[The Rusty Knot] With all of the recent trouble at our beloved Jane Ballroom (it's 1/2 closed if that means anything to you-basically just the front bar is opened for now), it's hard to tell when things may be back to normal on Jane St., if ever. Regardless, you may need some help on where to go in the interim around the neighborhood...
The Rusty Knot. 425 West St. This bar brought to you by Ken Friedman (the Spotted Pig), Taavo Somer (freeman's), and Tobey Maloney (Milk&Honey), may not necessarily be the new kid in town, but their specialty drinks are still sure to provide you countless hours of fun. Spiced up with the requisite umbrella straw, or plastic mermaid (who doesn't love plastic mermaids?!), these drinks will do the trick without breaking your bank. It's all the way out on the West Side Highway, which means the neighbors are not a threat. Bonus: Bill Murray has been known to drink his Sundays away here.
The Otherroom: 143 Perry St. Opened in 1997, this dimly lit bar (sister to Room and Another Room, cleverly) is a well kept secret of the locals. The sexy atmosphere makes for the perfect date spot, as well as a good drink solo....there's a good chance you may find your future lover stalking over the chalkboard of wines. Bonus: The seating arrangement allows you and your date to be in close physical contact at most times.
Little Branch: 22 7th Avenue An oldie but a goodie, this is a fine place to start your night out. The drinks are strong and will get you going. They have a recession-special menu with two $9 specialty cocktails. It's a speakeasy done right, and a good place to take a small group from home that you hope to help feel hip for a night, without having to worry about getting them all through the door. Bonus: if the crowd is sub par you probably will be too drunk to notice.
WXOU Radio Bar: 558 Hudson St. A true dive bar hidden on Hudson street, don't expect velvet ropes or any kind of fuss to be had over your entrance into WXOU. "This is basically my perfect bar. It's never too packed, but never desolately empty. The drinks are cheap. The clientele appears to be a mix of young folks and older neighborhood regulars. There's a jukebox, and it is a regular, non-digital jukebox, which is what earns it the 5th star." -Yelper. Bonus: You may catch a couple of your foursquare friends here. Like Lockhart Steele.
Lelabar: 422 Hudson St. Far smaller than the Jane, Lelabar still packs a pretty party. The oval bar is perfect for people stalking, and the $1 oysters on Wednesday tend to draw quite the attractive crowd. The staff is friendly and the atmosphere can get lively. Plus, the wine list isn't intimidating. Bonus: They offer half bottles of wine, which gives you the chance to test out the waters on a first date without making a full bottle commitment.
ON OUR RADAR: Though not quite around the corner from Jane, we keep hearing rumblings of a fresh new face ready to take on the basement party spot below The Coffee Shop in Union Square, which could be a late night destination.
"BUT I WANNA DANCE!": It's going to be tough to beat the Jane on appropriate dance music...Automatic Slims? (joke) If you really want to dance, it's probably best to just head to a club that actually has a cabaret license like Avenue 1Oak. At least there you can party without fear of having your mug up on the neighbor's blog the next morning.