There isn't much that feels illicit about going to a bar in NYC anymore. So how about sipping your whiskey sour in a church pew?

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Drink where your priest won’t see you — in the cellar of Drexler’s, a new cocktail bar coming to the East Village on Aug. 26. The team behind Bushwick mega-bar Forrest Point left behind the sports bar concept while keeping the community vibe, creating a two-story space that feels both secret and welcoming. Dark woods create a cozy, rather than stuffy space next to farm-style stools and cast-iron bathtubs mounted behind the bar that store its beers, among which will be a specially commissioned brew based on KelSo’s pilsner. 

The seasonally changing cocktail menu will be twisted classics like cobblers and sours, and large-format drinks like the tiki-inspired Employee of the Month (aged rum, sherry, passionfruit and allspice). But it’s particularly good to see another bar taking up the challenge of clarified milk punches. 

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The feeling of a place where a community comes to enjoy the best part of the day carries through in the food. Instead of small plates or bar bites, the charcuterie, cheese and antipasti plates here are served in portions meant for sharing. There are plans for DJs, but it’s the anyone-can-play upright piano in the cellar that is likely to draw a crowd.