Formosa Cafe/Maxim Shapovalov

Culture

Bars

Champagnes by the glass in San Francisco and New York, retro cocktails in West Hollywood, and a high-tech dance floor in Shanghai.
By Irene Rawlings

At West Hollywood’s storied Formosa Café (above), Elvis once tipped a waitress with a Cadillac (or so the story goes) and famous patrons included Frank Sinatra, Ava Gardner, and John Wayne. Newly opened after a $2.5 million renovation, the bar retains its 1930s red-lacquer vibe. Order from a short dim sum menu, but the retro cocktails (tropical mai tais and Singapore slings) are the real draw. theformosacafe.com

The Berkeley Bar & Terrace

The Berkeley Bar & Terrace (above) unveils its coral-and-cream makeover and an intimate terrace (four tables) that overlooks London’s St. Paul’s Church. The cocktail list showcases Champagne, whiskey, and rum from bold-type names and under-the-radar producers. From a small food menu: Cornish crab and lobster beignets alongside classic caviar and oyster dishes. the-berkeley.co.uk

The Riddler

At The Riddler, Champagne is paired with smoked-salmon-and-caviar-topped tater tot waffles. Choose from among 100-plus Champagnes by the glass or the jeroboam. Blankets are passed out on the patio during cool San Francisco evenings. An outpost opens in New York City’s West Village in the fall. theriddlersf.com

After a razzle-dazzle renovation, Shanghai’s Bar Rouge reopens with a long, sleek entrance runway, a see-and-be-seen central bar, and a high-tech dance floor. The action starts early, goes late, gets packed, and stays loud. Sweeping views from VIP seating on the rooftop terrace. Come to see international DJs like David Guetta and Claptone. barrougeclubs.com

David Chang’s new watering hole, Bar Wayō, has a big patio that juts out over the East River on South Street Seaport’s Pier 17. Drinks carry evocative names like The Beacon, New Fashion, and Zombie Elvis (with peanut butter–washed rum). A small menu lists outstanding bar food: dashi-based clam soup, grilled fish on house-made potato rolls, and chicken and gravy balls (Grandma’s Sunday supper in a single bite). wayo.momofuku.com

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