Where NYC nightlife experts hang out after-hours

We asked the city's late-night denizens where they congregate in the wee hours.

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  • Photograph: Sam Horine

    Heather D., booker at the Bell House (thebellhouseny.com) and Union Hall (unionhallny.com)
    "When I'm keeping it low-key, I go to High Dive (243 Fifth Ave between Carroll St and Garfield Pl, Park Slope, Brooklyn; 718-788-0401, highdivebrooklyn.com; pictured) or Commonwealth (497 Fifth Ave at 12th St, Park Slope, Brooklyn; 718-768-2040, commonwealthbar.com), because I love the atmosphere, music and bartenders. They're never empty or boring, but also not obnoxiously full, and you can easily strike up a conversation with some interesting people. The jukeboxes at both are pretty fun; I'll find myself yelling out, 'Oh, my God, I love this song!' a few times in a night. Yeah, I'm that girl."

    "If it's a Friday [night] and I want to hang out at a guaranteed party spot, I'll hit Karaoke Killed the Cat (702 Union St between Fifth and Sixth Aves, Park Slope, Brooklyn; 718-638-4400, unionhallny.com; Fri 13 at midnight; free). At any given time between midnight at 3am, you can show up and it's like walking in at the peak of an awesome party. It starts big and ends big. There's no downtime and none of that 'ugh, lets just hang out for a few minutes and hope it starts hoppin' soon.' It's like a slap in the face with, 'Boom, let's fucking party,' from the minute you get there till the minute you leave."

    "Honorable mention to Boat (175 Smith St between Warren and Wyckoff Sts, Boerum Hill, Brooklyn; 718-254-0607), which is where I go if I want to have a great time with friends (read: shots) and am totally prepared to not remember anything the next day."

  • Gabby Mejia, director of subMercer (submercer.tumblr.com)
    "Juvenex Spa (25 W 32nd St between Fifth Ave and Broadway, fifth floor; 646-733-1330, juvenexspa.com) is the absolute best place to unwind after a long, busy night at work---or a night of partying! It's a proper two-level spa, replete with a sauna, steam room, baths, a detox room and rooms for various spa and salon treatments. The service is impeccable, with complimentary refreshments and fresh fruit available, and the massages are some of the best in the city. It's also open 24/7. [It's] a bit difficult to find if you've never been, but better that way because you don't really want to share it."

    "Mangiami's (9 Stanton St between Bowery and Chrystie St; 212-477-7047, mangiaminyc.tumblr.com) late-night one-off shows always have fantastic underground DJs, and the parties have a cool, diverse, friendly crowd. Hosts/owners Gianfranco and Maiko and their staff give them a warm, special family feel."

    "Angel's Share (8 Stuyvesant St between Second and Third Aves; 212-777-5415) is a Japanese speakeasy. [The rules are] hats off, no more than four people [per party] and keep it down. You'll be rewarded with quality jazz and perfect cocktails."

  • Blaise Allysen Kearsley, founder and host of the How I Learned reading series (howilearnedseries.com)
    "I've had my moments at Freddy's Bar and Backroom (627 Fifth Ave between 17th and 18th Sts, Sunset Park, Brooklyn; freddysbar.com) when they were in the old space in Prospect Heights, and now in their new location. At Freddy's, 'after-hours' ends up being 'after-after-after-where-did-the-hours-go hours.' You walk in at 11pm on a Wednesday night and you might not come out until it's time for breakfast...on Friday."

    "I've enjoyed strolling over to Freemans (Freeman Alley off Rivington St between Bowery and Chrystie St; 212-420-0012, freemansrestaurant.com) after a How I Learned show and having a cocktail with friends at the bar in the back."

  • Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

    Rob Fernandez, superpromoter (robpromotions.com)
    "Burkina (69 First Ave at 4th St; 212-460-9348, burkinanyc.com) has been around for, like, 15 years. I can spend an hour in this tiny store, checking out hats, shirts, DVDs, CDs, bags.... I know New York is a 24-hour city, but there aren't too many places you can buy a hoodie at 2am [on weekends, or 1am on weekdays]---especially one that says I RUN DA BRONX."

    "The Apple Store on Fifth Avenue (767 Fifth Ave between 58th and 59th Sts; 212-336-1440, apple.com) is open 24 hours, but the tourists and lines make it impossible during the day, so 4am is the only time to go. A lot of club people are now onto this---me and [fellow promoter] Benny Soto have gone a few times after our Cielo party and seen a few club bartenders and waitresses there."

    "Pacha (618 W 46th St between Eleventh and Twelfth Aves; 212-209-7500, pachanyc.com) is the last word on nightlife every weekend in NYC. Rather than bounce around from club to club, I just go to Pacha at 3am, see everyone there, and they tell me everything that happened earlier that night---it saves me a lot of legwork. When it comes to after-hours, Queens is the new Manhattan. Neighbor complaints and community boards in Manhattan have driven many of these parties to more industrial areas in Queens. Places like Club Petra (29-40 Northern Blvd between 40th Rd and 41st Ave, Long Island City, Queens; no phone), Odyssey (33-02 Queens Blvd at 33rd St, Long Island City, Queens; 718-433-4500, clubodysseynyc.com) and Area Lounge (32-03 Farrington St at 32nd Ave, Flushing, Queens; 718-321-3949, areanyc.com) are thriving. Many of these parties start in the morning and go all day. Right now this is the real underground dance scene in NYC."

  • Photograph: Anya Garrett

    Ed Larson, member of sketch-comedy group Murderfist (murderfist.com)
    "The credo at the Second Chance Saloon (659 Grand St between Leonard St and Manhattan Ave, Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-387-4411) is, 'We don't give a fuck what you've done.' That works out perfectly for us and the shitty people we love to hang out with. They have cheap beer, the back patio is open all year long, they don't close until 4am and they play Iggy Pop on repeat. It's great."

    "We can be seen lingering around the Creek and the Cave (10-93 Jackson Ave at 11th St, Long Island City, Queens; 718-706-8783, creeklic.com) late at night. [There is a] great midnight happy hour, and always a comedian or two to yell at. It's the kind of place where you can show up whenever and you can go by yourself. If you're a comedian, there will always be three or four people you know hanging out there. It tends to get late and messy fast in Long Island City."

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

    Ilirjana Alushaj, singer for Apache Beat (myspace.com/apachebeat) and editor of the Pop Manifesto (thepopmanifesto.com)
    "Spectacle Theater (124 South 3rd St between Bedford Ave and Berry St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn; spectacletheater.com) is a little hole-in-the-wall cinema that shows films slightly on the avant-garde or art side of cinema. It's a place to see things you would never normally see on the big screen."

    "Recently I've been curating shows at the Tribeca Grand Hotel (2 Sixth Ave at Church St; 877-519-6600, tribecagrand.com), so I've been spending a lot of time in the space. They have good music and great cocktails in a maze of a hotel that's perfect for getting lost in."

    "285 Kent (285 Kent at South 1st St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn; toddpnyc.com) is a DIY venue on the waterfront that's always a fun place to party, with consistently good bookings. There's a great band or show playing there at least once a week. Bands [also] sound great at Saint Vitus (1120 Manhattan Ave between Box and Clay Sts, Greenpoint, Brooklyn; saintvitusbar.com), and I always hear DJs play that one track I had forgotten about."

Photograph: Sam Horine

Heather D., booker at the Bell House (thebellhouseny.com) and Union Hall (unionhallny.com)
"When I'm keeping it low-key, I go to High Dive (243 Fifth Ave between Carroll St and Garfield Pl, Park Slope, Brooklyn; 718-788-0401, highdivebrooklyn.com; pictured) or Commonwealth (497 Fifth Ave at 12th St, Park Slope, Brooklyn; 718-768-2040, commonwealthbar.com), because I love the atmosphere, music and bartenders. They're never empty or boring, but also not obnoxiously full, and you can easily strike up a conversation with some interesting people. The jukeboxes at both are pretty fun; I'll find myself yelling out, 'Oh, my God, I love this song!' a few times in a night. Yeah, I'm that girl."

"If it's a Friday [night] and I want to hang out at a guaranteed party spot, I'll hit Karaoke Killed the Cat (702 Union St between Fifth and Sixth Aves, Park Slope, Brooklyn; 718-638-4400, unionhallny.com; Fri 13 at midnight; free). At any given time between midnight at 3am, you can show up and it's like walking in at the peak of an awesome party. It starts big and ends big. There's no downtime and none of that 'ugh, lets just hang out for a few minutes and hope it starts hoppin' soon.' It's like a slap in the face with, 'Boom, let's fucking party,' from the minute you get there till the minute you leave."

"Honorable mention to Boat (175 Smith St between Warren and Wyckoff Sts, Boerum Hill, Brooklyn; 718-254-0607), which is where I go if I want to have a great time with friends (read: shots) and am totally prepared to not remember anything the next day."

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2 comments
jerry
jerry

Nice post. If you want to find a party, you should check out http://www.FiestaFrog.com , it shows you all the parties in your zipcode. You can even see all the after hours bars in your areas.

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