Photo courtesy of Sarah Whedon

Gothamist has never been content with jars full of crayons and brown paper-covered tables, so when Heather, our bartender at Apocalypse Lounge, gestured to the wall and said to go crazy, we were smitten. With enough graffiti to read all all night and cute bartenders (look for the exceedingly polite John) this is the kind of place that breeds conversation, if not ADD, and we wish we’d found earlier -- like immediately upon moving here from Boston for school, years ago. The bi-level bar serves only wine (four choices at $5 apiece, all the time) and beer (most $4) but offers spoken word, comedy, even freak shows. Collages cover nearly every surface including the ceiling and where mirrors usually hang in the bathroom. Cambetta, who owned Limelight for fifteen years, wanted a place where anything goes, anyone brave enough could do their thing on stage or on the walls. His philosophy, and the mad tea party furniture (which could’ve been part of the set from the Michael Alig movie Party Monster) make the place unfussy, fun and definitely good for groups.

Photo courtesy of Sarah Whedon.

Apocalypse Lounge, 189 E 3rd Street between Aves A and B, (212) 228-4811.