LocalBozo.com correspondent Link Cromwell vowed to have a drink at every bar in Hoboken before running the 2011 New York City Marathon. With every bar visit in the “Sixth Borough” now completed along with a successful race now finished, it’s time to reel our reporting back toward the City. And as such, every single Friday we’ll be taking over where Link left off, showing you distinctive bars in each borough perhaps for the very first time, perhaps to refresh your memory of a fun place you’ve ducked into, or perhaps to suggest a new spot for you to check out. You can follow our travels as we approach each weekend on Friday mornings with LocalBozo.com’s “Drink Here Now.”
317 E Houston St, Lower East Side, Manhattan
Getting There: F to Delancey Street
Drink Here Now: Parkside Lounge
When the rain starts to soak the streets of New York City you want to quickly duck into a place that’s dry for a bit of a respite. On a recent weeknight the “Drink Here Now” crew and I found one such safe haven in the Lower East Side. On the corner where East Houston meets Avenue B sits a bar that easily catches a New Yorker’s eye for it’s old school appeal and uniqueness. If you need a hint, I’m talking about the Parkside Lounge. The bar may not sit directly next to any park, but it’s name holds a lot of truth as to how a classic dive bar should be run.
At around 9pm we found refuge from the rain once through the bar’s glass door and inside the highly illuminated space. Christmas style lights and a medium sized mirror ball provide lighting, a conversation starter from the get go. The bar itself appears to have been there for over forty years, but many people have told me this design was purposely made to appear older than it actually is. Either way, first time patrons and regulars will get treated to a ton of old school eye candy covering every wall to be transported to a New York City of old. On this particular night the bar was packed with leftover Happy Hour drinkers and recreational sports league teams sipping suds and playing foosball. After a short wait for drinks, the sole bartender on duty served us up some very cheap pints of Pabst Blue Ribbon and vodka sodas, making this an easy place for marathon drinking if we didn’t have to wake up early the following day.
Along with foosball, skeeball and nightly live music provide tons of entertainment for folks looking to do something besides drinking and chatting with friends. Our crew is partial to the latter. Therefore we were thrilled that Parkside Lounge houses a digital jukebox playing the likes of Alice In Chains to Marcy Playground. The touchscreen juke provided us with hours of killer tunes while we wet our whistles. After we finished our last pint and song it was time to go back into the rain. We may have been soaked, but the time spent at Parkside Lounge allowed us to forget about our soggy shoes and focus on finding a taxi.
Bar Type - Long running Lower East Side dive bar with live music, Skee Ball and a great attitude.
When to Visit – Seven days a week as there is always a crowd buzzing through this place for a show or just to throw back a few cold ones.
Value – Fans of cheap beer and well drinks will want to call Parkside Lounge home for a session of drinking without breaking the bank feeling cheated out of their dough.
The Lowdown - The outside facade, with it’s neon sign will tell you that Parkside Lounge is a friendly joint to imbibe in the ever changing and trendy Lower East Side. Even the short lived HBO series “Bored To Death” realized as much as they used the bar in it’s very first episode.