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Find out where bands drink when they come to NYC

Learn where these hot acts down a few in NYC—and catch them when they’re in town this summer.

 (Photograph: Steph Black)
Photograph: Steph Black

Alex Bleeker and the Freaks

Daddy’s(437 Graham Ave at Frost St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-609-6388) is my favorite bar in Brooklyn. It’s a no-frills kind of a place, the people are cool, the music is good, and the hot dogs are delicious. Plus, big windows open up to the sidewalk in summertime.”—Alex Bleeker, singer/guitarist

See them live:Shea Stadium (liveatsheastadium.com). June 15 at 8pm; price TBA. • Bowery Ballroom (212-533-2111, boweryballroom.com). July 27 at 8pm; $12.

 (Photograph: Courtesy of Hunters)
Photograph: Courtesy of Hunters


“If we have a day off and it’s nice out, we like to go to  Frying Pan(Pier 66A, W 26th St at the Hudson River; 212-989-6363, fryingpan.com) and drink on the little boat out there. It’s great during the week because you will be about the only people there. Warning: It’s a nightmare at night or on weekends and should be avoided then at all costs.” 

See them live:4Knots Music Festival, South Street Seaport, Pier 17 (villagevoice.com/4knots). June 29 at 1pm; free.

 (Photograph: Agnes Thor)
Photograph: Agnes Thor

Small Black

“It was decimated by the storm, but I’m hoping that Connolly’s Bar (155 Beach 95th St between Rockaway Beach Blvd and Shore Front Pkwy, Far Rockaway, Queens; 718-318-1714) will be open this summer. I’ll grab one of their classic ‘frozens’ and wander out onto the boardwalk. Gotta support the Rockaways!”—Josh Kolenik, singer-keyboardist

See them live:Music Hall of Williamsburg (718-486-5400, musichallofwilliamsburg.com). June 30 at 9pm; $15.

 (Photograph: Eliza Cutler)
Photograph: Eliza Cutler

Nude Beach

“We’ve become pretty good friends with the people at Molasses Books (770 Hart St between Knickerbocker and Wilson Aves, Bushwick, Brooklyn; facebook.com/molassesbooks). It’s kind of cool to go there and see what they have—there will be German beer one week, Sixpoint the next—and hang out, listen to records and look at books. They’re usually playing really cool old country music or some Lou Reed weirdness from the ’80s.”—Ryan Naideau, drummer 

See them live:Knitting Factory(347-529-6696, bk.knittingfactory.com). July 5 at 8pm; $10.

 (Photograph: Brock Fetch)
Photograph: Brock Fetch

Bass Drum of Death

“The Levee (212 Berry St at North 3rd St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-218-8787, theleveenyc.com) is close to where we usually play in Brooklyn and has sick beer-and-shot specials. And cheese balls at the bar. I’ve had some pretty sloppy and radical times there. And Welcome to the Johnsons (123 Rivington St between Essex and Norfolk Sts; 212-420-9911) is tight, probably the cheapest bar in Manhattan, and has mismatched pool balls and a great jukebox.”—John Barrett, singer/guitarist 

See them live:Shea Stadium (liveatsheastadium.com). July 8 at 8pm; $10. • Glasslands Gallery (theglasslands.com). July 9 at 8:30pm; $10.

 (Photograph: Federico Bolagno)
Photograph: Federico Bolagno

The Beets

“We love coming through Shea Stadium(20 Meadow St between Bogart and Waterbury Sts, Williamsburg, Brooklyn; liveatsheastadium.com) for a show, to drink and hang with the crew. The weekday shows never get too crowded, and there’s always a good band playing.”

See them live:Glasslands Gallery (theglasslands.com). July 18 at 8:30pm; $10.

 (Photograph: Ben Sklar)
Photograph: Ben Sklar


Soft Spot(128 Bedford Ave at North 10th St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-384-7768, softspotbar.com) is a block away from our practice space, has a low-key vibe, two-for-one happy hour and a small patio out back. We often slip in there before we play.”—Martin Crane, singer-guitarist

See them live:Knitting Factory (347-529-6696, bk.knittingfactory.com).  July 21 at 8pm; $12. 

 (Photograph: Sandy Kim)
Photograph: Sandy Kim

Smith Westerns

“Our favorite bar in New York right now is Sophie’s (507 E 5th St between Aves A and B; 212-228-5680) in the East Village. It’s the most like bars we go to in Chicago—cheap beers in mugs, a jukebox, a pool table and Big Buck Hunter. Whenever I’m there it’s a little empty, so it’s perfect to have a couple drinks before you head out for the night.”—Max Kakacek, guitarist

See them live:Music Hall of Williamsburg (718-486-5400, musichallofwilliamsburg.com). July 24 at 8pm; $20.

 (Photograph: Kevin Chao)
Photograph: Kevin Chao

The Stepkids

“I’m not much of a drinker, so when I do go out for a drink, I try to make that one drink really count. That’s why I prefer Spuyten Duyvil(359 Metropolitan Ave at Havemeyer St; 718-963-4140, spuytenduyvilnyc.com). I’m always guaranteed to find an unexpected type of beer that opens up new portals for my taste buds. And they have a big backyard to boot.”—Daniel Edinberg, bassist/keyboardist

See them live:Celebrate Brooklyn! (at the Prospect Park Bandshell) (718-855-7882, bricartsmedia.org/cb). Aug 2 at 7:30pm; free.

 (Photograph: Ashley Leahy)
Photograph: Ashley Leahy

Black Marble

Crown Victoria Bar(60 South 2nd St between Kent and Wythe Aves, Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-387-0003, crownvicbar.com) is a summer spot with lots of outdoor seating that’s full of chirpy waitresses and bright-eyed urban professionals. But the best, most often overlooked aspect of this bar is its proximity to band-practice spaces attached to the building. So if you’re a well-adjusted sort whose only regret in life is how at ease your parents are with your choices, by all means swing on by and slum it with some hungover bands.”—Chris Stewart, singer–multi-instrumentalist

See them live:285 Kent Ave (facebook.com/285kentave). Sat 8 at 8pm; $15, advance $12.

Who better to give us recommendations for summer drinking spots than bands who are playing summer concerts in New York? Find out where groups like the Stepkids, Hunters and the Beets like to hang out in NYC—and find out where you can see them when they play in town this summer.

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