Night of Joy
667 Lorimer Street, Williamsburg
Rating: 5 out of 5 L's
You can't judge a bar by its cover. Nestled under the BQE, Night of Joy doesn't look like much from the street. There are some lacy curtains in the windows, but the façade is unmarked, save a small neon sign in the front window that alternately flashes the words "Cocktails" and "Joy." But one step inside, and you'll find yourself in the most ladylike bar in the borough. Owners Jennifer Armstrong and Henrietta Paris, who run the Dove Parlour in Greenwich Village, spent a year gutting an old flower shop and transforming it into this stunning shabby-chic lounge. Cozy chaises and ottomans upholstered in vintage fabrics huddle around a marble fireplace. An antique birdcage is suspended from the ceiling, and a Victorian-looking tapestry hangs beside a small shelf of Fabergé eggs. Gorgeous tile-work reminiscent of Persian rugs is built into the hardwood floors. Amber-hued photos, dainty fans, and mirrors—all framed in burnished gold—decorate the wall behind the bar.
Slide into a high-backed swivel chair to peruse the selection of beers on tap, wine by the glass, and signature cocktails. House-made liquor infusions promise unique offerings—and the short ingredient lists for each drink keep the bartenders moving quickly. The rosemary-infused bourbon with ginger and lemon or the simple basil-gin gimlet might not measure up to the mixologist masterpieces at neighborhood cocktail dens like Hotel Delmano or Huckleberry Bar, but there's plenty of scenery to gaze upon while you're sipping. Above a border of ornate crown molding, a mural on the sky-blue ceiling mimics the sweeping celestial scenes overhead at Grand Central Station. In the back room, the walls are swathed in pale aqua avian-printed wallpaper. Beside a pool table, spindly golden bamboo chairs are set around candlelit tables.
But, wait, there's more! A staircase behind the pool table leads to a tiled rooftop patio, where a concrete wall of graffiti offers an industrial backdrop to the pretty patio furniture. For any girly-girls who are already feeling a little verklempt about the over-the-top charm of the indoor décor, you better brace yourselves for this tid-bit: Up here, they've got a frozen margarita bar. Honey, it's time to break out that thrift store dress that screams "Zelda Fitzgerald en route to madness," and start planning your next ladies night, stat. The only quibble about this place? One male patron with questionable self-esteem issues classified the women here as, "Completely out of my league. I had no chance." A word to the fellas: if you wanna party amid the Fabergé eggs and frozen margs, you better bring your A-game.