Sophie's has made no concessions to the surrounding neighborhood's nightlife boom. No poetry slams, couches or cappuccino here—just split shifts of professional drinkers and Bukowski wannabes by day and dressed-down locals staring and pairing by night. In this narrow, immaculately decrepit space the only stick of furniture you can trust is the pool table, though if you come during the night shift you'll go through quite a few Yuengling Darks (the cheapest pint east of First Avenue) waiting for your turn to play. Meanwhile, pick up a few obscure book recommendations from the bartender, the paradigm of East Village know-it-all tapsters.Extra
Though Sophie's jukebox is a treasure trove of punk, country and oldies, it only ever seems to play the Pogues.
Picnics with a view, roller-skating nostalgia, and a party for gay headbangers.