Food & Drink


Most people love breezing smoothly into the latest exclusive spot -- but get negged, and they invariably exclaim, "Screw this, let's get drunk at some bar." Hit NoCa (opening tomorrow in Soho), and you'll find the spot and "some bar" both under one roof. NoCa's upstairs is the sort of VIP lounge that many New Yorkers will claim to despise before desperately lying and bribing their way inside. Mention the right leather-wrist-cuffed promoter, and you'll be ushered up to a brick-walled loft with a DJ, spacious bottle service booths, and attractive ladies who never, ever pay for bottle service. To avoid shafting ordinary Ps, the 1st floor is a hassle-free bar: no imperious doorman, no cover charge, and no need to have hot women (or any women) in your party. The room is divided in two: a dimly lit lounge w/ wraparound banquette in back, and a classic, no-frills neighborhood bar up front -- where you'd feel equally at home drinking with your best friend or a WWII vet who wants a best friend. While there's no sidewalk velvet rope, there is one in the downstairs bar, guarding the upstairs access that's only two bottles of Grey Goose away. But even if you're denied, this isn't an encroachment -- it's an opportunity to coolly memorize the carefree faces of the privileged, so you can stalk them later and commit a very important envy-crime with your new pal, Colonel Stubbs.