Novelty bars in Times Square are a rare find, so when a Todd English lounge opens nearby offering cocktails laced with honey collected from a rooftop hive, you make an, um, beeline.
The Stinger is Mr. English’s gleaming refresh of his closed French brasserie Ça Va, and the result is unsurprisingly sweet. The fairly thin pre-theater crowd on a recent Thursday night was not exactly clamoring for honey-drizzled spirits, but the fireplace and attentive service were enough of an invitation to stay and sip awhile.
If you can ignore the meaty allure at Shake Shack on 44th Street and Eighth Avenue, the Stinger is around the corner, in the lobby of the InterContinental New York Times Square hotel. The L-shape space is all amber tones and touch-me textures (travertine floors, buttery leather couches and shiny copper barware). It’s warm, if a little overworked, but so are the patrons in need of a postmeeting pick-me-up.
Barflies on a recent Thursday were mostly men in their 30s, suited up and seated two by two, speaking in hushed business tones. Two French hipsters in puffer vests sat at the communal table, tapping away on laptops. A clutch of women in cardigans and scarves sat near the bar, including one who appeared to be waiting for her date. A silver fox in a sports coat arrived. “You look years younger,” he said, claiming his spot.
A somewhat random mix of hit singles over the decades, by artists like the Cure, Cymande, Lauryn Hill and War.
The price of entry is making it beyond the hotel lobby perfumed to Abercrombie & Fitch proportions. A better bet is to enter through the Stinger’s separate entrance on West 44th Street, where there is no cover or velvet rope.
Highlights from the honey-tinged offerings include the Stinger, a swirl of Grey Goose Le Citron, lemon juice and a yellow chartreuse with a honey base; and the gingery, rose-topped Barbee Doll ($9 to $28, depending on size). Shareable bites include a cheese plate ($24) and smoked ribs with, you guessed it, honey ($19). JEREMY ALLEN