“With cocktails, it’s not art,” says Double Chicken Please’s GN Chan. “It’s design.”

Chan and his business partner Faye Chen opened their NYC hotspot in November 2020, and have since received high praise from consumers and industry pros alike. The duo originally met 11 years ago, when they worked together at HideOut in Taiwan. Their first project together, Double Chicken Please (nicknamed DCP) ranked No. 6 on this year’s World’s 50 Best Bars list — a well-earned feat for which Chen and Chan can thank their attentive staff, welcoming atmosphere, and simply stellar cocktails.

Both Chen and Chan previously worked in the design space — a background that seeps into every aspect of the bar. On the napkins and employees’ button-downs, you can find a pencil and screwdriver alongside a bar spoon and Martini glass, a simple logo that beautifully details the ethos of the bar and its owners. Unlike art, Chan says, which is made for the artist and needs not have a function, design is about creating something beautiful yet practical. The Lower East Side spot’s cocktail menu reflects this mindset, combining innovative techniques with crowd-pleasing and classic flavors.

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At DCP, functionality goes beyond the drinks. The concept for the bar itself — two separate rooms, each with a distinct vibe — was adapted once Chen and Chan decided on the space that would house it. “It’s two different approaches to cocktails, and two different approaches to the experience,” Chan says. The long, narrow front room makes for an ideal standing and dancing area, with bartenders grooving to old-school hip-hop while doling out on-tap cocktails (dubbed “taptails”) numbered 1 to 14. From an Aperol Spritz riff to an innovative Appletini, each metal handle pours out perfectly balanced, pre-batched drinks for $14 to $17 — a steal by New York standards. “On the weekends, it’s almost like a small club,” Chan says.

Walk through the double doors into the back room, and you’ll find something entirely different: a seating-only, elegant space serving slightly pricier drinks, each made to order. “The drinks are a little more whimsical; more story behind it,” Chan says. The cocktail list features a slew of classics as well as nine signature drinks, each of which is named after food items. Cold Pizza and Waldorf Salad might sound like odd things to drink — and that’s exactly the point. “You are drinking the food, and normally you are eating it. And we do serve some drinks with bites, which are inspired by the cocktail,” he says. “So you are drinking your food, and you are eating your drink.” This concept, which Chan calls “reverse pairing,” creates an exciting, sensory experience that’s as delicious as it is thought-provoking.

Despite the bar’s well-earned acclaim, it’s important to Chan and Chen that DCP remains a space for the whole community to gather. An approachable food menu — featuring fried chicken sandwiches and a dessert inspired by the Big Mac — is just one way they aim to cultivate a mellow and accessible environment.

“Happiness comes from something you can enjoy everyday,” Chan says. “I believe creativity and fun flavors can actually have an impact on everybody’s daily life.”

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