1 at 23rd St.; C, E at 23rd St.
American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard, Visa
If you ever had a doubt that rock and roll bohemia was really dead, consider this club’s existence the final death knell. In the basement space beneath the infamous Hotel Chelsea that once housed Serena’s (pretty cool) and then Star Lounge (less than cool), you can now get watery martinis from thirteen to sixteen bucks a pop while following arbitrary rules of formality, such as women being required to wear heels, and paying a 20% mandatory gratuity on every order (if you're using a credit card). There are a few tasteful features—live bongos and violin often accompany the DJ—and the semi-rustic space itself, with deep banquettes, exposed brick from the hotel’s nineteenth-century foundation, and wooden floors slick as the bartender’s hair. But for those seeking any semblance of the creative free-for-all atmosphere alive (but not exactly kicking) upstairs, best to try somewhere with a little more edge—say, the Blarney Stone?
Picnics with a view, roller-skating nostalgia, and a party for gay headbangers.