Full Circle Bar
318 Grand St., Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 347-725-4588
They take their Skee-Ball seriously at this South Williamsburg mecca of cheap beer. A Skee-Ball machine greets you in the tiny front room, while the back boasts a proper game room stocked with … more Skee-Ball! For die-hard players, the bar hosts a semi-competitive league—known as Brewskeeball—that meets on Sundays, Mondays, and Wednesdays. As for the rest of the regulars, they come for the cozy atmosphere and prices that are Über-friendly.
Hotel Gansevoort, 18 Ninth Ave., at 13th St.; 212-206-6700
Former Stereo partners Michael Satsky and Brian Gefter opened the invite-only Provocateur in part of the former Ono space. The setting is "specifically created to cater to woman’s every desire," say the owners, who are men. "Every man's little secret is that they like these things," says Satsky of his club's appeal to both genders. "A lot of guys on the low watch Gossip Girl." The go-go dancers will help, too.
629 Fifth Ave., Sunset Park, Brooklyn; 718-832-4720
Another friendly cubbyhole coloring the lower Fifth Avenue strip, South is a warm dark-wood and brick tavern tailored to the Windsor Terrace set. Better dressed than nearby South Slope dives, the small, polished spot specializes in craft beers, bourbons, reliably salty snacks, and friendly nostalgia like eighties parlor games and a couple of classic corner-arcade titles. Free popcorn is a welcome complement to a small selection of bites like chips and dip, beef jerky, and Polish sausage.
609 W. 29th St., nr. Eleventh Ave.; 212-643-6464
Amnesia is like 7,000 square feet of Cirque du Soleil without the clowns. The drinks are strong, the liquor is top-shelf, and svelte ladies in spandex swing about on swathes of sheer cloth just over your head. The house D.J., mixing from the mezzanine, has shades of Girl Talk, and the crowd seems pulled off the streets of Fashion Week. At center, a raised drum set, leading to a raised dance floor, will occasionally host live bands, but for the most part guest drummers pep up the D.J. sets.