It’s a good place to eat, sure, but the raucous restaurant at the Ace Hotel is also the best place to imbibe anywhere west of Broadway. The drinks are great, and far cheaper than the salvaged-wood surroundings suggest; you’ll have to lay out a dime if you want to sample Jeffrey Morgenthaler’s barrel-aged Negroni (praised by The New York Times and easily $2 mellower than a youthful Negroni), but a Wild Turkey, at $6, is right at the city’s average. Rock star sightings are common, as are happy-hour cruising packs of ladies-who-lush. The cougars are gone by sundown; the singers stay all night. BEN WATERHOUSE.
What to drink: Woodford Reserve.
Happy hour: $5 wine and cocktails, $3.50 draft beer 3-6 pm Monday-Friday and 11 pm-close Monday-Saturday.
Entertainment: Look out the window—Stark Street is still a carnival of thugs and tweakers as the small hours approach.