AMNY ruined elitist drinkers’ fun today by outing some “secret” watering holes around town. One of them, The Back Room, is no secret, just a pain to find for first-timers. The capacious bar is tucked away at 102 Norfolk Street two doors down from a "Lower East Side Toys" sign; pass through a gate and down some steps to a narrow alley that leads to an unmarked door. Or just look for the bouncer standing on the sidewalk shushing people on their way in. Once inside you’ll be surrounded by a roiling mob of smug bros swigging bottled beer that comes in brown paper bags, evoking a speakeasy style on their way to the landfill.
A lesser-known establishment exposed in amNY’s article is a bar on St. Mark’s called PDT, which stands for Please Don’t Tell. Since we're bound to secrecy, we really shouldn't divulge that the cozy cocktail lounge is an outgrowth of Crif Dogs, the deep-fried hot dog joint beloved by offal aficionados. What’s most intriguing about PDT is the entrance; inside Crif Dogs you will find a vintage phone booth. Pick up the phone, press the button, and a hostess will escort you to the inner sanctum via a secret door. Within there are snug booths, mounted animals, old family portraits and fancy drinks. It all sounds so appealing until you realize that after today’s amNY article it’s now “so over”.
Though amNY did shout out Milk and Honey, the unlisted, reservation-only cocktail lounge that elevates exclusivity to the level of absurdity, the article thankfully overlooked our favorite camouflaged bar, the spacious and dimly lit [REDACTED] on Grand Street in Williamsburg that features an upstairs outdoor smoking patio, reasonably priced drinks and consistently great music on the house stereo. Also left under the radar is the near-mythical Brigadoon Bar, which serves but one patron per night in a cozy 6’ deep ditch located in the trendy Green-Wood section of Brooklyn – aspiring customers assemble nightly at midnight on the corner of 25th Street and 5th Avenue to battle with shovels for admittance.
Photo from Flickr.