Among the city’s list of endless entertainment sources are a very innovative genre of bar: “speakeasies”. Now I know prohibition is over, yet speakeasies have become increasingly popular in New York due to the fact that the process of entry to these venues is just as entertaining as what goes on in them. Whether they are disguised as pawn shops, Laundromats or barber shops, in order to get into one of these places one has to be very well informed about where they are located and usually have some sort of relationship with someone who can get you in (my sister’s friend’s friend knows the bouncer you know?).
A legendary New York speakeasy is PDT or Please Don’t Tell (113 st. Marks Place, East Village) where you first enter through a hot dog restaurant called Criff Dogs, enter a telephone booth where you call the bar and ask if you can go in or not. The downside? It’s pretty selective since they can only allow 30 people in at once so I would recommend you make a reservation before going since it significantly augments your chances of getting in. The upside? Even if you don’t get in you can still chill at Criff Dogs and have a bite with your friends.
Another fun speakeasy in NY is John Mayer’s personal favorite: La Esquina(106 Kenmare, NoLita) . Located in the basement of ‘The Corner Deli’ is this amazing restaurant/ bar that turns into a nightclub after midnight. The food is signature Mexican dishes and the ambiance is a lot more elegant and upscale than the one at PDT. Again the door here is very hard with the difference that here dinner reservations will guarantee you enter this venue.
And last but not least, my personal favorite speakeasy in New York and probably the only barber shop with a bouncer: The Blind Barber (330 E 10th St. East Village). As its name suggests, the entrance to this bar is through a 1940’s inspired barber shop that will lead you to a vintage style bar where one can choose to enjoy cocktails while getting a haircut. This place does not serve food but the cocktail and music selection more than compensate for its lack of munchies. The dress code is very informal- sneakers are not only allowed but I would consider them a must for every boy who assists- and the ambiance is young and alternative