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Blue Owl Cocktail Room - 72 Reviews - 196 2nd Ave, New York, NY - Bars, Pubs & Clubs Reviews - Phone (212) 505-2583

Blue Owl Cocktail Room

196 2nd Ave (at 13th Street)
New York, NY 10003
(212) 505-2583
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Main categories:

Bars, Pubs & Clubs

Related categories:

Food & Dining



( 54 )
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Welcoming, comfortable, cool space with what seem to be those rare talented bartenders who really know what they're doing. I've been there on low key nights where it's the best pl...


A few friends and I went on a Wednesday night at around 8pm. The place was relatively empty, decor was cute--though it's ridiculously dark in there. We grabbed a few seats aroun...

Best Martinis Ever! 3/20/2012

When I first arrived with my date, I wasn?t sure what to expect. It was her idea to come here. The cave-like appearance had me going at first, but once inside, the stone walls add to the atmosphere. The service wasn?t the very best but I think it?s because they were jealous of how hot my date was. The single guys got better service?Anyway, I ordered a Cosmo and it was the best damn martini I?ve ever had. I just wish they?d open a place like this near me. more

Natasha and I 1/16/2011

Grace had gone out of town with a guy she had been talking to for a while so I got stuck with Natasha. She is very into her self and we came here and I had a great time with her, better then I thought it would have been. The service was great and the place comfortable. Natasha had gotten a man to get her drinks like always, while I sat back and watched because I am with Nicholas of course, well talking to him and was very happy. More than I had probably shown him. But the I also had caught the bartenders eye and had fun myself too! more

Beautiful space, great service, delicious cocktails 9/30/2010

Welcoming, comfortable, cool space with what seem to be those rare talented bartenders who really know what they're doing. I've been there on low key nights where it's the best place to bring friends to chill, and on super busy nights where the DJ is rocking the place out, and it's quite the scene. Loved it both ways. The service was great, the cocktails awesome, and the overall experience hard to beat. A real find that stands out among the myriad places in NYC. more

Hidden, Cool Spot 9/3/2010

Gotta say that Blue Owl is a hidden gem. Once in a while you find a spot that seems too good to be true - no knuckleheads, cool vibe, excellent cocktails. I hesitate to say too much, lest this spot get discovered and overrun by said knuckleheads ;) Mum's the word, right? Me and my crew claimed one of the corners complete with a couch and cushy chairs. DJ was playing some decent tunes for the most part. Any ways... definitely worth checking out. more

Cute space, TERRIBLE service!!! 3/10/2010

A few friends and I went on a Wednesday night at around 8pm. The place was relatively empty, decor was cute--though it's ridiculously dark in there. We grabbed a few seats around a table shared with another couple until a back seating area opened up for our group. We ordered drinks from a brunette who was easily confused and it took over 20 minutes to get our first round. After finishing those in about 10 minutes, we waited another 15 before we had to get up and go track her down to order more. Place was still relatively empty--there were more people at the bar, but it's not as though she were serving them--so I'm not quite sure what she was doing... After ordering, we waited ANOTHER 20 minutes just to get those drinks. It got to be such a joke that when she finally brought the drinks, I told her to just go ahead and put in the order for the next round now. Sadly enough, despite having pre-ordered our drinks before we had even touched the ones she just dropped off, we finished the round and were waiting about 15 minutes before I went to find her. At that point, our get together was still dead sober and annoyed. Still only about 10 other people sitting in areas for her to serve. WHAT WAS TAKING SO LONG?! I tracked her down again and asked her how long it would be and she responded with a really terrible and rude attitude about how she was ""doing the best I can"" and turned her back on me, so I told her to just forget it and cancel the round and close all our tabs ASAP. Yeah. Took another 15 minutes for her to come around and she only brought me my check, not the checks of the other 4 people at our table. Yup. Another 10 minutes and my friends just got up and asked the bartender to close them out. Needless to say, her tip was not good--I'm usually a 20% for regular service, more for great, and a $1/drink at a standing bar, 20% seated kind of tipper so my $1 tip for my entire experience there should tell just how annoyed and pissed I was. This was just a crap waitress. I used to be a server so I know what it's like to be in a crunch and not be able to please everybody, but it was NOT crowded in there and she obviously didn't know what she was doing or how to manage customers. No attempt to explain why things might be taking so long, just a bad attitude and complete negligence. The horrible service with the drinks didn't even include her really random seating demands of some friends of our group who came a bit later and grabbed another table. Apparently, since they knew us, they couldn't take up another table?? Bizarre! Anyway, it was my first time at Blue Owl and my friends and I will NOT be going back. Ridiculous. Pros: Cute space Cons: SERVICE, SERVICE, SERVICE more

Best Coctails in NYC! 4/20/2009

This place is awesome! The vibe is cool, laid-back and just the right amount of hip and chic. Pros: drinks menu, food, atmosphere Cons: none... more

Great Cocktail Den 4/8/2009

I have been to Blue Owl before...but not since the summer. On Monday they had this amazing party to launch their new cocktail menu. Well everything was just as i expected and more! The crowd was upscale, attractive, and def an after work crowd. The cocktails are just terrific. They are very inventive and not something that you can find anywhere else. I have also been here on a date and it was a perfect atmosphere for that as well. This is really a great place to relax (that is not pretentious) and have a few amazing drinks! Pros: amazing cocktails Cons: did walk past it at first! more

Chic Cocktail lounge 4/8/2009

I went here with my friend and was quite impressed. It is a hidden hot spot. You go down the stairs and are pleasantly surprised. The bartenders and cocktail waitresses are very friendly and attentive. When I was there a Dj was spinning good music and i tried exotic drinks that are the Blue Owls own creations. I had a delish martini made with cucumbers, it was so refreshing. Perfect for the summer. Then I tried a rasberry infused cocktail which was just as delish. I definitely recommend this place for a private party, happy hour, date spot where you can order specialty cocktails and martinis, after work spot. It is great for everything!!! Plus I met the owner which was an added bonus. He is super nice and really cares about his customers :) more

Work Party Magic 3/24/2009

Did you ever go to a decent place just to have a good, normal after-work party with a few acquaintances from work, nothing special? My boss brought us to the Blue Owl after work because he thinks we should bond more as a team. He told us business could be better, and our raises are not going to be so hot. It was a nice gesture, though, and he really chose a nice place. He bought a few rounds for us at the Blue Owl after work and then let us go. It was good for the team, relaxing, and friendly. The Blue Owl was perfect for this. The bartender was warm and friendly, not obnoxious, bright, or pushy. The lounge space was warm, compact, and alive, but there weren't any signs, televisions, or ads. It is a really cool lounge with sweet leather box chairs, a copper bar, and softy couches. Very relaxing, very business, very calm, very friendly. It was so good to feel normal and relaxed with coworkers, too . . . I told my boss we should do this once a month. Pros: Serenity after work Cons: not many more

Professional Party 3/12/2009

The Blue Owl is an upscale lounge, and has live jazz, DJ's, and really good music. I have been there twice, once on the client side, and then on host side. It manages sales parties (our little meetings) very well. It's all about warm business relations, and the Blue Owl is very good at setting that intimate atmosphere. The staff members know what they are doing professionally: open bar parties, food, drinks, cocktails, and coffees. And it's especially cozy for winding up late-night pitches. Great cocktails. Pros: Great staff, excellent music Cons: What are the drawbacks? more

Top Lounge on East Side 3/4/2009

The Blue Owl succeeds in what it attempts. It has the music, it has the cocktails, it has the atmosphere. It's better and warmer than a New York bar. It's cheaper too, for mixed drinks. Great lounge for the dressed-casual professional who likes jazzy / club music. Pros: The bartenders make stiff drinks and keep a good atmosphere. Cons: Not too many cons. Good lounge. more

Blue Owl peace 2/20/2009

Obviously, darkNY could learn something about how to drink, and especially about how to work with a bartender. Bartenders pay for their groceries with their wages, and their rent with their tips. Blueowl bartenders do just fine making a solid drink, but maybe you should know that your you're not in Indiana or Oklahoma or wherever. I tip and I get my cour and dram split just fine on the Friday exhale. Pros: Bartenders pour well. Cons: New York is New York. more

excellent service 6/11/2008

I see this place ranks pretty high on this site. Im not surprised. more

Expectations exceeded 6/2/2008

I have become a bit of a brooklyn hermit these days so when i do brave the other side of the river and toil on the isle of manhattan, i like my endeavor to be worth my venturing out of my neighborhood, and my comfort zone. more

All-round fun 6/2/2008

Went with a group of friends here for a party over the weekend. was so impressed with it. when we arrived we were promptly greeted and shown to our reserved table. the waitress was quick to get our drink orders, despite the crowd, and kept a careful eye on us all night - we never had to wait for a refill. an attractive, pleasant clientele that was fun and not aggressive. even chatted some with the friendly bouncer on the door while i went for my ciggie breaks. our four hours in the blue owl flew by. it was a great night thanks to such a terrific set up. it is a new favorite of mine and my friends, for sure. highly, highly recommend this place. more

Good drinks! 4/29/2008

I haven't been here in a bit but went the other week, really liked the cocktails, I think they change it up during the year. Been getting into Rye Whiskeys lately and they have some fun concoctions with bitters. The bar is nice too if you can grab a seat. I was just with another friend so it wasn't too hard. Service was good, even had a funny back and forth with the bartender. He thought he was funny. Hope they come up with some summerish drinks...! Might try it on a weekday next time, seems like there's a local crew and then weekend folks. Pros: Well made drinks Cons: Might try it on a weekday, a bit crowded for me. more

Blue Owl is a great closer! 4/28/2008

Went to Blue Owl recently on a blind date. Didn't know what to expect but the place came highly recommended by a friend so I suggested to my Nerve date that we meet there. That was the first of many good decisions I made that night. The bartender couldn't have been nicer. Sensing that we were on a blind date he really kept the evening well lubricated with delicious cocktails and a mysterious shot that we both loved. When we moved to a table the waitress was very attentive but gave us enough space to get to know each other better. Pros: Great service and anticipation from the bartenders and servers. Great cocktails. Cons: A little tricky to find... more

Watered down cocktails and absent service. 4/16/2008

This place used to be pretty god but I don?t know what happened. The last time I was there I ordered the same cocktail I?ve always had and the taste was off and it was completely watered down. I politely told the bartender and he told me that they ran out off the infused vodka that was needed to make the drink. Why didn?t he tell me that before making it? So he then suggests something different, ok. It was? alright but still lacking any creativity or enough alcohol to be considered a cocktail. I finish my beverage and ask to pay. He not only made 2 bad drinks but then charges me for both drinks! I guess that is the way they have decided to treat their loyal customers. Admitting to a drink that was prepared wrongly, suggest something in place, and then charge you for both. Honestly it?s kind of sad because it USED to be a great place for a cocktail. Oh well. There are plenty of other places in the neighborhood to go. Pros: the space is still nice Cons: watery drinks, service, bartenders, attitude more

Staff is unbelievably rude 4/5/2008

I haven't done too many reviews in the past but felt compelled after my experience at the Blue Owl. I have never in my life been to a bar or lounge who's staff has so much disdain for its customers. The bartender, some guy with dreadlocks who seemed to utterly loathe his job, made minimal efforts to serve us and when he finally did only spoke to bark the price at us. A drink order was mixed up at one point so I asked to switch it, only to have him angrily tell me that he didn't get it wrong and ""there's no way cosmo sounds like margarita,"" then walk away midsentence when I told him forget it, it was no big deal. To be fair, the next bartender over was completely polite and friendly and happily switched the drink without a hassle. Finally, I put on my hat while I waited to close out my tab and leave only to immediately have the bouncer walk by and tell me to take off the hat. I told him I was signing my tab and leaving, to which he snapped back ""Then leave!"" We were there celebrating a friend's birthday and there were over 20 of us there giving them business and this is how we were treated. Don't go anywhere near this place unless you are looking to be abused by people who would obviously rather be doing something else. Pros: Nice atmosphere Cons: Rude staff, poor service, customers clearly not welcome more

Jazz and Cocktails like nowhere I have seen! 3/15/2008

I have been hanging out at Blue Owl most Sunday, nights for almost a year...Listening to great Jazz and sipping stellar Cocktails. I have heard Straight ahead, avant-gard, Cuban, modern, male and female vocals. Regardless of who is performing it has always been great! There is usually a small cover (last week was $5) which I gladly pay. Pros: Great Live Music On Sunday, Nights! Great Happy Hour! Cons: My girlfriend doesn't like live music. more
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Menu for Blue Owl Cocktail Room

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Owner Message

  • Blue Owl Cocktail Room is the rare bird that features both New York City?s Best Cocktails and Best Parties. Our sexy, plush design and Nightly DJs ensure that you feel the Owl's smooth, easy party vibe from the moment you walk in the door. Blue Owl has been voted winner of "Best Cocktails" for two consecutive years by CityGuide, and our party, "The HUMP", was recently awarded "Best Party in NYC" in the People's Choice Nightlife Awards by, and we were recently hailed as a "Top Wednesday Night Hotspot" by BlackBook Magazine. Blue Owl is about a whole lot of love! A love of good people, good cocktails and good times, and welcomes reservations for private and semi-private parties of 10 to 120.


  • A staircase descent delivers neighborhood night owls into a golden-lit, cave-like cocktail den. Amber spotlights flare against rough stone walls and reflect upon the low bronzed ceilings and...

  • 2/22/2006 Provided by Citysearch

Additional information

  • Hours:

    Sun-Mon 5pm-2am Tue-Sat 5pm-4am
  • Payments:

    Visa, Master Card
  • Neighborhoods:

    Downtown, East Village