Sun-Wed, noon-midnight; Thu, noon-1am; Fri-Sat, noon-4am
J, M, Z at Essex St.
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
Casa Mezcal rode high on a tidal wave of pre-opening blogosphere hype, and then went and lived up to most of it. There are three floors of solid Oaxacan entertainment here: first off is the downstairs, where a stage is set up for live bands to play (think Mexican hipster groups like Kinky) and a dance-floor for scenesters to try out their cha-cha-cha. Once fully renovated, the upstairs is available for private parties for those who want nothing but to gaze down upon the beautiful people of Orchard Street. Linking the upstairs with the downstairs is a carnivalesque bar that offers up a Spanish Armada’s-worth of different styles of mezcals, some of which are so potent they’ll knock you back into Mayan Calendar time. Huge floor-space, colorful lights, easy-going bartenders, and they have cheese-covered grasshoppers on the appetizer menu.
Picnics with a view, roller-skating nostalgia, and a party for gay headbangers.