The passion project of Employees Only's Matt Abramcyk and Akiva Elstein, Smith and Mills is a tiny (think: walk-in closet), detail-heavy watering hole designed by John McCormick (Moto) to feel like the sort of place where a 1920s Eastern European factory worker could blow off some steam after a hard day hammering steel.
Inside the non-marked spot, you'll find a diminutive den of working-class touches: male staffers in basic blue workman's jackets, ladies in factory dresses (so unsexy they're sexy) and shelves lined with antique dishes, cans and mason jars. Meanwhile, low-lit Edison bulbs create a moody, amber vibe you can soak up from one of the faded lime banquettes as you sip vintage cocktails (Old Fashioneds, Sazeracs, Negronis). In the bathroom—a onetime elevator shaft—you'll use a train car sink that empties manually (it'll be just like that summer you spent in Dresden).
Juxtaposing the place's blue-collar Euro motif, you'll probably be pressed up to your neighbor to the sound of Billie Holiday and Django Reinhardt, and dine till 3 a.m. on charcuterie, oysters on the half shell and American caviar.
Apparently, not everything about the old days was rough.