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Employees Only: The Success of the Faux Pimm’s Cup

Last night, I finally had a Pimm’s Cup on this side of the pond that was halfway decent. Applause for the mixologists at Macao Trading Company’s older sister Employees Only. Let me caveat with this was not a proper Pimm’s Cup– it didn’t have enough oomph or sparkle, yet unlike so many of the failed attempts I’ve suffered through so far, this Pimm’s Cups actually tasted GOOD.

The unexpected and thrilling success in finding a workable Pimm’s Cup automatically gave me a wonderful first impression of Employees Only and gave me good reason to put this spot high on my list of places to frequent again and again.

Regardless of the Pimm’s Cup and the fact that I was lucky enough to be with a supremely amusing group of individuals, Employees Only is just plain and simple a really great place to go for drinks and a late night dinner. Intimate, dark, crowded but not too crowded, the railroad space charmed me from the get go. The bartenders are all friendly and competent, wearing chefs jackets denoting their expertise. In the back, there are limited tables for food, which, in the same vein as Macao, is delicious. The steak tartare is some of the best I’ve had in the city, the cavatelli is absolutely divine (rich! flavorful! cheesy!), and the rib eye is hearty and well-seasoned (albeit a bit fatty).

What’s so special though about Employees Only is the way it makes you feel like you’re in on a secret. It’s discreet entrance from the street (there is no sign directly indicating the name of the bar); the psychic doling out palm readings in the window; the no frills decor; the hip crowd – all of these factors contribute to the “only the cool people know” vibe of Employees Only. Of course, this is all intentional – the nightspot was based on the concept of creating a place where restaurant employees hang after their shift.

Employees Only is the perfect spot to hang out with friends, grab an amazing cocktail, enjoy an authentically ‘New York’ scene, and show off your knowledge of hip New York nightlife.

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