Credit: Dan Blackman

The summer I was 12, there was nothing I wanted more than an aquarium. (I had given up on a horse, settling for what I believed to be more realistic obsession.) I ripped out probably the entire pet store section of the Yellow Pages and, armed with that and a map, begged my grandmother to drive me from place to place in search of electric-hued tropical fish and neon gravel and mermaid figurines and whatever else a fish tank required. But my parents eventually refused to finance the operation, and that was the end of it. Now, however, that short-lived childhood dream has been (sort of) realized—at what happens to be one of the city’s best bars. Punch House is all dim lights and fashionable patrons and festive DJs and boozy punches flavored with rosewater or elderflower or sage. As if I didn’t already love this place enough, the world’s most perfect fish tank lords over the bar, and there isn’t a sad, schleppy inhabitant in sight. They seem as content and delighted as the resident punch drinkers—one jolly, bloated gentleman in particular (fish, not person). The punches, at $8 a pop, are far more affordable than a tank of my own. And I don’t even have to feed the fish.