In a city of superlatives, Bar 54, Manhattan's highest rooftop bar, strives to stand above the rest in more ways than one. Opened in February 2014 on a 54th-floor perch atop the Hyatt Centric Times Square, patrons here can pair handcrafted cocktails with sweeping skyline views spanning the Hudson to East Rivers and over the towers of Times Square. Here's the lowdown on this sky-high watering hole:
The intimate 122-seat indoor/outdoor Bar 54 proposes coveted alfresco seating on an outdoor terrace, complete with outdoor fireplaces, while sleek interiors invite lingering at several window-fronted drinking nooks. Expect mirror-polished ceilings, funky light fixtures, and lots of accent layers of mod-meets-nature glass and wood design. Furnishings feel a bit like what you might expect from a hotel bar, but, of course, it's all about the river-to-river views here, and this primo perch, a teeny oasis atop the hustle-and-bustle of Times Square below, takes up some of Manhattan's most coveted nightlife real estate for after-work crowds and snap-happy tourists alike.
Take your drinking to new heights, as well, with a specialty cocktail menu that far exceeds what you'd expect in the tourist trap Times Square area. Order up craft cocktails driven by seasonal produce and locally distilled spirits (like the Brooklyn-made Dorothy Parker American Gin, from the New York Distilling Company). Try the "Santana’s Sour," a blend of cilantro, jalapeño syrup, pineapple juice, lime, and tequila, or the seasonal "Chai Rye Sour," composed of chai-infused whiskey, lemon, egg white, and star anise.
You can also have punch bowls mixed up for groups of three to four, like the tequila-based "Scarlet Letter Punch," a blend of red wine, orange, cinnamon bark, Licor 43, and lemon. Just be warned, prices are about as steep as the setting—a single cocktail here will set you back $26/person, while punch bowls cost $70 a piece, so choose wisely since the bills can be as breathtaking as the views. You'll find a healthy list of fine wines and bottled beers, too, at somewhat more palatable prices from $14 for a glass of wine, or $12 for a beer.
Sop up that alcohol with some mile-high dining, courtesy of several scrumptious small plate options. Try a sharable charcuterie platter, or dive in on dishes like porchetta sliders, mushroom flatbread, or salmon skewers. Plates range from $14 to $27.
Yes, you may just want to scream about this one from the rooftops, and, well, at Bar 54, you certainly can.
Bar 54 at Hyatt Times Square, 135 W. 45th St. (54th floor); 646-364-1234; timessquare.centric.hyatt.com