PROSPECT HEIGHTS — Despite health worries, pariah status and the increasing lack of convenience, committed smokers have kept up their habit no matter what Mayor Michael Bloomberg throws their way — and summer is the one time of year when they don’t have to be left out in the cold.
The following top-notch bars still allow patrons to enjoy a drink while lighting up. After all, tobacco and booze are the peanut butter and jelly for the self-destructive set.
Washington Commons — 748 Washington Ave., Brooklyn
This laid-back Prospect Heights joint could be described as a micro beer garden. Its backyard seating area is larger than your average bar’s outdoor space, but smaller than the block-wide Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden in Astoria. With picnic bench seating spaced judiciously throughout the pebble-paved yard, smokers and drinkers can enjoy plenty of imported and domestic brews on tap.
Last Exit — 136 Atlantic Ave., Brooklyn
Enjoy a little trivia with your ciggies and booze. This Cobble Hill watering hole offers much more than just the freedom to breathe what you please. Bi-monthly quiz nights, “Slurring Bees” and DJ nights add to the distinct pleasure of a cheap drink. Specials include $5 happy hour drinks (4 to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday) and a bucket of 6 bottles of Miller High Life for $20.
Beekman Beer Garden Beach Club — 89 South St., Manhattan
At this South Street Seaport establishment, you can get a Miami-esque experience while gazing at gorgeous views of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Financial District. Bury your toes in the bar’s sand-covered floor while enjoying the wide selection of beers and reliable bar munchies. The bar is often host to concerts and DJ’ed events, but the after- work crowd also gathers there to unwind.
Circa Tabac — 32 Watts St., Manhattan
There’s a tiny number of bars in the city that are allowed to let patrons smoke indoors. Businesses that can prove that at least 10 percent of their income comes from tobacco sales enjoy a loophole, which allows their patrons to smoke. Soho's Circa Tabac is the one of those places. As the only “cigarette bar” in the city, one can fully embrace their tobacco addiction in the company of like-minded people.
Bookmarks Lounge — 299 Madison Ave., Manhattan
Midtown isn’t much of a hub for nightlife, which is why a place to smoke and drink in this neighborhood is particularly prized. The roof deck of the Library Hotel (the floors of which are named after categories of the Dewey Decimal library filing system) is aptly named Bookmarks. While mingling with tourists is a definite possibility, specialty cocktails inspired by famous authors will help the hubbub go down easy.
Sea Witch — 703 5th Ave., Brooklyn
South Park Slope and the Gowanus might still be considered Park Slope Jr., but this classy little watering hole offers the style and substance of its big brother. There’s a zen-garden feel to the bar’s back garden, which has a tiny man-made stream running through it, complete with a footbridge and rock garden. A small assortment of food is just the thing to go with their craft cocktails and beer and wine selection.
21 Club Bar and Lounge — 30-09 21st St., Queens
Anyone worth their salt knows of the Bohemian Hall Beer Garden in Astoria. But a lesser-known outdoor drinking spot in the neighborhood is just as much of an experience. The markedly smaller, but no less charming garden space of 21 Club Bar and Lounge welcomes locals with a generous menu of American and Czech foods.
Iona — 180 Grand St., Brooklyn
Rise above the hipster malaise at this cheerfully airy Williamsburg bar where soccer game viewing parties and ping pong matches are a regular occurrence. With 22 beers on tap and a carefully collected selection of whiskeys on hand, the bar’s panini and pie menu is available all day and late into the night.
The Standard Bier Garden — 848 Washington St., Manhattan
If there’s one well-established fact about The Standard Hotel in the Meatpacking District, it’s that they know how to create a drinking experience. In the shade of the High Line, sausage, pretzels and other German fair is served up. For an hourly rate, you can sit at a table with your own beer taps.
Lexington Bar and Books — 1020 Lexington Ave., Manhattan
This Upper East Side spot proves that you don’t have to be downtown to have a unique drink-and-smoke experience. The long-established Lexington Bar and Books is all about class and style. With a strictly enforced dress code, the cigar bar regularly hosts whiskey seminars and themed parties. On Mondays, ladies can score a complimentary cigar.