Tillman’s Lounge puts a contemporary twist on the urbane spirit of forefathers like the Lenox Lounge, Harlem’s golden era descends on modern day Chelsea. The softly lit spot has large, sunset-colored murals of music greats from B.B. King to Parliament, and pumps neo-soul like Bilal, or slowed down mash-ups of house classics. Patrons show a similar range of slinky bohemian sophistication. Pinstriped MBAs can be found as frequently as office girls in back-seamed hose and scarves-and-sunglasses-at-night aspiring musicians. While the bankers may opt for bottle service at the curved mahogany banquettes, most choose from the smartly edited list of specialty cocktails, including a well-executed French 75 of gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and Champagne. Wines by the glass are an exclusive group, but reasonable pricing (around $10/glass) makes up for the limited selection. Sugar Hill Ale on tap and French-leaning bites like grilled Gruyere sandwiches and onion soup paired with homemade frites fill out the options. A back nook with low-slung tables, flattering red light, and a gas log fireplace lets night owls snuggle up to a soundtrack that splits between live bands and DJs.
165 W. 26th St. (near Seventh Ave.); 212-627-8320; tillmansnyc.com