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The Hanger Bar & Boutique
Couture Launch Event
July 19, 2007

Written by Julia Sirmons
Photographed by Collin LaFleche




In a city where competition for people’s booze budget is fierce, there are a lot of theme bars, most horribly gimmicky and Disney-land tacky, usually shutting down just as quickly as they start up.


The Hanger Bar Boutique

But when you think about it, the idea of bar/boutique is pretty damn ingenious. Girls can shop while their boyfriends hang back and drink. If you’re jonesing for a flirty new skirt but your friend’s tightening her belt, she can still have fun with a swanky libation in hand. And after a few of those well-mixed cocktails, a flirty skirt can start to seem like a much more justifiable expense.


The Hanger's Cool Patrons

This brilliant concept is executed with a whole lot of charm, wit, and style at The Hanger, a Lower East Side clothing store and watering hole that’s a helluva lot of fun. I was lucky enough to sample the Hanger at its best at its “Couture Launch” event on July 19.

The brainchild of a bunch of twenty-something friends, one of whom is currently pursuing a master’s degree at Columbia, The Hanger was celebrating the launch of an entirely new line of vintage clothing, shoes, purses and jewelry, hand-selected by newly hired buyers.

Looking at the new stock, it was clear that the overhaul had more than paid off. Lined along the left side of the store was an impressive array of elegant yet funky finds from older, long-forgotten labels. At the very front of the store hung a small collection of men’s shirts – strategically placed across from the bar to entice the fellas to take a trip behind the changing curtain. Beyond these were well-ordered collections of sexy secretary blouses, funky retro skirts, and a rack of dresses in enough fun prints to suit every taste.

Along the shelf on top of the racks was a collection of vintage shoes and purses gorgeous and varied enough to make any fashionista drool. In a glass curio cabinet near the back of the store an equally fabulous array of brooches, chunky necklaces and spangly earrings were on display.

But the greatest surprise was The Hanger’s very reasonable prices. Most of the very alluring skirts ranged from $40 to $60. A sparkly pair of Stuart Weitzman shoes goes for $80, while some of the treasures in the jewelry cabinet go for as little as $15. All items are labeled with blue heart-shaped price tags, adorned with endearing hand-written messages – like “Go, speed racer” on a mod-style skirt and “You’re a REAL man!” on a yellow button-down with an abstract heart pattern.

The sartorial treasures were only the beginning of the diversions The Hanger offers its patrons. In the middle of the red-walled, fashionably run-down space was a great old-fashioned pool table – festooned with flowers and trays of canapés for this occasion, while a nearby side table was covered with cake stands full of delicious cheese scones and chocolate macaroons. In the very back, in a kind of makeshift booth, a skilled DJ set the mood with a perfect mix of old-time jazz, blues, and rockabilly.

Low Ball Cocktail The Karl Lagerfeld Cocktail

The real action, however, took place at the bar, where the good-tempered and industrious servers kept whipping up samples of Hanger’s fantastic and lethal signature cocktails, every one named after a fashion icon and each more delicious than the next. There was the creamy, lemony “Twiggy”, garnished with a sunny yellow flower; the “Narciso Rodriguez” a sophisticated update on the Cuban mojito, named for the most sophisticated of Cuban designers; and this writer’s personal favorite, the Halston, a beautiful scarlet-hued concoction that tasted like heaven and went down like the finest silk.

So the next time you’re downtown and looking for something different – not to mention some new threads, a great drink, and a really good time – check out The Hanger. It’s the new black.

The Hanger Bar & Boutique is located at 217 E. 3rd St. between Aves. B and C.
For more information, visit their website at thehangerbar.com



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