Published on July 31st, 2012 | by Dipsology


Raines Law Room

Named after Raines Law – which prohibited the sale of alcohol on Sundays, except in hotels, in the late 1800’s  – Meaghan Dorman’s speakeasy type bar is one of the best of its kind.  Located in an unmarked building on 17th Street, to get in, ring the bell and put your name on the list (which can top 2 hours). Once you enter, you’ll be escorted to a banquette partitioned from the rest of the room by sheer black curtains, or any one of the mismatched, tufted sofas and chairs that spot the rest of the room.  If you’re really lucky, you might be able to wait in the kitchen for a brief spell if your table isn’t quite ready, and there you can watch the bartenders perform a tightly choreographed dance preparing drinks.  In a quirky, whimsical touch, the waiters will not bother you unless you specifically request it, via the bell at your table.  The menu is classic, and extensive, punctuated by new staff creations that don’t disappoint.

Who: A date to impress, small group of friends

What: How do we choose? All of it is fantastic, although when we’re feeling particularly flush we splurge on the Ritz Champagne Cocktail

When: Earlier, the better to get on the waiting list and score a table

Pro tip: If there is a long list at the door, there are a few good spots nearby where you can wait, including Rye House across the street, or Flatiron Lounge on 19th St.

Good for:  Romantic date – Quiet drinks with friends – Impressing people – Hidden entrance – Outdoor seating

Reservations: Accepted Sunday-Tuesday only  |   Max Group Size: 6
Food: Bar Snacks   |   Wine: Yes  |   Beer: Yes



48 West 17th St
between 5th & 6th Ave

no phone

Website     Email


Mon-Thurs 5pm-2am
Fri-Sat 5pm-3am
Sunday 7pm-1am


Photo credit: Caroline Voagen Nelson


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