If drinking can help you get through the emotionally exhausting experience of shopping for your own stuff, imagine how beneficial booze can be when you're forced to spend cash on "friends" and "family". To that end, we're spotlighting new bars in four holiday shopping spots* so popular, you'll have no hope of avoiding them
Bloomingdales: David Burke Mon-Sat 9am-10pm, Sun 10am-9pm 1000 3rd Ave, enter on 59th; 212.705.3800 Although it'll carry all manner of hooch, DB's focus will be wine, with many varietals available by the 1/2 bottle -- a thoughtful gesture you'll completely ignore, since everyone knows winter casuals go best with a jeroboam
Bergdorf Goodman: Women's Store: BG 11:30am-3:30pm; 754 5th Ave, at 58th, 7th Fl; 212.872.8977 Men's Store: 745 Mon-Sat 11am-6pm, Sun 12-5pm 745 5th Ave, at 58th, 3rd Fl; 212.339.3326 Bergdorf's women's store opened its full bar and restaurant last Monday. Across the street, the men's store claims their currently dry cafe will start serving alcohol in about a week -- a delay that's annoying, yet irrelevant since real men don't shop 'til the bitter end anyway.
Saks 5th Avenue: SnAKS and HTWO Mon-Sat 11am-8:30pm, Sun 11am-7pm 611 5th Ave, at 50th; 212.753.4000 Saks has just installed liquor distribution points in the two departments where you need help most: the 5th floor (women's contemporary clothing), and the 2nd (women's designer "gold range" clothing, which besides the price tags looks exactly like the stuff on floor five). The drinks were designed by Dale DeGroff**, the wobbly prophet who led New York's 1990s cocktail resurgence, only to become a cynical hired gun who'll rent out his mixology skills to the highest bidding clothing retailer.
Chelsea Market: 202 Sun and Mon 11am-6pm, Tue-Sat 11am-7pm 75 9th Ave, at 15th retail: 646.638.0115, restaurant: 646.638.1173 The firewater in this boutique is served in the same room as the undrinkable goods, which include men's and women's designer clothes, as well as home furnishings and antiques. Don't hit this spot last though, or you'll end up crashing through a display of terracotta pasta tureens, forcing you to abandon all your packages as you scramble madly for the door