Lonely Planet Writer

This NYC bar only serves drinks from alcohol companies run by women

Trendy bars and waterholes are ten a penny in New York City’s Greenwich Village, but Bar Moga’s cocktail menu has more to offer than just your average Cosmo or Martini.

A cocktail in a short glass with ice.
The Moga at Bar Moga, New York. Image by Asia Coladner

The bar sought its inspiration from the ‘moga’ – an old Japanese buzzword for a modern girl who came into her own during the early 20th century. Much like her American counterpart, the flapper, the moga was a forward thinker, socially-liberated and independent. We’ll drink to that!

Indeed, the mogas who sauntered confidently around Japan around 1912 were the kind of women we still admire and respect over one hundred years later: free to date whom they pleased, listen to jazz music and drink alcohol, discuss philosophy, and wear modern, Western-inspired fashions.

A martini-style cocktail
Woman in the Dunes cocktail at Bar Moga. Image by Asia Coladner

This sense of rebellion, hedonism and empowerment inspired Bar Moga; a jazzy, vintage-style bar with dark wood interiors, located on the always-happening Houston Street. Veteran mixologist Becky McFalls-Schwartz, who has previously worked at hotspots like Little Branch and Milk & Honey, is assuming the role of Beverage Director. Under her guise, Bar Moga’s signature cocktails will incorporate traditional Japanese spirits into recipes that came to the forefront during the prohibition era in NYC.

Take the bar’s namesake cocktail, ‘The Moga’ for example; a blend of Japanese whiskey, rhum, plum liqueur and bitters. For every cocktail sold, a dollar will be donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation or American Civil Liberties Union. A drink with a dash of good karma? We’ll take it. Sticking on theme, the bar menu also features wines from predominantly female winemakers. While stocks last, order the Suo Red Collection No. 2 2013 ($17/glass, $70/bottle) which is a joint venture between the world’s first black female winemaker, Ntiski Biyela, and Napa Valley’s Helen Keplinger.

A bowl of ramen noodles.
Japanese-style food is served at Bar Moga. Image by Asia Coladner

If all the alcohol sampling perks up your appetite, chef Takanori Akiyama’s delectable food menu is a fusion of Japanese-meets-Western comfort food classics – think cheesy curry gratin, panko fried prawns and crab croquettes.