Right on MacDougal, The Up & Up is a hidden gem. It’s easy to miss — you have to go downstairs into a relatively spacious dark room. First, outside, there is usually someone who puts you down on the waiting list. I am surprised that there is usually almost always a bit of a wait, unless you show up right when the bar opens. The wait is usually anywhere between 15 minutes and 40 minutes, depending on the time. They can text you when your table is ready, and they’ll hold the table for 5 minutes, so you can walk around MacDougal until your time is called.
If they are busy, you will be guided downstairs into the dark room where you will actually continue standing — but, this time, you’ll be standing at a table. It’s almost like you’re in a suspenseful progression toward the luxury of sitting at a table. Nonetheless, there are coat hangers, and you are inside, so you can start making yourself comfortable.
The atmosphere is dark, comfortable, and reminds me tremendously of a bar from the 50s-60s in Mad Men. I absolutely loved the vibe — no frills, just a serious and respectable bar down in Greenwich.
The drink menu is absolutely excellent — there are a ton of creatively named and crafted drinks. Each drink is a work of art with classy presentation. There is also a list of “bar snacks,” including salami and cheese platters to snack on. There is no full menu, so this is definitely not a place to go for a full dinner or dessert (unless alcohol is essentially your dinner and dessert).
The drinks that I ordered were great. The Quilt Room was probably my favorite drink that I tasted at the time. I really appreciate that they serve the drinks with giant ice cubes — the biggest ice cubes I have personally encountered.
Overall, I rate this bar very highly. It has become my go-to bar in SoHo, and it’s in the middle of an incredible location. MacDougal Street is full of amazing places to eat, drink, and be merry, from restaurants to comedy clubs. The Up & Up is open late into the night, and I’ll definitely be returning. The service is personable and attentive, but not overwhelming. There are no frills at this place — it’s the real deal. Good drinks, good service, and good simple atmosphere.