If Austin Powers decorated a bar with whatever he could grab on a shopping spree at the ’70s equivalent of Bed Bath & Beyond, that bar would look like Joyface. This cocktail spot in the East Village has plush couches and rugs in various colors, paintings of tigers on the walls, a spinning disco ball, and a waterbed in the corner. Also, there’s no drink menu. Instead, they have a bowl filled with the names of liquors and mixers - pick out a couple of them at random, and the bartender will make you a cocktail using those as key ingredients. It all sounds gimmicky, but the drinks are actually good, and you can always just order a standard cocktail if you prefer. Get a gin martini or some Frankenstein mixed drink with mezcal and coffee (it actually wasn’t bad), and hang out by the fireplace with a date.
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Brindle Room exemplifies amateur hour. Inedible food, sad decor, and the dishes took eons to reach our plates.
Oiji is a new East Village Korean restaurant. Did we need another one of those? Apparently, yes, we did.
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These days, Employees Only is not the hotspot it once was. But while the crowd might have lost a step, the cocktails have not, and it’s still packed with people every time we stop by.
Good Night Sonny
Good Night Sonny is a cocktail bar in a busy section of the East Village, and it's a surprisingly nice place to have a drink.
There are two Garrets in the city, and the one on the west side is a speakeasy above a Five Guys. It’s a cool space, but expect a crowd and top-40.
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