Orchard Street rock bar The Annex is dead and buried. Although the place had gone downhill, its closure still qualifies as a footnote to the ever-expanding obit of Lower East Side cool. But maybe it shouldn't. In its heyday, The Annex threw some great parties: Ruff Club (a VERY sweaty electro bash), tiswas (an indie rock affair) and, briefly, LESS (for the techno heads). But it also had dapper doormen charging a cover to get beyond a velvet rope and into the self-consciously dumpy venue. Despite its musical cred (secured once and for all when Taylor Momsen's band played there),
The Annex was one of those places that took the idea of downtown authenticity (whatever that means), dragged it into the shower and sold it to the gullible Cheap Mondays crowd. (Disclosure: I fell for it, hard.)
The bi-level space is being taken over by the Doghouse Saloon, a TV-laden sports bar complete with beer pong. Even three years ago, a place like Doghouse would be cloaked in hipster irony. These days, the area happily caters to Murray Hillbillies looking for a safe alternative to The Joshua Tree. For better or worse though, beer pong is now a more honest approach to the LES than any venue trying to reclaim the hood's bohemian past.
[Photos by NickyDigital]