When Joshua and Jordan Boyd and Darren Rubell (cousin to Studio 54’s Steve Rubell) created this East Village lounge, their ambition was to wrap a 21st-century drink emporium in Jazz Age glamour. But the garish decor is more cheesy (a red-and-black Vegas aesthetic) than chic, and the drinks are duds. The Ella is a characterless mix of vodka, elderflower liqueur, lemon juice and fresh watermelon. A gloppy Rye Smash—raspberries and lemon muddled with whiskey and simple syrup, then shaken and served in the same glass—is unsightly and bitter. When the DJ kicks in, the energy of the sexy twentysomething clientele is infectious. But it’s not enough to overlook tacky trappings and sloppy drinks.
9 Ave A
|Cross street:||between 1st and 2nd Sts|
|Opening hours:||Daily 6pm–4am|
|Transport:||Subway: F to Lower East Side–Second Ave|
|Price:||Average drink: $10. AmEx, Disc, MC, V|