dive bars

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Legendary Gogo Dive Pussycat Lounge Returns After a Six-Year Catnap

Nine lives, indeed! The legendary Pussycat Lounge has quietly reopened after six years of uncertainty.

I haven’t yet read Meet Me in the Bathroom, the oral history of the aughts rock scene that got James Murphy and Nick Zinner reminiscing, but I’d be surprised if the Pussycat Lounge wasn’t mentioned. After all, it’s where Taavo Somer and Carlos Quirarte threw parties before they went on to open downtown hotspots Freemans and The Smile, respectively. At one point, the place was so cool that it appeared in a Times trend piece about the death of the trucker hat. And then, in 2011, the 41-year-old dive was suddenly closed by the city, after its building was deemed unsafe.

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Lit’s Follow-Up Inside of the McKibbin Lofts Finally Opens Friday

(Photos courtesy of Tilt)

(Photos courtesy of Tilt)

Believe it or not, it’s been nearly three years since we broke news that legendary dive Lit Lounge would make a comeback, of sorts, underneath the McKibbin Lofts in East Williamsburg. A lot has happened since then (for one thing, Lit’s old home in the East Village is now The Cock) but it looks like it’s actually, finally happening. The new place hosts its grand-opening party this Friday. It doesn’t have the same name, but it is called Tilt, which is how you’d spell Lit after a long night at Lit.

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Lakeside Lounge Owner Releases a Musical Homage to His Old Dive

Eric "Roscoe" Ambel (Photo: Courtesy of Johan Vipper)

Eric “Roscoe” Ambel (Photo: Courtesy of Johan Vipper)

When the Lakeside Lounge closed in April 2012, East Villagers mourned the loss of another quintessential dive bar in the rapidly changing neighborhood. For Eric “Roscoe” Ambel, a musician, producer, and the former owner of the Alphabet City bar, the venue’s departure from NYC’s live music scene was a symptom of the greater economic forces at play in redefining the character of the city’s neighborhoods, and served as an inspiration for his newly released solo album, Lakeside, which takes its spirit from Ambel’s bar-owning days. With Ambel playing a live show of his record at Hill Country Brooklyn on June 25, Bedford + Bowery caught up with him to chat about Lakeside Lounge and live music in New York.

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Kashana Cauley Thinks The Commodore Is a ‘Superlative’ Dive Bar

The debut book from Joshua D. Fischer – and the first to come from Bedford + Bowery – is called Meet the Regulars: People of Brooklyn and the Places They Love. To get you psyched for this hardcover collection of photos and interviews (out in May from Skyhorse Publishing), here’s another new installment of the series.

(Photo: Nicole Disser)

(Photo: Nicole Disser)

“Whenever you have a good fried chicken plate, you’re kind of giving a shoutout to blackness,” says writer Kashana Cauley. As a regular, she definitely believes The Commodore, in Williamsburg, rocks good fried chicken. And she should know: her grandparents are from the South and made a mean fried chicken and biscuits. As we get our fingers greasy on all this fried goodness, the Madison, Wisconsin native praises Brooklyn as well. “It’s the blackest place I’ve ever lived,” she says. “I love that. Just walking down the street and being another black woman. I never had that.”

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Gold Sounds Hopes to Strike a Chord in Bushwick Music Scene

(Photo: Nicole Disser)

(Photo: Nicole Disser)

Bushwick seems to be getting more and more middling operations that eschew the slickness of places like Williamsburg Hall of Music but are nevertheless a foot above the gritty underground DIY venues that are becoming a thing of memory. This Thursday night, when brand new dive bar and venue Gold Sounds has its grand opening party (pssst– with FREE booze), you can add one more to the pile of bar/venues like Alphaville and Sunnyvale.

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The Cock Slips Into Lit’s Old Home, Gets ‘Bigger, Longer, Harder’

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The Cock has moved its trademark neon rooster up a few blocks and it’s now glowing/crowing atop the former home of Lit Lounge. After going two rounds in what might be called a cockfight with Community Board 3, it looks like the gay bar and East Village institution has emerged with its feathers unruffled. Last night, the Oh, Fuck You Honey party was in full swing in the basement, which looks pretty much exactly like it did before Lit closed in July, with the notable addition of some gogo dancers, a shirtless bartender, and some red light bulbs strung up on the ceiling.

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‘This Bar Is Brooklyn’: St. Paddy’s Day With Rosemary at Her Greenpoint Tavern

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“That’s my chair honey.”

Rosemary Bleday reprimands a customer as he puts his hands on an empty chair at the end of the bar. Rosemary’s Greenpoint Tavern is packed to bursting with St. Patrick’s Day revelers, yet one chair remains tantalizingly open. It sits in a prime location, facing out on Bedford Avenue and providing a vantage point of the entire tavern. But Rosemary’s spot will always be Rosemary’s spot, like it has been for 60 years.

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Otto’s Shrunken Head Rethinks Its Decor

(Photo: Nicole Disser)

(Photo: Nicole Disser)

Before you freak out, the East Village’s diviest tiki bar hasn’t changed immensely– but Otto’s Shrunken Head has revamped what Nell the bartender described as a floor that was “peeling off,” and apparently the source of that overpowering smell of urine. The new bright blue floor smells like fresh linoleum and has given Otto’s, which opened back in 2002, a new lease on not-smelling-like-piss-and-regret, something really quite fortunate for a bar where people get shamefully sloshed on Zombies and Singapore Slings.
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At Bushwick’s Newest Outdoor Drinking Destination, Your Phone Will Never Die

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

(Photos: Daniel Maurer)

Finally, Bushwick has a watering hole with personal USB ports and outlets built right into the bar, so your iPhone won’t die while you’re ‘gramming the awesome back patio.
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Bye Bye, Blarney Cove: An Irish Holdover Packs Up the Shillelagh

Bartender Lisa Ramsay (Photo: JP Grace)

Bartender Lisa Ramsay (Photo: JP Grace)

Blarney Cove (Photos: Scott Lynch)

Blarney Cove (Photos: Scott Lynch)

Blarney Cove (Photos: Scott Lynch)

Blarney Cove (Photos: Scott Lynch)

Blarney Cove (Photos: Scott Lynch)

Blarney Cove (Photos: Scott Lynch)

Blarney Cove (Photos: Scott Lynch)

Blarney Cove (Photos: Scott Lynch)

Blarney Cove (Photos: Scott Lynch)

Blarney Cove (Photos: Scott Lynch)

Blarney Cove (Photos: Scott Lynch)

Blarney Cove (Photos: Scott Lynch)

Blarney Cove (Photos: Scott Lynch)

Blarney Cove (Photos: Scott Lynch)

Blarney Cove (Photos: Scott Lynch)

Blarney Cove (Photos: Scott Lynch)

Blarney Cove (Photos: Scott Lynch)

Blarney Cove (Photos: Scott Lynch)

Blarney Cove (Photo: Scott Lynch)

Blarney Cove (Photo: Scott Lynch)

(Photo: Scott Lynch)

Sometime around 1977, Father Time ducked into the Blarney Cove on East 14th Street and never bothered to start the clock back up when he left. A gnarled shillelagh, or “Irish whuppin’ stick,” hangs on the wall beneath the television, which is typically tuned to baseball or horse races. There’s a working payphone and a video poker game by the tables in the rear. A faint odor of stale beer floats around.

Sadly, there are just a scant few days left to grab a cheap domestic draft at this sliver of old New York. The Cove will close its doors for good at the end of this month. It’s “going the way of Mars Bar and CBGB,” says bartender Lisa Ramsay.
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