The h.wood Group
The h.wood Group
There are thousands of bars in the US, and while you can certainly buy a drink at any of them, what you can't do is buy that drink next to one of Hollywood's hottest celebrities. And that's where we come in. After putting in quite a bit of "research," we've come up with our top picks off-the-radar bars for both boozing and celeb spotting. Check out our favorite spots:
1. Bootsy Bellows: This '60s-inspired lounge in Aspen is named after David Arquette's mom, a burlesque dancer and pinup model. It brings Hollywood glam to the snow having opened its doors in 2013 with a star-studded bash hosting celebs like Paris Hilton and Kris Jenner.
2. Shore Bar: We're on a boat, or at least if feels like it! This nautical inspired Santa Monica venue has become quite the scene—Brody Jenner kicked off his DJ residency back in February, and we've spotted celebs like Nicole Richie, Orlando Bloom, and Hilary Duff all hanging out at this "home away from home" as the H.Wood Group owners likes to call it. Plus, the drink menu is constantly changing—Adam Koral, H.Wood Group's food and beverage specialist, creates treats based on fresh ingredients sourced from the farmers' market. The market fresh margarita is a must-try!
3. 27: This super-secret Atlanta spot has seen the likes of Selena Gomez, Usher and Blake Shelton. You'd never know it even existed unless you knew the right person to ask (the owner) because there is no sign on the building. Antico Pizza owner Giovanni di Palma opened 27 with a celeb friendly vison in mind. You're not going to get fancy cocktails here, but you'll enjoy good wine and aged scotch.
4. Break Room 86: Located in L.A.'s Korea Town neighborhood, this '80s-inspired karaoke bar opened less than six weeks ago and is already one of the hottest bars in the city attracting the likes of Robert Pattinson and fiancée FKA twigs. Owners Mark and Jonnie Houston wanted to take us back to the days of cassette tapes, Pop Rocks and videogames. The Houstons have also brought in special guest DJs—Chris Hayden and Rob Ackroyd of Florence and the Machine recently stopped by for a surprise sets.
5. The REC Room: This hotspot first opened inside Amy Sacco's No. 8, one of NYC's most exclusive restaurants in Chelsea and has taken on a life of its own having opened stand-alone locations in Miami Beach, plus a soon-to-be-opened spot in Aspen. LDV Hospitality has created a space that feels like you've been transported back to the '70s; they play nostalgic tunes from Van Halen and The Kinks. One of the best drinks to try is the Raspberry Rumble, which is made with Casamigos tequila, raspberries, lime juice, simple syrup and topped with champagne. Yum! Although getting into this place can be tough, once inside you may see one of the world's biggest stars: Jay-Z, Cara Delevingne and Rihanna have all visited The REC Room.
6. Boom Boom Room: Atop the legendary Standard Highline, this bar has made quite the name for itself as being one of the tightest doors in NYC. A strict dress code is enforced, so don't expect to wear jeans or sandals. You must dress to impress as you'll be among NYC's A-listers: Beyoncé, Kristen Stewart and Kim Kardashian have all partied here.
7. Sister Louisa's Church of the Living Room & Ping Pong Emporium: First off, how awesome is the name of this place?! Known as "Church" to the Atlanta locals who frequent this celeb friendly hide-a-way, this 2,100-square-foot loft has opened its doors to stars like Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson and Lady Gaga. Owner Grant Henry has hundreds of paint-by-number religious paintings adoring the walls, plus there are statues of Jesus, vintage bowling trophies and ping pong décor.
8. Warwick: The magic behind this chic Hollywood watering hole comes from events legend Jeffrey Best and nightlife mavens Sylvain Bitton and JT Torregian. Two years after opening, this two-story place is still hot as ever. Rita Ora, Miley Cyrus, Brad Pitt, Kings Of Leon, Jessica Simpson and Sarah Hyland all have been seen here.
9. Ysabel: Harry Styles first introduced us to this hidden West Hollywood gem when he celebrated his 21st birthday back in February with Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Martin and Kendall Jenner before it had even opened. You won't see any signs on the building—which is intentional—but that hasn't stopped the crowds from lining up in droves.
10. Bounce: With two NYC locations this place is the sports bar in the city. Bounce regularly hosts theme nights—Sunday Funday is not to be missed. One of their signature drinks is appropriately called The Shaun White—yes, after Olympian Shaun White—it's made with Stoli Vodka, Herradura Tequila, rum, fresh lime and ginger beer. Celebs like Leonardo DiCaprio, Big Sean and Drake have been known to party here.
11. Blind Barber: The speakeasy-style bar is definitely finding popularity again, but if we're keeping things old school, then we have talk about The Blind Barber, secret entrance and all! Its first location opened in the East Village in New York City back in 2010. Owner Josh Boyd wanted to create something different, not just a place to drink a handcrafted cocktail but a place to get a drink and a shave. Thankfully ladies (and gents who prefer keeping their scruff!) don't need to purchase a shave to drink in this hip barbershop—after 6 p.m. the barbershop portion closes and the speakeasy opens. Both the L.A. and NYC locations have become quite the hangout of stars like Jonah Hill, Leighton Meester, Aziz Ansari and Aisha Tyler, who stops by the Blind Barber while the hosts of Esquire's Best Bars In America visit on tonight's episode!
Best Bars In America airs on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on Esquire.
(E! and Esquire are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)