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NIGHTLIFE

Bars and Lounges

Tribeca
Lower East Side
SoHo
Greenwich Village
East Village
Union Square
Midtown & Times Square
Upper West Side
Upper East Side

Clubs

Tribeca & SoHo
Greenwich Village
Chelsea
Midtown & Times Square


Bars and Lounges

Bars have always been a fixture of New York nightlife, but in the '90s, lounges popped up all over the city. What makes a lounge different from a plain old bar? Couches, cigars and classy clientele. Downtown lounges tend to attract high-paid office workers who while away their evenings with bourbon and cigars; uptown, you'll find yourself in the company of old money. In SoHo, artsy types fill the lounges, while Chelsea's spots draw a predominantly gay crowd.

But if you can't be bothered with the latest trends, you'll still find plenty of old- fashioned, unpretentious bars throughout the city that never sleeps. A proper listing of New York City's best bars could fill an entire book, but here's a highly selective list of bars that stay open until 2 am most nights (New York's bars can stay open until 4 am, and on weekends, most of them do.)

Tribeca
The well-heeled Wall Street crowd patronizes the Bubble Lounge (Tel 212-431-3433, 228 West Broadway), between White and Franklin Sts, which features 280 varieties of champagne and sparkling wine. It's the place to drop $2000 on a bottle of champagne, but you can also order champagne by the glass for $8 and up. SubwayA, C, E to Canal St.

Lower East Side

You'll find many bars in the Ludlow St area of the Lower East Side. Barramundi(Tel 212-529-6900, 147 Ludlow St), between Stanton and Rivington Sts, makes a good place to start a Lower East Side bar crawl. This Australian-owned arty place features convivial booths, reasonably priced drinks and a lovely shady garden. Subway F, J, M, Z to Delancey St.

SoHo
A block from the Hudson River, The Ear Inn (Tel 212-226-9060, 326 Spring St), between Greenwich and Washington Sts, sits in the old James Brown House (the James Brown who was an aide to George Washington, not the Godfather of Soul), which dates back to 1817. A number of sanitation workers and office dwellers come here on their lunch hours or after their shifts end. Tuesday is biker's night; Saturday is poetry night; every night is Guinness night. The bar menu features a great shepherd's pie. Subway C, E to Spring St.

At Cafe Noir (Tel 212-431-7910, 32 Grand St), you can munch on North African appetizers while watching the passing SoHo parade from the open-air bar railing. Subway A, C, E to Canal St.

The owners of Pravda (Tel 212-226-4696, 281 Lafayette St), between Prince and Houston Sts, have tried to make their spot hard to find, but the lines outside mean the secret's out. If you dress trendy enough and look sufficiently intense, you'll make it past the gatekeepers and enter clouds of cigar smoke in this mock Eastern European speakeasy. The martinis make all the hassle worth it, though; the two-page vodka list includes Canada's Inferno Pepper and a NewYorkgrown Rain Organic. Subway B, D, F, Q to Broadway-Lafayette St.

Greenwich Village
Chumley's (Tel 212-675-4449,86 Bedford St), between Grove and Barrow Sts, is a hard- to-find, storied speakeasy that serves decent pub grub to a sometimes rowdy crowd of jocks and their friends. You can sample some NewYorkgrown beers here, since Chumley's serves American microbrews exclusively. Look for the unmarked brown door in a white wall. Subway 1, 9 to Christopher St-Sheridan Square.

The Corner Bistro (Tel 212-242-9502, 331, W 4th St), between Jane St and W 12th St, a famous bar from the bohemian days, contains carved wooden tables where you can eat charred hamburgers until 2 am. The enormous, half-pound bistro burger with bacon and onions has won some awards in the local press. Subway 1, 9 to Christopher St Sheridan Square.

The friendly and unpretentious Blind Tiger Ale House (Tel 212-675-3848, 518 Hudson St), between W 10th and Christopher Sts, may be the single best place to sample an array of interesting beer. Subway 1,9 to Christopher St-Sheridan Square.

The Liquor Store Bar (Tel 212-226-7121, 235 West Broadway), between White and Walker Sts, is a popular nighttime hangout in a small Federal-style building that its owners proudly claim has been in continuous commercial use since 1804. Big windows offer plenty of opportunity to watch the street traffic, and you can also people-watch from outdoor tables when the weather's nice. The bar takes its name from a previous business at the same site; locals, inspired by the furry animals often seen scampering down the street, call it the Rat Bar. Subway A, C, E to Canal St.

Be prepared for some pretentiousness at Hudson Bar & Books (Tel 212-229-2642,636 Hudson St), between Jane and Horatio Sts, a narrow faux library with free jazz on weekend evenings. Subway A, C, E to 14th St.

The smoky retro lounge Bar d'O (Tel 212-627-1580, 29 Bedford St) near Downing St. features drag acts several nights a week. It attracts a chic mixed crowd of gays and straights. Subway 1,9 to Houston St.

Okay, Bowlmor Lanes (Tel 212-255-8188, 110 University Place), between E 12th and 13th Sts, doesn't technically qualify as a lounge, but it's still a hip nightspot. The disco soundtrack and the glow-in-the-dark bowling (on Monday nights) produce a retro atmosphere worthy of a club. You're more likely to spot cocktail-drinking urbanites here than championship bowlers, and visits by Julia Roberts and other celebrities have lent Bowlmor plenty of cachet. Subway L, N, R, 4,5,6 to 14th St-Union Square.

East Village
The Scratcher (Tel 212-477-0030,209 E 5th St), near Third Ave, attracts a large Irish clientele because it looks like a true Dublin pub: a quiet place to sip coffee and read the newspaper during the day but a crowded and raucous spot at night. Subway 6 to Astor Place.

Church pews and candles complete the Irish atmosphere at Swift's Hibernian Lounge (Tel 212-260-3600, 34 E 4th St), near the Bowery, a wildly popular bar with live folk music and probably the best pint of Guinness in New York City. The musicians cozy up to their audiences here, since they can't perform on the nonexistent stage. Subway 6 to Bleecker St.

A relic from days of yore, McSorley's Old Ale House (Tel 212-473-9148, 15 E 7th St), between Second and Third Aves, predates the Civil War and bears the dubious distinction of resisting the modem age; it barred women from its doors until the 1970s. This cramped and stodgy old bar often served as a setting for Joseph Mitchell's well-known New Yorker short stories. These days, you'll often find a long line of tourists waiting outside. Subway 6 to Astor Place.

For a nice slice of East Village life, have a late-night drink in Vazac's (Tel 212-473-8840, 108 Ave B) at E 7th St, a horseshoe-shaped bar at the southeast end of Tompkins Square Park. Also called 7B's it's been featured in a number of films, including The Verdict and Crocodile Dundee. Subway L to First Ave.

Tribe (Tel 212-979-8965), St Marks Place at First Ave, tells you everything you need to know about the hip East Village today. Formerly the storied old St Marks Bar & Grill, this place now features a DJ, dance- floor lighting and pricey pints. Subway 6 to Astor Place.

The Beauty Bar (Tel 212-539-1389, 231 E 14th St), between Second and Third Aves, isn't full of supermodels, just old hair-dryers that'll make you look like a conehead while you sip your martini. This not-quite-converted beauty salon still offers manicures a couple of nights a week, in addition to DJ dance tunes. Subway L to Third Ave.

Tired of the trendy East Village scene? Try WCOU Radio (no phone,115 First Ave), at E 7th St, a low-key hangout that bears a slight resemblance to a bathroom, thanks to the old tiles on the floor. Sit in the window and watch life pass by with a Bud or a bud and listen to the tunes on the cool jukebox. Subway 6 to Astor Place.

Union Square
The famous short story writer O Henry used to do some of his scribbling at Pete's Tavern (Tel 212-473-7676, 129 E 18th St), near Irving Place. It's said that he wrote his classic Christmas story 'The Gift of the Magi' in a front booth. You can get a decent burger and beer here or find the same fare by walking a block away to the equally popular Old Town Bar and Grill (Tel 212-529-6732, 45 E 18th St), between Broadway and Park Ave, a wood-paneled 1890s pub with grumpy barmen but decent eats in its booths and upstairs dining area. Subway L,N,R,4,5,6 to 14th St-Union Square.

The hip Belmont Lounge (Tel 212-533-0009,117 E 15th St), near Irving Place, features plenty of nooks for those with an eye for romance or gossip. You can stargaze in the garden or nosh your way through the night, picking from a selection of sandwiches, salads and appetizers. Subway L,N,R,4,5,6 to 14th St-Union Square.

Midtown & Times Square
At the Rainbow Grill's Rainbow Room (Tel 212-632-5000, 30 Rockefeller Plaza), on the 65th floor of the GE Building, you must wear a jacket, but for the price of admission to the Empire State Building, you get a stunning view that includes that landmark and a drink to go along with it. The Rainbow Room is open Friday nights and some Saturdays for dinner and dancing. You must make reservations. Subway B, D, F, Q to 47th-50th Sts/Rockefeller Center.
44 (Tel 212-944-8844, 44 W 44th St), between Fifth and Sixth Aves, sits in the lobby of the Royalton Hotel. Look beyond the snooty atmosphere here and head to the tiny circular bar located immediately to the right after the entrance; it makes a great hideaway spot for a martini. Subway B. D, F, Q to 42nd St.

Rudy's Bar & Grill (Tel 212-974-9169,627 Ninth Ave), between 44th and 45th Sts, practically glories in its reputation as a spot for booze hounds. But that doesn't stop this old dive from turning away any of the trendy twentysomethings who stop in for the free hot dogs during a night of club-hopping in Hell's Kitchen. The drinks come pretty cheap here ($2 for a draft beer). Subway A,C,E to 42nd St.

The slightly more upscale Film Center Cafe (Tel 212-262-2525, 635 Ninth Ave), between 44th and 45th Sts, offers happy-hour discounts on pints from 4 to 6pm weekdays. Subway A,C,E to 42nd St.

Old guys have been hanging out around the wooden bar at McHale's Bar & Cafe (Tel 212-997-8885, 750 Eighth Ave), at 46th St. for years now. The actors and theatre people who frequent this unpretentious spot also lend it character. Look for McHale's great neon sign, which should take you back at least a half-dozen decades. Subway A, C, E to 42nd St.

Mercury Bar (Tel 212-262-7755,659 Ninth Ave), between 45th and 46th Sts, attracts the after-work crowd with a decent menu of bar snacks, plus a few more filling options. A sleek new spot in an up-and-coming West Side neighborhood near Port Authority the Mercury packs in patrons on Thursday and Friday nights, or whenever a major sporting event plays on the two big-screen TVs here. Subway A,C E to 42nd St.

Perched on the 26th floor of the Beekman Tower Hotel, the Top of the Tower (Tel 222-355-7300, 3 Mitchell Place), at First Ave, offers a clew view of the East Side, including the Chrysler Building and the fabulous '30s-era Pepsi ad across the East River. Subway E, F to Lexington Ave; 6 to 51st St.

In a city packed with Irish pubs, the British Open (Tel 212-355-8467, 320 E 59th St), between First and Second Aves in the shadow of the Queensboro Bridge, draws fans of golf and the Royal Family. Subway 4,5,6 to 59th St.

Upper West Side
The Evelyn (Tel 212-724-2363,380 Columbus Ave), at 78th St a roomy cellar-level space with plenty of couches, includes a classy cigar lounge and a martini list with more options than the dinner menu. A laid-back crowd frequents this spot during the week but makes room for hobnobbing students on the weekend. Subway 1,9 to 79th St.

The old-school Irish bar Dublin House (Tel 212-874-9528, 225 W 79th St), between Broadway and Amsterdam Ave, shouldn't be remarkable, but it is, thanks to the odd combination of old men and Columbia University undergrads who patronize the place. Subway 1,9 to 79th St.

Columbia's grad students tend to hang out at the colorful dive called the Night Cafe (Tel 212-864-8889, 938 Amsterdam Ave), at W 106th St. Answer the obscure trivia questions, and you'll get a free drink. Subway 1,9 to 103rd St.

The quiet spot Saints (Tel 212-222-2432, 992 Amsterdam Ave), between W 109th and 110th Sts, welcomes a mixed crowd, though it's a predominantly gay bar. Subway 1, 9 to Cathedral Parkway (110th St).

Upper East Side
The old Subway Inn (Tel 212-223-8929,243 E 60th St), between Lexington and Third Aves, looks like it hasn't changed in 40 years, right down to the barmen's white shirts and thin black tie. Subway 4,5,6 to 59th St.
Inside the Carlyle Hotel, Bemelmans Bar (Tel 212-744-1600,35 E 76th St), between Madison and Park Aves, is an elegant space where you'll feel uncomfortable without a jacket. Tuesday through Saturday, you'll have to pay a cover charge for evening jazz performances. Subway 6 to 77th St.

The quiet lounge at the Mark Hotel (Tel 212-774-4300, 22 E 77th St), between Madison and Fifth Aves, epitomizes Upper East Side elegance. Subway 6 to 77th St.

The Kinsale Tavern (Tel 212-348-4370, 1672 Third Ave), between 93rd and 94th St attracts European rugby and soccer fanatics with early-morning live satellite broadcasts of European matches during the winter months. This place features more than 20 beers on tap. Subway 1,2,3,9 to 96th St.



Clubs

Constantly changing, the New York club scene defies efforts to pin down what's hot and what's not. For the up-to-the-minute news on clubs, check out the monthly magazine Paper ($3.50 at newsstands the publication also offers the very latest entertainment listings at www.papermag.com. You should also keep an eye out for club and band flyers on walls and billboards while walking through the East Village - sometimes that's the best way to find out about clubs that don't have phones or advertise.
Don't even think about going to any of these places before 11 pm, even on a week- night; things don't truly pick up until 1 am or later.

Tribeca & SoHo

Vinyl (Tel 212-206-1590,6 Hubert St) between Hudson and Greenwich Sts in Tribeca, hosts a unique, alcohol-free dance party called 'Body and Soul,' from 4pm to midnight on Sunday. So put on your comfortable clothes and get into the house-music groove with the most diverse group of clubbers you'll find in the city. This warehouse space also features dance parties on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. The cover varies. Subway 1,9 to Franklin St.

Double Happiness (Tel 212-941-1282, 173 Mott St), between Broome and Grand Sts in the Nolita area, is a cavernous basement retreat that has become très popular among a young and trendy urban crowd. Mingle and lounge with the hip crowd early on and get down to house music later on in the evening. Subway N,R,J,M,Z to Canal St.

Despite its name, Culture Club (Tel 212- 243-1999, 179 Varick St), between King and Charlton Sts in SoHo, isn't Boy George's paradise. While this downtown warehouse spins '80s dance music every night, it attracts a humdrum crowd of recent-college-grads- turned-Wall-St-types. The decor is nothing to admire either, but if 80's music gets you into the groove, then this is the place to go. The cover is $15. Subway 1,9 to Houston St.

Although it's primarily a bar, Naked Lunch (Tel 212-343-0828,17 Thompson St), at Grand St in SoHo, can turn into a rockin' dance party on a good night, but it still offers a more relaxing atmosphere than a hard core nightclub. The DJ spins a good mix of house music and Top 40. While the scene inside is pretty laid-back, leave your sneakers at NewYork because you might not get in the door. The cover is usually $5. Subway A, C, E to Canal St.

Greenwich Village
Baktun (Tel 212-206-1590, 418 W 14th St), between Ninth Ave and Washington St, borders on the psychedelic, with an array of cutting-edge sound that ranges from underground to house to electronic. The big-screen TV in the middle of the bar shows multimedia art performances. Friday night usually features a house party, while drum and bass performances happen on Saturday. The cover is $5 to $10. Subway A,C, E to 14th St; L to Eighth Ave.

The Cooler (Tel 212-229-0785, 416 W 14th St) between Ninth Ave and Washington St, began as a meat locker in New York's meat- packing district but now hosts punk, rock, electronic, surf, indie rock, reggae, and hip- hop performances. The Monday night 'free series' is a great place to catch local bands for free. Other nights, be prepared to pay a cover (usually $8 to $15) for more well-known bands and for house parties on Friday and Saturday. Subway A, C, E to 14th St; L to Eighth Ave.

Chelsea
Centro-Fly (Tel 212-627-7770, 45 W 21st St), between Fifth and Sixth Aves, plays house music from Thursday to Saturday and attracts a mix of urban clubgoers and Euro trash. The funky op art, the waitresses in galactic gowns and the guards in orange space suits give this hip spot a style all its own, Dance to 'subliminal sessions' on Thursday, be in the mood to lounge on Friday and get down to house music on Saturday. The cover is $10 to $20. Subway 1,9, F to 23rd St.

Roxy (Tel 212-645-5156, 525 W 18th St), between Tenth and Eleventh Aves, plays disco and house music for those in tight black t-shirts and leather pants. A former roller-skating paradise, the place still hosts roller discos on Tuesday and Wednesday. On the weekend, the dance floor offers plenty of space to try out all your moves, and Saturday night is sheer party madness. Scantily clad drag queens entertain in the lounge. The cover varies. Subway A,C,E to 14th St; L to Eighth Ave.

Twirl (Tel 212-691-7685, 208 W 23rd St), between Seventh and Eighth Aves, offers plenty of space for hard-core clubbers to strut their stuff and for loungers to mingle and observe. This chic and trendy Chelsea hot spot plays house music and hosts special events. The cover varies. Subway C, E to 23rd St.

True (Tel 212-254-6117, 28 E 23rd St), between Madison Ave and Park Ave South near Midtown, is an intimate one-room dance dub that attracts an older crowd. This spot stays mellow during weeknights, with lounge music and a Tuesday night Latin Club, but on the weekend house music is the order of the day. Subway N, R, 6 to 23rd St.

Midtown & Times Square
Twilo (Tel 212-268-1600, 503 W 27th St) between Tenth and Eleventh Aves in Midtown, spins music every Saturday, as DJ Junior Vasquez invites clubbers of all ages (including those with glow sticks) to dance all night into the early afternoon. On Friday, be prepared for everything from trance to progressive to Euro. Though the bleachers on one side of the warehouse and the oversized spiral balloons falling from the ceiling are tacky, the music is hip and the space is large. The cover is $20 if you call in advance, $25 at the door. Subway C, E to 23rd St.

Wear your designer best if you dare to go to Float (Tel 212-581-0055, 240 W 52nd St), between Eighth Ave and Broadway in the Times. Square area. Arguably Manhattan's most popular scene among the beautiful and famous these days, this tri-level megaclub features a lighted runway on the dance floor and leather-strutting, caged dancing girls. If you're worthy enough to enter, be on the lookout for Leonardo, Ben Affleck and the like on the 3rd floor, reserved for those with the right stuff. Cover is $15 to $25. Subway B, D, E to Seventh Ave.

The four-floor multiplex king of all clubs, Exit (Tel 212-582-8282, 610 56th St), between Eleventh and Twelfth Aves in Midtown, hides its exits well. You'll get lost in the maze of theme rooms on every floor, each equipped with leopard-patterned sofas and its own DJ playing specialty music. Also check out the roof garden. Whatever music you're craving, it's in there some where. The cover is $25. Subway A,B,C,D,1,9 to Columbus Circle.

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