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Apr 12, 2007 04:47 PM

lower east side - after dinner

hello, we have a group of 3-5 from san francisco going to dinner on the lower east side next friday night - at the orchard - and are wondering where we should head out after that, in the lower east side, or somewhere nearby. someplace that is kind of a 'scene' but not too pretentious, fun, kind of a velvet lounge type of place with good cocktails and atmosphere. i realize this is not a restaurant-specific question but if you can help at all, much appreciated!

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  1. Check out: Barrio Chino (think blood-orange margaritas), Bowery Hotel Bar (just opened!), Milk & Honey

    4 Replies
      1. re: LFeinberg

        i like really like barrio chino, but i think it's way too small for a group of five to have drinks. as it is, there's barely room at the bar for people to wait for tables.
        east side company, on essex near grand, might be a good alternative to milk and honey (which is still basically a members bar that operates on a reservation system, although they've loosened up a lot).

        1. re: LFeinberg

          I went to Bowery Hotel Bar a few weeks ago when it was "open" rather than open. My citron & soda was poorly made, undersized and $12.

          1. re: LFeinberg

            I don't think they will allow a group of 5 into Milk and Honey at least I've never seen a group this large before.

          2. Gallery Bar, I think it's on Delancey and Norfolk. Artsy scene, very comfy dark lounge downstairs.

            1. Horus Cafe. 293 E. 10th St., at Ave. A. It's a hookah bar over in Alphabet city, the food is good, the hookas themselves are very good and the service is excellent. Unlike many hookah bars they don't play justin timberlake or anything in the background and they have actually skilled belly dancers, it's a fun place.

              1. Wow, it hurts my soul that someone is looking for something lounge-y and scene-y on the LES! No offense, ashleyk! I was just lamenting with the bartenders at Motor City how the LES has taken a turn for the worse with all the lounge-y, scene-yness that's been imposed on it of late! I remember when it was dark and scary and fun to go down there. If you want to visit some of the places that have been around since before the lounge scene took over, stop into Max Fish and/or the Pink Pony on Ludlow, and then continue on down Ludlow past Stanton and Rivington and peak in at Motor City. You'll probably find people like me sitting around kvetching about how the neighborhood has changed! hahaha.

                6 Replies
                1. re: ballulah

                  but the pink pony was turned into a bistro years ago!

                  (were you lamenting with francesca?)

                  1. re: wleatherette

                    that's right! i forgot about the pink pony disappearance. at one point it closed and was something else, and then transformed back into the pink pony. and then it closed again. i can't keep up.

                    and i was indeed lamenting with frankie! hahahaha. i used to lament with frankie back at the mars bar AND the international bar. is the international bar still there? last time i looked for it i couldn't find it, but i might just be so old and senile i don't remember where it is anymore. hahaha.

                    1. re: ballulah

                      it's still called the pink pony, but it's been a bistro run by the lucien folks for a while now. at least they're locals, and not an investment group.

                      int'l bar, sadly, has closed. so funny - i used to hang out w/ frankie all the time there and at mars (which, for better or worse, seems like it will NEVER close).

                  2. re: ballulah

                    Motor City? That's a Johnny-Come-Lately bar ; ) Anyone remember the Ludlow street Cafe? I think it was where the Dark Room is now located.

                    1. re: KTinNYC

                      Hahahaha. I do remember the Ludlow Street Cafe, often called just the Ludlow Bar. One of the darkest pits of hard rocker drinking I've ever descended into! But I prefer Motor City for the better (IMO!) musical aesthetic!

                    2. re: ballulah

                      You might want to avoid Max Fish, unless you are a group of 22 year-old pinball players. It's a rare day that I feel old (not even in Williamsburg!), but something about those young boys in their member's only jackets, PBR in hand makes me run blindly from the space.

                      I actually like Pink Pony. It's got a different vibe from Lucien (as it should), but is a good place for a quick bite and some cheap wine.

                      With regards to your request, I might suggest the Lower East Side Toy Company. It's been pretty laid back and quiet the last few times I've been. And has enough of a kitch / trend factor while still being a nice place to hang for a bit.

                    3. the back room or the gallery bar. i think both would fit the bill.