The “swinging ‘60s” might be so last millennium, but partying like Mad Men’s purveyor of cool, Don Draper, is about as current as it gets. In honor of the new season of the cool AMC show Mad Men, here’s your guide to a retro night out in New York City, from kitschy New York bars to lounges specializing in Old Fashioneds and Mint Juleps:
go for an aperitif
The ‘60s were all about having a freewheeling, party-time attitude. The best way to channel that era today s by heading to an elegant bar for a very potent cocktail. First up, visit the Plaza Hotel for the city’s most famous Old Fashioned (Don’s drink of choice), courtesy of The Oak Bar. Opened originally in 1907 as a men’s-only bar, The Oak Bar combines old-world charm and elegance in an iconic venue. This classy joint is definitely a place to “see and be seen” while indulging in an extensive collection of wine, cocktails and spirits.
Smoke Jazz & Supper Club-Lounge
go for a jazzy dinner
Next up, time to dine . . . and wine again! Supper clubs are not a relic of the past. The Smoke Jazz & Supper Club-Lounge on Manhattan’s Upper West Side is an intimate eatery featuring some of the best live jazz music in the city. But don’t let the name fool you—even Betty Draper would have to put out her cigarette in this smoke-free restaurant. House specialties include red velvet cake, classic onion soup and upside down bread pudding.
Bonnie and Clyde the Musical
go for a Broadway show
Now that you’re well-fed (and slightly tipsy), it’s time to take in a show that Don himself might have enjoyed. Try Bonnie and Clyde the Musical, a sexy, old-school love story drenched in danger and sin. If that’s no playing or is sold out, consider catching Academy Award-winner Phillip Seymour Hoffman in Death of a Salesman.
Duane Park After Dark / Rhinestone Follies
go for burlesque entertainment
The Mad Men era was all about pushing the limits while exercising some sense of restraint and modesty, so hail yourself a taxi and check out a burlesque show for some risqué fun. Duane Park After Dark and the Sweets Shops is a celebrity hot spot that hosts burlesque, vaudeville and cabaret acts. Even Lady Gaga has gotten up and grabbed the mic at this ultra-chic, one-of-a-kind party palace. And for an even steamier act, head to the Tropicana show at Rhinestone Follies, featuring their buxom babes in all their glittery glory.
go for a nightcap
While it might be getting late, no respectable “Mad” man or woman can head home without one last stop at the bar to cap off the night. For a truly 1960s experience, we suggest Beauty Bar, a downtown hangout literally housed in a ‘60s hair salon, with hair dryers and all! They even offer “Martinis and Manicures” every night till 11pm for the ‘60s bargain price of $10 for both!
Wondering what to wear for your Mad Men night out in New york? Whether you go with your best double-breasted suit or cinch your waist in an elegant A-line dress, it doesn’t really matter—so long as you have a drink in hand!