First Impressions: Weather Up Tribeca

I’ve had it with attitude, so I generally avoid places that I think are going to serve it hot and fresh. And I was concerned that Weather Up Tribeca—the new cocktail lounge at 159 Duane, next to Duane Park restaurant—would be full of it. Evidence: (a) the bar is a sister to a “speakeasy” in Brooklyn; (b) there’s no sign; (b) it already made headlines by having a special ice thingamajig.

Maybe it’s because I showed up at 6 p.m. on a cold Monday and was the first patron there, but I kinda loved it. Weather Up Tribeca is a grown-up bar the likes of which we don’t have many of; too many are swarmed—that’s too strong a word but I did just have a drink—by after-work meat-market types. (I’m talking about you, Terroir and Ward III.) And yet everyone—a hostess, two bartenders, and a manager (?)—I spoke with at Weather Up Tribeca was lovely, and it’s not because I write this blog. Trust me when I say that no one cares about that.

The room bears no trace of Blue Bench, its former occupant. Subway tiles line the ceiling (forming one long vault—if that’s the right word—the length of the room); the bar is copper (or at least copper-colored?); the water pitchers are crystal (or at least cut glass). It’s glamorously dark, which is why my photos are grainy. I sat at the long bar, but I think it’d be a blast to come back with a group of four or six and hang out in one of the booths at the front or the back. Granted, all that tile could make noise a problem….

There are six specialty cocktails on the menu, as well as a “Keep Calm and Carry On” option, in which the bartenders will whip something up for you based on what you tell them. I ordered the Quaker ($14)—rye whiskey, cognac, housemade grenadine, and lemon juice—and it was a like a sidecar’s wise-cracking best friend. They can make other drinks, of course, but that didn’t seem the point.

If that “($14)” made you wince, Weather Up is not for you; richness is the point. I didn’t order food, but the menu is very limited and pinky-in-the-air: caviar (from $22–$380 per ounce), oysters, a mackerel ceviche, and homemade potato chips with spicy mayo. Previous reports have also mentioned a broccoli rillette, which doesn’t exactly send the mouth watering, and I like broccoli. I chatted with the bartenders about Tribeca (“There are a lot of strollers,” noticed one), how it’s fancy in its way but not in the way everyone expects, and Weather Up’s menu feels like somewhere else to me. Soho? Absolutely. Upper East Side? You bet. Certain parts of Brooklyn? Sure. But I’ve been wrong before.

When you go—and I encourage you to before it gets overwhelmed—write in the comments what you thought.

Recent “First Impression” articles:
Unleashed by Petco
Birdbath Bakery
Franklin Café Buon Gusto



  1. I agree with your assessment of Ward III and Terrior and I can’t help but think this is more of the same. Will try anything once!

  2. We had some friends in town from LA and took them there Saturday night. We had a great time–drinks were great, service was great, and ran into a bunch of people from the neighborhood, so it felt like a very warm atmosphere. We also ordered the caviar plate, which was good and not crazy-expensive. I’m sure the atmosphere will change some as it gets more well-known, but I look forward to going back (and would probably go back sooner if it had a bit more by way of food….)

  3. Excellent review. I immediately lifted my ass off the couch and went there with a friend after reading this. Was worth the trip. Will go back soon but echo concerns that it will become the next Ward III very shortly.

  4. Went for birthday cocktails (no snacks) and thought it was pretty civilized — granted that was a Wed night at 8. Very cozy – warm lighting, votive candles and the subway tile makes the room glow. Bar seats were full but most of the booth space was open. Agree with comments above about Ward III but would add that to me, Ward III is gritty whereas Weather Up is smooth. Let’s hope it stays that way.

  5. Dropped-by last night and can’t get over how pleasant the space is. Didn’t eat or drink – I know, this isn’t much of a “review” – but the staff was very engaging, the lighting was appealing, and overall I can’t wait until I have the time for a true visit.