Quick Hits: Sugar East Brings Old Havana to the Upper East Side

Nothing supersedes the glamour of old Havana: smoke in the air, funky music playing into the late hours of the night, and the magic of the Caribbean. Merchants Hospitality’s newest venture, Sugar East, promises to bring just that to the Upper East Side. The new speakeasy-style lounge transports patrons to the age of the decadent Havana high life, being one of only seven places in the city with an indoor smoking license.


The venue’s interior reaffirms the old glamour theme, with rich mahogany fixtures, powder pink chairs, brass accents and a luxurious custom brass bar. Bespoke leather booths accommodate larger parties without distracting from the intimate setting.


Chef Stephen Lyle’s carefully curated menu of colorful small plates includes lobster arepas, sugarcane-tamarind glazed wings and Cuban potato fritters stuffed with house-smoked brisket and cheese. Jeremy Strawn’s cocktail menu is equally as creative, marrying flavors like ginger, smoke, pistachio and charred lemon.

Open 7 days a week from 5:00PM, Sugar East is the perfect place to grab a cocktail, have a late night smoke and feel like you’ve been transported out of the hustle and bustle of the city.


Photos by Ian Baguskas.