The Garret West is a handsome second-floor bar with exposed brick, serving cocktails, shots, and cold beers. The digs are above Five Guys Burgers in New York's West Village, creating a perfect attic bar. Good luck finding the hidden stairway...
OUR ARTICLEBY: Ryan Kirk Contributing writer
Don’t speak easy, speak loud and direct. If you’re looking for a prohibition-esque tavern that’s vaulted below an old hotel, you’ve come to the wrong bar, old sport. The Garret West isn’t a 1920’s spin-off — my God, how many of those do we really need?
If you’re like the writer of this article and had a wandering imagination as a child, you DREAMED of a secret room in your house. You probably even looked for it, knowing you knew every inch and corner of your home, you thought maybe, just maybe mom and dad built a secret getaway behind a bookshelf, under the staircase, or in that creaky, dusty attic. While the owners of The Garret West can’t go back in time and change the blueprints of your old home or somehow install mischief in the architect’s mind, they’ve done the next best thing — the adult version of your childhood garret (it literally means attic).
Inside a Five Guys burger joint, towards the back of the shop and up a hidden staircase is one of New York City’s finest haunts. The eerie steps that look like they belong in a movie starring Jamie Lee Curtis lead to the loft space from your childhood dream, and although the creaking old steps might give you a spook, the bar couldn’t be more perfect if 1978 Jamie was up there herself.
No judgment here, order as you will, be who you came in as, and leave better than you were when you walked in.
A skull is painted inside of the fireplace, old frames store interesting photographs, and a dimly lit glass chandelier provides light for the copper bar that has a wooden barrier. While this may have run a chill down your spine as a youngster, it makes for a rad hangout as a full-grown dude/dudette. They’ve also got white and black brick walls, funky paintings, skylights, and plenty of windows, allowing you to gaze out at the city that James Murphy talks about as, “New York you’re perfect, please don’t change a thing.”
Drinks and jams. Mid to late ’90s and early 2000’s hip-hop graces the airwaves, blasting our beloved rap before the genres untimely apocalypse and the beginning of…. (back to the article). The cocktail program IS what it should be. Order a Manhattan and get a damn fine Manhattan, get something complicated, or splash your soul with a shot of tequila and wash it down with a crisp beer. No judgment here, order as you will, be who you came in as, and leave better than you were when you walked in.
The Garret West isn’t polished, it’s an attic bar that’s the antidote for the child inside, your former wild teenage self, and our self-inflicted confusing adult lives. So, next time you’re walking in the West Village vibing out to LCD’s words, “New York, I love you, but you’re bringing me down. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe you’re right, maybe you’re wrong, and just maybe I’m right.” Head to Five Guys, walk to the back, stroll up a flight of stairs, drink on an empty stomach, and let the night take you where it will. Luckily for you, the burgers will still be there on your way out.
Oh yeah, they got a cool raccoon rockin’ a suit in their logo too.
Head inside Five Guys, walk to the back corner, scale up a flight of stairs, and voilà!
Owner Gavin Moseley built The Garret to feel like an extension of your den or living room
If you don’t think you’ll order a cheeseburger on your way out… you’re wrong
The bar makes fantastic cocktails, but don’t feel pressure to order one, a shot and beer is just perfect here
You can order a Five Guys burger from downstairs to the bar prepared a way you can’t get at any other Five Guys, indulge while you drink the night away