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Home > Nightlife & Music > Cafe Wha?

Cafe Wha?

115 MacDougal St., New York, NY 10012 40.730166 -74.000664
nr. 3rd St.  See Map | Subway Directions Hopstop Popup
212-254-3706 Send to Phone

  • Reader Rating:

    8 out of 10


    2 Reviews | Write a Review

  • Scene: Bar Food, Classic NY, Live Music, Private Party Space, Restaurant & Bar
Photo by Robert K. Chin

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Official Website


Tue, 9:15pm-2:30am; Wed-Sun, 8pm-2:30am; Mon, closed

Nearby Subway Stops

A, B, C, D, E, F, M at W. 4th St.-Washington Sq.

Cover Charge

Sun-Thu, $10; Fri-Sat, $15

Payment Methods

American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa


While Cafe Wha? claims to be the birthplace of legends like Jimi Hendrix and Bob Dylan, the truth is that they actually got their starts at the original location next door. Still, this basement tourist magnet milks the name for all its worth and accordingly, Wha? attracts a host of European and Japanese visitors who invariably take pictures of themselves in front of the garishly colorful facade. Live music remains the club's hook, with the house band playing covers of R&B, funk and classic rock Wed-Sun. The cover charge is a good thing here, helping to keep out the MacDougal horde of NYU kids with the munchies, and the drink prices are affordable, although there is a two-item minimum. Still, for a place that claims to have people "dancing in the aisles," it's so cramped patrons can barely move, let alone groove.


Manny Roth, owner of the original Cafe Wha? and uncle to David Lee Roth, sold the bar in 1988. The original Cafe Wha? is now a comedy club.