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© Antique Garage

The next time you visit your neighborhood bar or restaurant, take a careful look around: your favorite happy hour digs may have had a former life as an uninspired parking garage. As parking minimums come under increasing scrutiny, New York City has begun repurposing underutilized parking garages into popular venues for dining, shopping, and living. Reimagining these spaces not only adds to the aesthetic appeal of the new eateries or businesses that occupy them, it also saves time, money and materials.

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© Barcade

As D.C. Architect Carl Elefante famously said, “The greenest building is the one that’s already built,” and these converted garage spaces live up to that phrase in style. Repurposing old buildings rather than starting from scratch helps reduce costs not only for the environment, but for business owners as well.

The urban explorers of Untapped Cities¬†recently compiled a list of some great spots that have revamped drafty, unloved parking garages into some of the most popular spots in New York City. From Free Candy, an art gallery and performance space in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn to Chelsea’s The Park, a lush and upscale restaurant with a taxi garage past, Untapped has uncovered some of the best re-designs.

These seven businesses are but a handful of New York establishments that have traded in auto repairs for cocktails and art shows. The next time you’re out on the town, take a closer look!

Via Untapped Cities