Unexpected Extras in New York City

Bookstore Café at Housing Works. Photo courtesy Housing Works, Inc. Photo courtesy Housing Works, Inc.
By Jacquelin Carnegie

Visitors come to New York City expecting to have a great time, but travelers may not know that it's possible to get a martini with a manicure, a cocktail with a haircut, or a concert with a glass of vino at an urban winery.

Stop by one of these unique New York City bars, cafés, and restaurants for some unexpected perks.

Photo Caption: Bookstore Café at Housing Works. Courtesy Housing Works, Inc.
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City Winery, New York City. Photo courtesy City Winery Photo courtesy City Winery
What: City Winery (tel. 212/608-0555; www.citywinery.com)

Where: 155 Varick St., between Spring & Vandam St.

Why: Depending on your point of view, this is a winery with great music or a terrific music venue with amazing wine.

At City Winery -- yes, an actual winery in Manhattan's SoHo neighborhood -- watch wine being made, take winemaking classes, or sign up for tastings and seminars where you'll learn how to properly pair wines with food.

In the music venue -- a large, airy space with good sightlines from every seat and great sound -- you can hear musical guests that run the folk/rock gamut (Elvis Costello, Jakob Dylan, Graham Parker, Raul Malo, Richard Thompson, Rickie Lee Jones, and more). Of course, there's an impressive wine selection and tasty nibbles such as mini burgers.

When: Check www.citywinery.com for times & events.

Photo Caption: City Winery, New York City. Courtesy City Winery
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The Beauty Bar. Photo courtesy The Beauty Bar Photo courtesy The Beauty Bar
What: The Beauty Bar (tel. 212/539-1389; www.thebeautybar.com/New_York)

Where: 231 East 14th St., between 2nd and 3rd Avenues

Why: It's not every day you walk into a bar and pick a nail polish color, but the former Thomas Beauty Salon is now a very lively bar with a nightly DJ. Some vestiges of the past remain, such as the old-time hair dryers and the chance to get a $10 manicure with a free drink.

When: Stop in for Martinis & Manicures from 6pm-11pm Mondays-Fridays; 7pm-11pm Saturdays & Sundays. The bar is open 5pm-4am weekdays; 7pm-4am weekends

Photo Caption: The Beauty Bar. Courtesy The Beauty Bar
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Painting of The Cornelia Street Cafe, New York. Painting by: Stephen Magsig Painting by Stephen Magsig
What: Cornelia Street Café (tel. 212/989-9319; www.corneliastreetcafe.com)

Where: 29 Cornelia St., near 4th St.

Why: You might head to this acclaimed West Village landmark for a great meal, to sip a glass of wine by the fireplace in winter, or to sit at the sidewalk café in the summertime. But, if you're in the know, you'll want to stay for the entertainment downstairs.

Every night of the week, there are two shows ranging from poetry to jazz, theatre to cabaret and classical concerts. Cornelia Street Café has it all, served up in one of the most convivial settings you'll find in New York City.

When: Shows are at 6pm and 8:30pm, with a cover charge that is generally $10 on weeknights and $15 on weekends. There is a one-drink minimum for the early set and a $10 minimum for the late set.

The café is open every day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, plus brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. Dinner reservations only.

Photo Caption: Painting of The Cornelia Street Cafe, New York. Painting by: Stephen Magsig
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The Blind Barber. Photo by Ernest Estimé, courtesy The Blind Barber. Photo by Ernest Estimé, courtesy The Blind Barber
What: The Blind Barber (tel. 212/228-2123; www.blindbarber.com)

Where: 339 East 10th St., between A & B Avenues

Why: Just as in a bygone era when speakeasies had "fronts," you have to enter this hip East Village lounge through an old-style barbershop. But here, men can actually get a shave ($30) and/or haircut ($40) along with a complimentary drink. After hours, behind the shop's back door, the joint is jumping.

When: Get a haircut or a shave (and a free drink) at the barbershop from 12pm-9pm Mondays-Saturdays; 12pm-6pm Sundays. The lounge is open from 6pm Mondays-Saturdays

Photo Caption: The Blind Barber. Photo by Ernest Estimé, courtesy The Blind Barber
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Bookstore Café at Housing Works. Photo courtesy Housing Works, Inc. Photo courtesy Housing Works, Inc.
What: Bookstore Café at Housing Works (tel. 212/334-3324; www.shophousingworks.com/booklisting.cfm)

Where:
126 Crosby St., between Houston & Prince St.

Why: This loft-like space in the East Village is a great spot to shop for books, CDs, LPs, and DVDs. All the profits go to Housing Works, which helps people living with HIV/AIDS. You can do a good deed just by buying a book or having a cup of Joe.

The bookstore café serves fair-trade coffee and teas, sweets, and soups as well as beer and wine. With any purchase, log in with free Wi-Fi at the café tables. In the evenings, there are often special events such as readings and musical offerings.

When: Open 10am-9pm Mondays-Fridays, 10am-5pm Saturdays and Sundays

Photo Caption: Bookstore Café at Housing Works. Courtesy Housing Works, Inc.
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