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Best Cocktail Bars: 1534

April 8, 2011

Finding an amazing cocktail bar is like meeting a new girl, buying the car you always wanted or scoring the perfect shirt: your eyes go wide, your pulse quickens and your senses fire all at once. It’s a rare thing but you know it’s right the moment you feel it.

To meet our mission of freeing the world from bland, boring cocktails and bland, boring cocktail bars, we at Denizen want to share our discoveries of some of the best cocktail bars. In this, the first of our monthly Best Cocktail Bars feature, we profile a new hidden outpost of the mixology (and French) revolution: 1534. We’ll share review of its Atmosphere, Mixology and Events.


Best Cocktail Bar 1534 Design

1. You must enjoy yourself here.

3. Do not sit quietly at the bar . You must engage in conversation.

4. We drink to be merry not to be boring.

7. Never pass up a free shot from a staff member.

These are some of the posted rules of 1534: a new discovery on the NYC cocktail scene quickly becoming famous for its mixology and the friendliness of its mixologists. Hidden away beneath Jacques restaurant in Nolita, this low-ceilinged charmer is named for the year Jacques Cartier sailed for North America and it celebrates the French colonization of the world (the English had a bigger empire but the French did it with more style).

Being a free citizen of the world and born in three countries, we at Denizen salute this noble mission and how they have brought it to life with a warm, gorgeous decor complete with vintage shakers. Check your pretensions at the door though because they left the attitude back in France. Here you’ll find the warm, friendly France (think Polynesia).


Best Cocktail Bars Mixology

Not only are these some of the nicest mixologists you’ll meet but they are also the most professional. The drink menu is organized around the areas of French colonization: the Americas, Africa and French Polynesia. It all works thanks to the skill of the people behind the bar such as managing partner and mixology guru Justin Noel. You might also find Willy Shine, Justin’s co-founder of Contemporary Cocktails. The drinks are artfully prepared and presented with touches of flair such as hibiscus flowers and beautiful ice shaped to fit the contours of your lowball glass.


Any day is a great excuse to go because 1534 was just named as one of 2011′s Best Bars for Seasonal Drinks but their drive to return the craft of tending bar back to the heights it once enjoyed is best brought out by Roustabout; a guest bartender series Wednesdays at 8 (check their Facebook feed here) which brings in top mixologists from around the city and around the globe. If you want to see the best at the top of their game behind a great bar, this is the event for you.

If, however you just want to get your freak on, try Funksexy Soul Fridays and live by the final rule:

“8. Bad decisions are celebrated, not condemned.”

Best Cocktail Bar Event 1534

You can find 1534 at 20 Prince Street between Elizabeth & Mott

Or at

Next Month: Bar 44

Got a favorite bar? Or been to 1534? Comment below and free your thoughts!

One Response to “Best Cocktail Bars: 1534”

  1. I’m looking for tips on the best rum bars in Puerto Rico. Places that’ll stand behind their drinks and have a character and attitude all their own. Any suggestions?

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