As you may have noticed by now, the SideTour team includes some pretty decent imbibers. Now, we’re not claiming to have expert status on the entire nightlife scene in NYC, but we’ve definitely been around the block(s) a few times when it comes to neighborhood watering holes.
This week, we’re not looking at our favorite places, the best cocktails in the LES, or an overview of where you should spend your time this weekend. No, this time, we’re honing in on the worst of the worst. Below, we count down a collection of some of Manhattan’s most terrible* establishments.
10. PH-D: The Rooftop of the Dream Hotel
Usually we can get down with the exclusivity of a pretentious club but the Dream Hotel’s rooftop is pretty people, pretty views, and pretty boring. We don’t really understand why it’s so difficult to get in when it’s completely void of any kind of fun.
Address: 355 West 16th Street, New York, NY
9. Terminal 5
One of the largest venues in the city, this spot packs in big names and indie bands alike. But terrible acoustics and poor visibility do not a good music hall make. Originally a club called Exit, that’s exactly what we want to do whenever we’re dragged to Terminal 5.
Address: 610 West 56th Street, New York, NY
8. The Cubby Hole on Margarita Tuesdays
We love the Cubby Hole 90% of the time, but head there for $2 margaritas on Tuesdays and you’ll find yourself sharing the bar with more sophomore frat boys than you’ve ever cared to know existed.
Address: 281 West 12th Street, New York, NY
$10 for 5 shots of anything…anything awful, that is. Unless you’re (1) a freshman in college with a fake ID, or (2) a masochist with a penchant for watered down tequila shots served to you by bartenders with a chip on their shoulder, we’d recommend you go somewhere else.
Address: 25 3rd Avenue, New York, NY
Gaslight’s the place to go when you’ve tossed all of your standards to the wind. It’s almost like they’ve strategically turned off the lights for a reason and left everyone to fend for themselves. No lights, no class, and a whole lot of “accidental” pushing.
Address: 400 West 14th Street, New York, NY
We’ll give it to Libation for being a trendsetter. They were the first of the worst to move into the LES, and they’ve held their ground with disastrous DJs and a snotty waitstaff. If you can’t make it in the Meatpacking, hightail it over to Libation.
Address: 137 Ludlow Street, New York, NY
4. The 13th Step
Around #4 and we start to get into what we’ll call the bridge and tunnel section of the list. Expect beer pong, Ed Hardy tees, and the stench of Natty Light mixed with whatever cologne Abercrombie’s selling this season.
Address: 149 2nd Avenue, New York, NY
3. Tonic (and Tonic East)
We don’t care which Tonic you’re talking about - they’re both tied at our #3 spot. In one corner you have Times Square with it’s touristy draw, no explanation needed. In the other, a breed of overly confident white dudes with no game, aggressively pounding vodka tonics and breaking out dance moves that shouldn’t ever be done in public.
2. Brass Monkey
Filled to the brim with those that didn’t make the cut at Le Bain, the crew here is set on two things: getting as drunk as possible to numb the pain of rejection and taking home the first person who happens to show some interest. Unfortunately, the disproportion of male-to-female clientele ensures that only one of those things happens most nights.
1. Joshua Tree
Almost everyone we polled threw out the old Joshua Tree as their vote for worst bar in the city. Why? A mixture of questionably legal boys and girls, the bridge and tunnel friends that love them, bad beer in plastic cups, and a jukebox full of ear-splitting sing-a-long tunes a la Bon Jovi. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Address: 513 3rd Avenue, New York, NY
*This is by no means a comprehensive or even remotely objective list.