One day the 2010s will be characterized as the decade of the throwback. Keanu Reeves popularity is peaking, every advertisement is some variation of “and with a bold new take on the original…”, and Elton John is on tour. Movie franchise reboots, vintage t-shirts, the resurgence of the record player; the desire to recapture the art of the past decades is at an all-time high.
The hospitality industry has followed suit as bars deliver all the time-honored favorites with new twists and takes. While some places try and fail at capitalizing on this collective nostalgia, others manage to hit that sweet spot in the blending of past and present.
Recreation, the little under a year old lounge in the Moxy NYC Downtown, can be held as a standard for how “rebooting” the past should be done. Located in the Financial District, the bar incorporates a mix of 60s/70s decor and activities – all spruced up with the trappings of modern day tech and glamour.
Neon lighting, vinyl records covering the wall, and the altogether living room feel of the space give the bar it’s retro vibe while still feeling cutting edge enough to attract a young clientele. A co-working space by day and a bar by night, it checks off all the boxes for young professionals seeking a unique way to work and to drink.
The real attraction of Recreation though is in the name, and this is where the bar far outperforms it’s FiDi competition. From the Pac-Man machine, to the Skee Ball bowlers, to the shuffleboard table – topped off with a basketball half-court where diners can shoot around, the lounge far surpasses any expectations for entertainment.
Subsidizing this unique environment is the cocktail menu created by NoMad Hotel and Pegu Club alum Jim Kearns. Fitting with the theme, the drink choices range from elevated screwdrivers, to spiked punch bowls, to Recreation riffs on classics like mojitos, old fashioneds, and mules all tapped from a keg.
The instagram-worthy cocktails are generously poured and go down quickly as you sit and listen to local DJ’s who perform Thursday-Saturday nights. Hitting a modest price point in the Financial District can be tricky, but the bar remains approachable in price so that you’ll while away long hours on its games.
Whether you make it to Recreation for the hotel, to work, or to drink – the space will be sure to suck you in for some cocktails, bites, and games. The best part of Recreation is when people describe it as either retro or modern – and are both right.
26 Ann Street, New York, NY 10038 (at the Moxy NYC Downtown); www.moxynycdowntown.com/recreation
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