New York's highest court ruled yesterday that the owners of gargantuan apartment complexes Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village owe 4,000 of their tenants an estimated $200 million in damages after charging too much in rent. (Hey, New York's highest court, when will I get my happy verdict?) There are many wise things the winners could do with this money, but why not spend it on food and booze at these nearby watering holes first?
Keybar: 432 E. 13th Street
The East Village bar scene is rife with happy hour deals. But when it comes to longevity, Keybar just might be tops: its 2-for-1 drink offer extends all the way to 10pm. The bartenders are friendly and alarmingly generous with their pours. Drinks range from martinis and (surprisingly good) Manhattans to German beers the size of your head. Weekends are to be avoided, but Peter Cooper and Stuy Town tenants are close enough to duck in during the week and beat the crowds.
Artichoke Basille's Pizza: 328 E. 14th Street
Delighted food critics and locals just can't get enough of this perpetually mobbed Staten Island import, despite erratic hours and relatively hefty tabs. The immense, gooey artichoke slice and crispy sicilian squares draw the most raves, but Artichoke does a bang-up traditional pizza as well. Toast your settlement over a cold beer before taking your food on the road, because even the most modest Stuy Town apartments are probably bigger than this diminutive joint.
Crocodile Lounge: 325 E. 14th Street
There's no reason to blow your share of the $200 million right away. Stay frugal at this 14th street bar, where beers are served alongside complimentary pizza. The pies aren't exactly Artichoke quality, but who cares when they come as an award for drinking? You can keep a record of your big celebration with a turn in Crocodile Lounge's photo booth. And if you feel like adding to your big haul, try your hand at trivia on Wednesday nights at 8:30pm.