Best places for bachelor and bachelorette parties
Tue Dec 6 2011
Rebel Night at Otto's Shrunken Head
Bring a coed group to this rockabilly shindig, where ladies and gents can usually get a free dance lesson from the DJs if they show up at 10pm. Pair off for a fast jive, or get the bride and her gals together to practice the stroll, a traditionally all-female line routine. Once you've learned the moves, hit the dance floor—but don't leave before forcing the bride or groom to make cutesy faces in the bar's black-and-white photo booth ($4). 538 E 14th St between Aves A and B (212-228-2240, ottosshrunkenhead.com). Third Friday of every month 10pm--4am; free.
Skip the strippers-and-sex-toys scene and instead gather a few of your closest friends at this casual gay venue. There are a few clubby attributes—such as shirtless bartenders in skivvies and booming dance music—but the vibe is more like a casual sports bar. Plus, there's no fee to reserve a private space; both the front alcove and the area around the pool tables and dartboards in the back can be claimed for up to 40 people. 37 W 20th St between Fifth and Sixth Aves (212-255-5082, boxersnyc.com)
Redux at the Beauty Bar
Start your bachelorette bash with a manicure and a cocktail (Mon--Fri 6--11pm, Sat 5--11pm, Sun 7--11pm; $10) at this East Village watering hole, located in a former beauty salon. Postpampering, move your group to the bar's back room and boogie down to new wave and postpunk tunes, spun by a rotating cast of DJs (including glam nightlife legend Michael T and Girls & Boys spinner Alex English). 231 E 14th St between Second and Third Aves (212-539-1389, thebeautybar.com). Sat 11pm. Free.
If you're after a more laid-back hen party, check out the Google group created by The Hairpin (thehairpin.com), the witty sister blog to The Awl and Splitsider. The vibe at these 'pinups is "fun, a little tipsy and super friendly," according to editor Edith Zimmerman, and you'll meet like-minded ladies who are also obsessed with "Ask a Clean Person" and other Hairpin features. Set your own date and spot for boozing, or see if you can join in the fun at an already-scheduled event. Next event: December of Doom at Duff's (168 Marcy Ave between Broadway and South 5th St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-599-2092, duffsbrooklyn.com). Time and date TBA; $TK. Visit groups.google.com/group/hairpin_pinups for more info.
Vets of NYC's leather scene—or dudes who want to see what it's all about—can drink, play pool and ogle other sexy guys at this Chelsea playground. Private parties of 100 to 250 guests can reserve the entire first floor bar free of charge (you'll have to put down a deposit for smaller parties). Plus, you can hire your own entertainment or book one of the bar's on-call DJs to man the decks. 554 W 28th St between Tenth and Eleventh Aves (646-473-1866, eaglenyc.com)