For more than a dozen years, the speakeasy-style Angel’s Share has been an open secret. Tucked inside a second-story space that it shares with Village Yokocho, a Japanese izakaya, the bar helped usher in the city’s resurgent cocktail culture. No wonder there were lengthy waits for its unusual and inventive drinks.
Several months ago, the owners discreetly opened a second Angel’s Share, a few doors east, to handle the overflow. And the lines have been forming there as well.
Just off the bustle of Third Avenue, on a short stretch of Stuyvesant Street, the bar is entered through the glassy doors of Sharaku, a Japanese restaurant. Inside, it’s a Victorian-style den with dark wood finishes, flowery wallpaper and warm Edison lights. Large windows are covered by drapes, obscuring views of the street but also adding to the air of secrecy.
Compared with the original, the Angel’s Share sequel feels more mature — patrons in their 30s and 40s — as opposed to those in their 20s and 30s down the block. It also draws more native Japanese speakers, especially couples on dates.
Love is in the air, and a dull murmur of intimate conversations is all that can be heard.
Nothing marks its entrance except for a nonworking neon sign that spells “Sushi.” Still, it’s easy to find. When you enter Sharaku, don’t bother asking the grumpy restaurant host about cocktails or wait times. Just head up the winding staircase on the left, two flights to the unmarked door and enter — no secret knock needed. Seating is first come first served. The wait on a recent Friday night was about 15 minutes. That could change once word gets out.
While smoking in bars is banned, apparently there is no law against your cocktail having a puff. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes ($16) is a bourbon drink served with an inverted brandy glass filled with smoldering cloves and cinnamon. It’s like sipping a campfire. Other offerings include a brandy Alexander ($15) that recalls a spiked milkshake, and the Fairy Night ($15), an apple cider served hot with apple liqueur and baked Fiji apples.