Milady's: Imbibe 75 Place to Watch - Imbibe Magazine Subscribe + Save

Following a seven-decade run before closing in 2014, beloved SoHo dive bar Milady’s lives again, resurrected by New York cocktail legend Julie Reiner (Flatiron Lounge, Clover Club, Leyenda) and her partners Susan Fedroff, Sam Sherman, and Christine Williams. “I’m a firm believer that locations have a soul of their own. And one of the things I remember about Milady’s is that every time I went there I had such a good time,” says Reiner. “It wasn’t about what I was consuming—it just felt good in there.”

Reiner was a regular at the bar in the ’90s, but the opportunity to revive the space can more or less be chalked up to serendipity. During the pandemic, she was teaching virtual cocktail classes for companies and other interested groups. When spaces began to reopen, Reiner was approached by one of the women from her classes inquiring about how much it would cost to reopen the currently shuttered Milady’s space. Reiner, who had not been looking to open another bar, gave her an estimation. “She basically created an investor group of all the women who’d been taking my classes over the course of the shutdown; they all knew me and were excited to be a part of this,” says Reiner. “So I went to [my partners] Sue and Christine and they were like, we have to do this.”

Reopened in October, the bar has been reimagined for a new era. (Sadly, $4 Bud Lights won’t pay the rent in 2023 SoHo). The bar, which had been completely gutted prior to Reiner’s takeover, received a chic but cozy remodel, with vibrant pink banquettes reflecting the playful atmosphere.

The drinks menu leans both nostalgic (with updated versions of Reiner’s classic Big Apple Martini and Hawaiian Iced Tea) and cheeky, with elevated Jell-O shots and Blueberry Lemon Drop shooters. “The menu is fun—it doesn’t take itself too seriously,” says Reiner. The equally appealing food menu is divided into two sections: Dive and High Dive, with staples like chicken fingers and potato skins holding court next to lobster tail and duck frites.

And while it may be hard to call the end result a “dive bar,” Milady’s 2.0 maintains the welcoming appeal of a neighborhood joint worthy of regular visitation—as Reiner puts it, to “honor what this space was, while bringing it into today.”

Click here to read more about some of 2023’s other Imbibe 75 People and Places to Watch.

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