2pm-8pm; $3 beers, $4 vodka and gin drinks, $5 Bloody Mary's, house wine, and Svedka drinks
B, D at Grand St.; J, M, Z at Bowery
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
This surprisingly enormous bar and music venue just south of Delancey Street is owned by the ladies behind The Arrow. If that charming dive is a snappy hot dog, Fontana’s is an enormous, delicious triple-decker sandwich with the works, boasting a bar up front, another in the cavernous, balconied back room, and a third in the basement area where bands play. The wall paintings define the campy, comfortable mood: In a shiny palette of primaries, they depict bikini babes, muscle cars, and portraits of ’70s rock and movie icons. Tallbacked red patent leather booths are more than big enough to accommodate the large, loud groups that begin to fill up the space at around 10pm. Extra-sweet and solicitous bartenders guide patrons through the extensive and ever-changing roster of tap and bottled beers, including hard-to-find favorites. Despite the neighborhood's reputation as a haven for music snobs, the clientele at Fontana’s is refreshingly relaxed and attitude-free.
Picnics with a view, roller-skating nostalgia, and a party for gay headbangers.