Short Stories has a few tales to tell. The multiuse space, which was formerly Wise Men, opened in March and wants to become a Parisian-style brunch spot and a pop-up for rotating restaurants, along with its current incarnation as a late-night bar. It draws an energetic crowd of creative 20-somethings in dressed-up stilettos and oversize hoodies.
It is set on a lively stretch of the Bowery that swells with boisterous bar crawlers on weekend nights. The décor inside the narrow space is very millennial du jour: walls the color of Whispering Angel rosé, circular mirrors, exposed brick, plants galore and bookshelves lined with vintage books and magazines (Pud, Crazy Compositions, i-D).
The long and skinny layout doesn’t leave much room to congregate. Groups will breathe easier in the spacious pockets near the front and back.
To the relief of those more than three years out of college, the average age skews slightly older than the surrounding postgrad spots like Phebe’s, BBar & Grill and Bowery Electric.
On a recent Saturday, men in their mid-20s were accessorized in bomber jackets, porkpie hats and sunglasses, while party-ready women in leopard-print coats and two-piece snakeskin outfits gathered around small tables with bottles of bubbly. “The vibe feels kind of West Coast,” said Helen Ren, a 27-year-old transplant from California.
A D.J. in wire-frame glasses and dreadlocks worked a laptop and played a lively mix of pop and hip-hop — a Cardi B remix here, some Dua Lipa there — which got the crowd moving.
A laid-back bouncer under the hot pink numbers of the address (355) may make you wait five minutes for no discernible reason. But everyone seems to get in without hassle or cover.
Most patrons head right to the Tito’s & Soda section, where they can mix their vodka from a selection of exotic soda flavors (chili mango, watermelon basil and shiso lime) for $13. Popular cocktails include the Good Rose (Casamigos Reposada, lime, rosé and soda) and the Grapefruit Spritz (Aperol, prosecco and grapefruit juice) for $13.
Short Stories, 355 Bowery; 212-271-6414; shortstories.nyc; [email protected] Open Tuesday through Sunday. Hours vary, with brunch from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends.
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