st marks

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Cracking the Case of the Mystery Safes in the Speakeasy Basement

This week, we continue with our series of longer pieces unraveling the histories of storied buildings.

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(Photo: Nigar Hacizade)

If you walked into a building expecting to see a regular museum, but found an apartment-sized living room with minimal, seemingly random paraphernalia, unremarkable oil paintings and posters on the walls, and a $20 admission charge, what kind of review would you post on TripAdvisor? Would your visit even be long enough to merit one? And yet 56 of 70 reviews for the The Museum of the American Gangster, on the second floor of 78-80 Saint Marks Place, described it as “excellent” or “very good.” Half the reviewers on Yelp gave the place five stars. The glowing assessments have something in common: they all caution the visitor to get over any initial disappointment and enjoy the guided tour.

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From Anarchist Hangout to Bathhouse to Arcade: The Steamy History of 6 St. Marks

This week, we continue with our series of longer pieces unraveling the histories of storied buildings.

6 St. Marks Place today (Photo by Prianka Srinivasan)

6 St. Marks Place today (Photo by Prianka Srinivasan)

It’s a little after seven on a Friday night, and the narrow basement of 6 St. Marks Place is heaving with booze and bodies. A young man juts his phone over his head and, like a digital periscope, slowly pans the room, recording the clusters of people huddled around the 56 arcades lining the walls. For countless other ‘90s kids, his enthusiasm is unsurprising. “Dude, they have Mortal Kombat!” he gushes, “I used to love that game!”

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East Village Gets a Double Shot of Korean Coffee Giant Caffebene

New Caffe Bene at 24 St. Marks Pl. (Credit: Joshua Alvarez)

New Caffe Bene at 24 St. Marks Pl. (Credit: Joshua Alvarez)

The East Village is getting not one but two new outposts of South Korean coffee chain Caffebene this month. The first opened Monday at 208 Avenue A, on the corner of 13th Street, and the other will open next week at 24 St. Marks Place, in the former home of Pinkberry. A soft opening is scheduled for Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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The Wayland Opens a Natty Neighborhood Spot, Good Night Sonny, in the Old Simone Space

(Photo: Jaime Cone)

(Photo: Jaime Cone)

With the launch of Good Night Sonny, Robert Ceraso and Jason Mendenhall, the chef/bartender team behind Alphabet City’s cocktail bar/live music venue The Wayland, are finally realizing their dream of opening a classic New York City tavern in the heart of the East Village. After a gut renovation of the former Simone martini bar location on First Avenue and Saint Marks, they’re having a soft opening this week with drinks and some food; they’ll be officially open for business daily from 5 p.m. to 4 a.m. starting this Monday.

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Barcade Has Powered Up On St. Marks Place

(Photo: Nicole Disser)

(Photo: Nicole Disser)

Barcade officially opened just a few hours ago on St. Marks, and by 5 p.m. the place was already bumping and bleeping. The new location is nothing short of brilliant — Barcade is directly (and irresistibly) in view of the stoners finishing their dogs at Papaya King, and will likely scoop up Kenka’s clientele as well. It caters to a rare breed of people who like to have “fun” while drinking.

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Max Fish Bartenders: Where Are They Now?

(Photo: Daniel Savage)

(Photo: Daniel Savage)

Many of us are still mourning the loss of Max Fish, hopelessly wandering the gentrified streets of the Lower East Side for a watering hole to call home. However, we musn’t lose sight of what made Max Fish what it was. No, it wasn’t the revolting bathrooms, the overambitious lighting or even the refreshingly affordable beverages. It was the people, and many of those people are still kicking around downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn, serving drinks, playing in bands and turning up at various dive bars to grab a beer.
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On St. Marks, Piercings Trump Fro Yo — Again

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

(Photo: Daniel Maurer)

If there was ever any concern that there weren’t enough places on St. Marks to get your belly button pierced at 2 a.m. on a Friday night, Elite Jewelry and Piercing Co. has just opened, replacing self-serve fro yo shop Yogurt Station.

It’s the second late night “body mod” outpost to claim the space of a frozen yogurt joint on this very block (NYC Kulture replaced a Red Mango just across the street), which would suggest that the drunken vagabonds of St. Marks would rather enhance (or disfigure) their physical appearance than enjoy a frozen treat. Except that vegan ice cream joint DF Mavens is coming to the block.
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