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New and Next in Nightlife

In addition to the slew of new bars opening citywide, Chelsea and the Meatpacking District continue to experience dramatic changes.

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Abilene
442 Court St., between 2nd and 3rd Pls., Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn; 718-522-6900
A former owner of Lolita rekindles that Lower East Side spot's easy, indie-minded cool: The place to flee to when the weekend warriors take over Manhattan.





Blackstone's
245 E. 55th St., between Second Ave. and Third Ave.; 212-355-4474
A beer garden in midtown? The pub that was once Jimmy Walker's beefs up via pool tables, Celtic music, and a backyard greenhouse that permits watching the game by a fire.



Bounce
103 Second Ave., at 6th St.; 212-533-6700
It's a bird. . . It's a plane. . . It's an Upper East Side sports bar bouncing into the East Village. Sensory overload is delivered by a top-40 D.J., nineteen wide-screen plasma TVs, and buffalo wings from a French Culinary Institute alum.



Circus on 9th
615 Ninth Ave., between 43rd St. and 44th St.; 212-315-4410
Free hot dogs and cheap brews are center stage at this spinoff of midtown favorite Rudy's. Consider it a sideshow to the original.





Double Down
14 Ave. A, between 1st St. and 2nd St.; 212-982-0543
A Vegas dive beloved by strippers and psychobillies brings its bacon martinis and equally crusty atmosphere to the East Village. The punk-rock jukebox gives Library, its kindred spirit across the street, a run for its money.



Dragon Lounge
145 Atlantic Ave., between Clinton St. and Henry St., Cobble Hill, Brooklyn; 718-624-7658
The Chelsea scene struts into Cobble Hill at this gay lounge where disco meets Asian kitsch. During the summer, cabana boys will serve up chilled soju in the backyard patio.



Gibraltar
20 Prince St., between Mott St. and Elizabeth St.; 212-966-8886
The small lounge underneath newly opened Nolita brasserie Jacques is an intimate, hookah-free antidote to the current crop of North African party palaces.




Ice Bar and Lounge
31 Second Ave., between 1st and 2nd Sts.; 212-777-0774
Like the bygone Meatpacking spot Go, this minimalist lounge changes colors chameleon-style but never blends into dive-strewn Second Avenue.



Maracuja' Bar and Grill
279 Grand St., between Roebling St. and Havemeyer St., Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-302-9023
A fifties Williamsburg saloon is revived with artsy touches from an empanada-making co-owner and a willowy backyard that actually deserves to be called a garden.


Mr. Black
643 Broadway, at Bleecker St.; 212-253-2560
The spare yet sexy decor of this former rathskeller survives, but boys now rule the dance floor of what was once Table 50. A low brick ceiling encourages the ferociously fashionable East-meets-West Village crowd to get up close and personal to electro, house, and funk.



Rose
345 Grand St., between Havemeyer St. and Marcy St., Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-599-0069
At this erstwhile sweatshop in Williamsburg, caipirinhas and mojitos complement free world music performances ranging from jazz to Afro-Cuban to flamenco.




A rendering of Manor's lower level.  

And Coming to Chelsea and the Meatpacking District . . .

The ground floor is still plywood city, but we've been assured the space that formerly housed Pink Elephant Club will reopen April 10 as Manor. Once you're done admiring the $2 million makeover of leather floors and walls, light-box dioramas, and a D.J. podium done up in 24-karat gold, a flight of Escalades parked outside will take VIPs back home.

Or assuming you have a membership card or are easy on the doorman's eyes, you can walk over to The Plumm, also set to open in mid-April. Noel Ashman, co-owner with celeb pals Chris Noth, David Wells, and Damon Dash is shrinking the capacity of the bi-level space formerly known as NA down to about 400 people; Ann Dexter-Jones and Michael Ault promise to help enrich the plum theme. Across the street, a 15,000-sq. ft. supermarket should rematerialize as the comedy club Comix by fall. Booker Wendy Curtis of Denver's Comedy Works hopes to bring major talent to the 350-seat performance space and two adjoining rooms with bars.

Finally, a couple of Chelsea spaces have undergone sexual reorientation: This Friday, Aaron Tanner, the gay porn star turned naughty promoter opens his first club, Release, at Suede's former address (161 W. 23rd St.; 212-633-6113). An industrial look of steel and concrete will be warmed up by huge paintings by rotating artists. Slated D.J.'s include Eddie Baez, Alex Lauterstein, and Lady Bunny. A few blocks down, VIP NY has become a gentleman's club in a most pronounced sense. At Club 20 (20 W. 20th St.; 212-633-0934), currently open only on Sundays but newly armed with a liquor license, men are giving champagne-room lap dances in addition to getting them.


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