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Broken Shaker – NYC’s Hottest New Rooftop Bar

New Yorkers are lining up around the block to get into Broken Shaker, a new cocktail bar that sits atop the Freehand Hotel in Gramercy Park. But there, on the 18th floor, you won’t find the pricey bottle service and snobby clientele common to many hot spots.

Rather, the bar, which has outposts in Miami, Chicago and LA, has a chill, egalitarian vibe that draws an eclectic and hip crowd for its exotic cocktails.

“Everybody’s welcome and treated the same,” says co-owner Gabe Orta, 39, who runs the group of subtly tropical watering holes with buddy Elad Zvi. “We’re not changing the foundation of what Shaker is about: We want everyone to feel like they’re at home.”

With its straw-shaded light fixtures and brightly patterned wallpaper, the wood-paneled space feels like an Afro-Caribbean rec room. Funk, reggae and soul emanate from an old-school, reel-to-reel audio tape and DJs will spin on occasion. A huge outdoor space wraps around the indoor bar, offering 360-degree views of Midtown, along with plenty of out-of-the-way nooks perfect for discreet canoodling.

On a recent night, the clientele was a mix of creative types, tech guys and Instagram babes — quite a different crowd than the one that previously occupied the space.

“Apparently Joey Ramone once lived in the hotel [back when it was a fleabag called the George Washington] and Keith Haring hung out here,” says Zvi. “ The outdoor part of the bar used to be a sun deck. The indoor part was a game room.”

The first Broken Shaker launched in 2012, originally as a pop-up at the Freehand in Miami. It quickly gained a loyal following, thanks to its fresh juice-infused cocktails and mellow atmosphere. It has since expanded to other Freehand outposts — each with its own distinct feel.

For New York, head bartender Evan Hawkins, formerly of the acclaimed Mother’s Ruin, has created a number of drinks (all $16) inspired by the Big Apple. They include the tequila-based Curry in a Hurry, named for a nearby Indian spot of the same name, and the Smillie, a beet-based cordial that honors Orta and Zvi’s friend, Upland chef Justin Smillie. There’s even a bagel-based drink.

The Poppyseed Bagel Fizz is made by soaking poppy seed bagels from downtown’s Black Seed in water, sugar and yeast overnight and then mixing the resulting liquid with liquor.

“We create a kind of bagel beer and use it to make a gin fizz,” says Zvi. Expect more New York-specific drinks in the future, along with bar games such as Jenga, chess and backgammon.

“We used to visit [NYC] every month to be inspired,” says Orta. “Now, being here and actually living here, we’re finding new ways to be inspired all the time. It all ties together.”

A concise, international menu features elevated bar food from South American arepas to Middle Eastern dips.

Locals who loved the Florida original are thrilled to have a Broken Shaker of their own.

“I felt like I was traveling to Florida without having to buy an airline ticket,” says Gary Toriello, 52, a web designer from Jersey City, who praised the balanced cocktails and nice glassware. “I’ll definitely be back.”

The 10 Best Rooftop Bars in Los Angeles

So what’s the perfect venue to enjoy Los Angeles weather, take in chill vibes and imbibe potent potables all in one locale?

A rooftop bar, of course!

To that end we made it my mission to scout 10 of the coolest rooftop bars in Los Angeles just for you and yes they all come with incredible views, lush scenery, and delicious cocktails.

But whether or not you choose to enjoy them? Well, that’s totally optional.

List starts after the jump (in no particular order).

1. The Andaz Sundeck

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Having the highest rooftop swimming pool in Los Angeles is a nice title to have in this town. The Andaz in West Hollywood offers panoramic views of Hollywood and the Sunset Strip on the Sun deck year round. Lay out on a day bed or cozy up and watch the sunset across Los Angeles while enjoying hand crafted cocktails and snacks from the pool menu.

2. High Rooftop Lounge

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In Venice beach the Hotel Erwin’s rooftop bar appropriately named High is the prime spot to catch a beach sunset. This place has a laid back atmosphere, awesome munchies and nightly drink specials year round. On chilly nights they even pass out blankets and turn on the heat lamps, how thoughtful right?

3. Perch Los Angeles

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Unobstructed views of downtown and very clear view of the neighboring Central Library Perch has been claimed one of the most beautiful rooftop bars in Los Angeles. A talented team of mixologists, tasty food and a beautiful french inspired ambiance has caused this place to form lines every weekend. The vibe is upscale which also means it can get pricey. To avoid the line make a reservation. Looking to try Perch on a budget? They have a happy hour!

4. Upstairs At The Ace Hotel

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Upstairs at the Ace is a buzzing hot spot perfect for kicking back and watching all the cool kids socialize. The moroccan themed roof deck host events nightly with special DJ guests paired with a nicely curated drink menu and YES there is a pool. Do yourself a favor and check out their events calendar it’s filled with fun and free events seven days a week.

5. The Fonda

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Catching a show at the Fonda is fun but the added bonus is pretty cool as well… walk up to the second floor and take the mini stairs up into the rooftop. Astroturf, delicate strung up lights, tables, couches and even a open air hall sits right above the building. Guest take their smoke breaks, order drinks and take in the views. Don’t worry about missing the show, they have it projected on a screen with the sound on. Nice touch Fonda I approve!

6. The Standard Rooftop Bar

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A view like none other The Standard offers a 360 degree view right in the heart of DTLA. Engulfed by surrounding skyscrapers the hotel opens its rooftop to the public with free admission during the week and a nominal entrance fee (usually $20) during the weekends. Owned by the same hotelier as the Chateau Marmont this mod themed bar has water bed pods, a pool and a projector screening classic flicks. The addition of the Biergarten on the west end of the open air deck is a nice touch for those who want to kick back away from the crowd and dance floor.

7. The Redbury

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The SBE group is synonymous with Hollywoods most popular hotspots so it is no surprise when The Redbury opened it became a favorite for people looking for low key nights. The bar is set like a private library with two awesome and free pool tables! Sit outside and lounge on the comfy sofas, the streams of lights and candles create an intimate vibe tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Hollywood Boulevard.

8. Suite 700

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Perched atop the iconic Hotel Shangri-La is Santa Monica’s famous indoor/outdoor rooftop bar & lounge Suite 700. Once a penthouse suite in the landmark hotel, Suite 700 and it’s deco inspired digs captures an elusive sense of Hollywood glamour at the ocean. The rooftop bar provides beautiful views of the ocean and the Santa Monica Promenade making it a perfect place to catch the sunset.

9. The London Rooftop

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Perched on the 10th floor of the hotel, the rooftop offers guests a beautiful panoramic view of West Hollywood. Inspired by a traditional English garden this place has an intimate feel to it but things can get crazy over the summer here. Just an FYI the roof top is open to guests for those who want to visit a reservation must be made.

10. SkyBar At The Mondrian

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A Hollywood favorite from the time it opened, Sky Bar is situated in the heart of Sunset Boulevard. Pretty young things like to lounge by the pool with a drink and listen to guest DJs spin the latest top tunes. A bit pricey but like any prime hot spot they tend to factor the view in with the bill. Remember to get on the guest list for the weekends for no hassle entry.

Originally reported on We Like LA.