Bar Tab: Double Chicken Please, New York

If the candy stores of the Lower East Side served as clubhouses to the working boys of early 20th-century NYC, then perhaps Double Chicken Please – whose front room is also decked out with brass taps dispensing sparkling sustenance – is aiming to be the 21st-century equivalent for the finance bro. With prohibition nothing but a dusty memory, the seasonal sodas now most often come with an Asian-inspired kick. A recent #4 featured Shochu, lemongrass, gentian and plum green tea; while a recent #7 was gin, seaweed, kaffir lime and elderflower. They help to keep the deal talk flowing while Looney Tunes’ The Booze Hangs High plays on TV screens mounted on the polished concrete walls and chicken-hatted servers roam with trays of fried snacks. The back room (endearingly(?) known as The Coop) however, has a different vibe (and usually now a 45-minute or longer wait – being crowned 2023’s Best Bar in North America can do that to a place). Here you’ll find the comestible-inspired recipe hacking that first brought co-founders GN Chan and Faye Chen to global attention. Drinks like Cold Pizza (Tequila, Parmigiano Reggiano, burnt toast, tomato, honey, basil and egg white) and Japanese Cold Noodle (rum, pineapple, cucumber, coconut, lime and sesame oil) are sipped by, well, mostly tourists and influencers these days, to be honest. It doesn’t seem like anyone is escaping the persecution of the corner policeman – not that the LES has too many of those anymore – or the travails of a factory-based day job, but the conviviality of the space survives. Just supplied by Tinder dates and ‘Best Bars’ completionists instead of just young men and boys loafing about. Ray’s Candy Store in the East Village has just turned 50 and on the Upper East Side, The Lexington Candy Shop will turn 100 next year. But on Allen Street, the new kids are taking over (and queuing round) the block. (115 Allen Street, New York City. @doublechickenpleasenyc). Read more Bar Tabs here.