. <em>— Hugh Merwin <p></p><a href="http://www.liveatrose.com">Vutera</a>'s garden's open until around 11 p.m. nightly, mostly for dining, but sometimes for drinking // 345 Grand Street, Williamsburg // (718) 599-0069</em><br/><br/></p>


<p>The rooftop bar at the <a href="http://www.hotelgansevoort.com/restaurants-bars-lounges/index.cfm">Hotel Gansevoort</a> is usually filled with fratastic tools and gold digging airheads (except maybe when <a href="http://gothamist.com/2008/10/13/prince_plays_hotel_gansevoort.php">Prince is playing there</a>) but after work on a weeknight there's usually plenty of room outside, and the commanding views of the Hudson River and Manhattan are breathaking. Until 7 p.m. on weeknights, they sell their normally overpriced cocktails for 7 bucks. But one recent evening, we found the combination of a hip flask and an inattentive cocktail waitress made everything just rosy in our corner of the terrace. </p><p></p><em>18 Ninth Avenue // (212) 206-6700</em>



<p>A Meatpacking District alternative to the Hotel Gansevoort is just across the street, where the restaurant bar <a href="http://www.5ninth.com/">5 Ninth</a> serves as an inviting antidote to the neighborhood's rampant douchebaggery. Unfortunately, most of the garden is set aside for dining only, but there are a couple tables for tippling, and the bar's tall windows give the place an open feel in the summer. And their happy hour, on weekdays from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., is an oasis of sanity in the land of $8 Stellas. <em>The back garden's open weekdays to 10 p.m., on weekends to midnight. // 5 Ninth Avenue // (212) 929-9460</em><br/><br/></p>


(Hugh Merwin/Gothamist)