Plan B: Your Guide to Avoiding Scandal-Plagued Scenes

by BILLY GRAY · October 19, 2009

    Noise complaints. Smoking violations. Drug raids. Illegal dancing. As soon as a New York nightclub generates buzz these days, the fuzz isn't far behind. So if your night out at one of the below hotspots is interrupted by the cops, cantankerous neighbors or the Department of Health, it's good to have a Plan B in mind with some like-minded alternatives:

    If you like the Jane Ballroom, you'll love the Bowery Ballroom:

    The Bowery Ballroom's crowd might not be as swank as the Jane's, but its gorgeous interior--including, like the Jane, a swell balcony and giant disco ball-- is. The rock-centric music institution has some of the best bookings in town. Also, you can dance inside without worrying about Footloose-style repercussions (seriously, when will NYC's ludicrous cabaret laws be overturned?) and the Jane's neighbors who actually started a blog to chronicle their complaints about the endangered venue.

    The Bowery Ballroom, 6 Delancey Street

    If you like The Box, you'll love The Slipper Room:

    Just a stone's throw away from Simon Hammerstein's embattled burlesque boite, The Slipper Room lets you see many of The Box's performers hone their twisted acts on a smaller stage and at a fraction of the price. Tuesday is standup up night and burlesque runs Wednesday through Saturday. Just leave your drugs at home so the joint can avoid Box-style raids and scathing New York magazine profiles.

    The Slipper Room, 167 Orchard Street

    If you like(d) Beatrice Inn, you'll love Cabin Down Below:

    Chainsmoking hipsters displaced by the closure of Paul Sevigny's louche dance den can seek refuge at this East Village hideaway. Like Beatrice, Cabin has indie cred to spare: co-owners include Jesse Malin (who ran deceased punk mecca Coney Island High) and Matt Romano (a member of Strokes guitarist Albert Hammond Jr.'s side project). Beatrice was housed in a former Italian restaurant; Cabin runs underneath The Pizza Shop. And what better way to top off a night of celebrity spotting than a hot slice and a cold drink?

    Cabin Down Below, 110 Avenue A (through The Pizza Shop and down the stairs)

    If you like the Cooper Square Hotel rooftop, you'll love Mé Bar

    When the Cooper Square Hotel opened last spring, its neighbors were not too pleased. So when the hotel's rooftop bar brought in noisy summer crowds, the tenants reacted the way any reasonable New Yorkers would and...strung soiled laundry above the braying patrons. If you like your high altitude drinking a bit less pungent, head off the beaten track to Mé Bar in the heart of Koreatown. With only the Empire State Building to interrupt your stargazing, you'll be set for a fresher night out.

    Mé Bar, 17 West 32nd Street, 14th Floor

    If you like Rose Bar, you'll love The Crosby Street Hotel:

    Rose Bar's pedigree is tough to beat. Though scandal-free, chances are you'll want a Plan B when you don't get in. Located in the swank Gramercy Park Hotel, the bar's nearly impenetrable door, pretty people and even prettier art by the likes of Warhol and co-owner Julian Schnabel have kept it at the top of the heap since it opened in 2006. It's about time a challenger stepped in. Enter the Crosby Street Hotel, a spanking new lodging on a (relatively) quiet stretch of SoHo. The place is too green for us to really gauge its popularity, but if the hotel bar scene hasn't reached a saturation point, the boldfaced will descend on Crosby soon.

    Crosby Street Hotel, 79 Crosby Street

    If you like Southside, you'll love B.East:

    As with Southside, B.East sits beneath a restaurant and entails stumbling down a dimly lit stairwell to find a dance-happy shoebox of a bar. However, the scene here is more Leigh Lezark than Lily Pulitzer. And the doormen are more forgiving than Southside's recently acquired Disco. Located along the relatively ungentrified Chinatown/Lower East Side border, B.East is the perfect alternative spot for slumming preppies looking to ditch khaki and pearls for skinny jeans and bangels.

    B.East, 171 East Broadway (beneath Broadway East restaurant).