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Old Guard or Upstart?

Old: The Coney Island Museum (top); New: Affaire French Bistro & Lounge (bottom)  

Fringe Establishments

Old: The Coney Island Museum
The boardwalk’s landmarked repository for all things freaky plays host to several unorthodox weddings a year. Set up shop in the twenty-year-old museum’s first-level Freak Bar, which can accommodate up to 100 for dinner (site fees from $750). Then take the party upstairs, into the museum itself (site fees from $1,500), where up to 75 guests can dance and drink among fun-house mirrors and midget-and-vaudeville ephemera. Sideshow by the Seashore performers—including the fire-eating Insectavora Angelica and ventriloquist Scott Baker—are also available for hire, starting at $600 a person; $3,500 for the full show. 1208 Surf Ave., nr. W. 12th St., Coney Island; 718-372-5159;

New: Affaire French Bistro & Lounge
This nascent East Village bar and eatery recalls the belle epoque’s Moulin Rouge. The bi-level space has a capacity of about 250, with myriad nooks and banquettes to cultivate a lounge-y vibe. A small band-ready stage maximizes the intimate space, and the owners can connect you with their regular burlesque dancers (from $175 a performer) and accordion players (from $125 each). Bar packages start at $25 per person; prix-fixe menus offering classic French fare cost an additional $34.95. 50 Ave. B, nr. 4th St.; 212-375-0665;


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