Gallery Bar (CLOSED)

Bars, Lounges Lower East Side
  • 1 out of 5 stars
(1user review)
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By day, it’s an art gallery; by night it’s a bar—hence the name. The bi-level space has a dimly lit basement and a street-level lounge filled with photography.


Venue name: Gallery Bar (CLOSED)
Address: 120 Orchard St
New York

Cross street: between Delancey and Rivington Sts
Opening hours: Mon–Wed, Sun 6pm–2am; Thu–Sat 6pm–4am
Transport: Subway: F to Delancey St; J, Z, M to Delancey–Essex Sts
Price: Average drink: $8. AmEx, MC, V
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Average User Rating

1 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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Mala K

This one star rating is ENTIRELY because of the GM, who is named Henry. (I'll be decent and leave out his last name). I want to be clear that the Gallery Bar staff (other than the GM) were fantastic, and the venue itself proved worthy. If it hadn't been for the GM, this would be a four or five star rating.

Two weeks ago, I held my book launch party at Gallery Bar after a friend recommended the venue. I caught the outgoing events planner on her last day, so she then put me in contact with the new GM. I secured the space as a private event on the agreement that if I and all of my guests hit a certain collective amount on the bar tab by the end of the event, I'd owe nothing. If we came in below, I'd owe the difference plus tax and tip. Fine, that's a straightforward enough deal.

I emailed the GM several times before my event to confirm all of the details, including the physical layout, what the DJ needed to bring, and what I needed to bring to play a video on the bar's projector. Overall, the GM had terrible communication (not to mention horrendous grammar), so I ended up going twice in person to have all of my questions answered.

The day before event, I realized after calling the bar and talking to someone else that the bar does not have a computer to connect to the projector. So less than 24 hours to my event, I spent several hours confirming who had what kind of computer, SD card readers, etc., and ended up having to buy two converters to make sure everything would work. Needless to say, it was a total waste of time and an unnecessary panic.

Here's the real kicker. In the weeks leading up to the event, I confirmed TWICE with the GM what time he would be there the day of the event. He said 5:30 PM (my event was to start at 7 PM), so logically, I showed up at 5:30 PM to give myself as much time as possible to get everything set up. Except when I made it over there, 50 copies of my book in hand, IN THE RAIN, the metal theft-proof door was drawn shut. I called the bar and the GM's mobile phone no less than four times each, texted, emailed, but no answer. The GM hadn't bothered to give me a back up contact in case something like this happened.

Thankfully, one of the staff members of the bar waiting outside heard me leave a message, and was kind enough to track down a spare set of keys. 45 minutes after I had arrived - at 6:15, just 45 minutes before my event was to start - someone opened the doors and let me and the staff (minus the GM) inside.

Again, I want to reiterate that the other than the GM, the bar staff were all incredibly helpful, and entirely the reason my event actually happened. Unfortunately, I was so stressed with getting caught in the rain and not knowing if my event would actually happen, I didn't encourage people to the bar and came way short of the minimum.

The GM finally bothered to show up just half-an-hour before the end of my event and demanded I close out the tab. I calmly explained to him how unprofessional his behavior had been, and said that he needed to do something as compensation. The "only thing he could offer" was to knock off the tax and tip, which I accepted because I was too tired to argue.

I later went back to the bar to pick up a bag I had left, and asked the GM point blank whether the no tax and tip affected the staff. He said, "A little bit, but don't worry about it. It doesn't matter." When I told him it does indeed matter, as the staff was the reason the event happened at all, he switched his answer and said the staff was compensated out of pocket. I wouldn't be shocked if he lied to my face to get me to leave.

Long story short, do not deal with the GM. If he's fired, then go for the gold and have your event here. Such a shame this bar hired someone so incompetent.