At one New York City subway station, straphangers can raise a glass at an exclusive new watering hole — if they can find it.
If you go down the stairs on the uptown side of the 28th Street subway station in Chelsea and reach the ticket booth, you've gone too far. But it may not matter anyway, because one of the newest bars in the Manhattan already has a long and growing wait list.
Between the street level and the subway platform lies a hidden gem, a small nook of a bar called La Noxe. It has very limited seating and an overflowing list of people trying to find their way in via Instagram. The owner of the new bar said they can only serve 10 or 12 people at a time — so it's going to take a while to accommodate everyone on that list.
Co-owner Jey Perie obtained the liquor license in March 2020, just as the COVID pandemic shut the city (and the world) down.
"Randomly find this place, little bit smaller than I was looking for but such an amazing concept," said Perie. "Living in Tokyo for five years, I knew you could do amazing things in a subway station."
He was finally able to open the bar in October. On Friday, a special guest and some co-workers stopped by to congratulate the bar on making a COVID comeback. The special guest: The president of the MTA.
"People are coming back to the workplace, to bars and restaurants, everything is staying open later," said Interim MTA President Sarah Feinberg. "We're doing our part to bring the city back and we're just grateful for others who are doing their part too."
As NYC gets back on track, the speakeasy hopes their light at the end of the subway tunnel shines bright.
"A lot of hope for the future. I think it's going to be a lot of opportunity, and a lot of new people with new energy that want to make an impact in New York," said Perie.
For those who are unable to get a reservation, Perie says take a chance and just knock on the door. If they have room, they'll be happy to pour a drink.