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Indie filmmakers may flock to the Upper West Side during the festival, and they’re certainly loyal to lots of Manhattan’s mainstay clubs and restaurants: PBS’ When the Drum Is Beating producer Whitney Dow favors Cafe Select; Bachelorette producer Carly Hugo adores The Jake Walk; and NYU Film School lecturers and students jam into Apple Restaurant and Bom Bar. But they’re also hot for new spots that are a bit removed from Lincoln Center.
42 Grove St., West Village
“Buvette has a vintage Parisian vibe that doesn’t feel fake,” says Ry Russo-Young, director of Nobody Walks, co-written with Lena Dunham. “It’s a favorite of mine to meet people.” And meet them you can — for any meal, as this casual cafe is open from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. Note: Crowds start at 6, so plan on a drink while you wait.
132 W. Houston St., SoHo
The team behind Joe’s Pub, Jamaica’s Rockhouse Hotel and Cafe Select created this friendly Caribbean diner, which also features a bake shop, West Indian boutique and Internet radio station. “The jerk chicken has just the right amount of spiciness,” says Charlie Corwin, Original Media CEO and The Squid and the Whale producer. While the front room is better for informal daytime meetings, the back room at night is the full-on scene.
26 Bond St., NoHo
Creatives who need a remote office rent work space at Smile for the price of breakfast. Ryan Silbert, producer of Oscar-winning 2010 short God of Love, likes the vibe: “You’re writing your screenplay, the guy next to you is drawing his comic book on his iPad, and the woman at the bar is handwriting her memoir.” Lunch is meetings-heavy, so get there before noon if you want to stay the day.
357 W. 16th St., Chelsea
The nightclub-turned-gastropub that was formerly known as Bungalow 8 has a tough door policy, but those who make it inside are rewarded with a warm atmosphere, cool music, what indie industry types describe as a great cast of characters and good food. Says Silbert, “You have to have their flatbread pizza.”
Le Baron Chinatown
32 Mulberry St., Chinatown
“I love this nightclub because there’s always an interesting mix of people,” says Cole Wiley, director-writer-producer of After the Storm. One of those people is bartender Tre, who mixes original drinks on the spot. “It will be spectacular,” promises Wiley, “and your date will always be satisfied.” Grab a couch on the top floor to watch the action without getting lost in the mix.
298 Bedford Ave., Williamsburg
The hipster heart of Brooklyn is the new home of decadence: a Parisian-themed restaurant serving oysters and absinthe. “It’s super-groovy, all very art-directed and crazy, yet they do a great job,” says Sarah Bird, producer of the upcoming Hairbrained. A buck-an-oyster happy hour suits indie budgets, yet the dinner and wine menus are worth the splurge. “When you get good news about your movie being financed,” says Bird, “that’s where you celebrate.”
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