Nothing beats a good rough and tough night out when you’re feeling like something different. And whether you’ve seen it in a movie, as is the case with Coyote Ugly, or perhaps just caught a quick glance inside that tough looking dive bar you pass on your way to and from work, if you feel inclined to push the edges of your cocktail envelope, you may want to check out our list of New York City’s best area biker bars. So, take the leather pants out of the closet if you’ve got ’em, and fold your bandanna so as not to embarrass yourself, because it’s time to take a walk on New York’s wild side.
1471 1st Ave (Betw 76th & 77th Sts.)
NY, NY 10021
The quintessential Lower East Side “dive bar” gone uptown. Inexpensive beer, pool table and and if there isn’t live music (and no cover), there’s a great juke box. The walls bedecked with mufflers look like Harley exploded on them. There’s some good games here too, a punch game, pool tables and occasionally arm wrestling.
John Street Bar & Grill
17 John St.
NY, NY 10007
Everything about this bar is a classic New York City biker bar right down to its Harley Davidson-style logo and the classic rock blasting past the mounted. There are games here, too. Pool, video games, darts, intereactive onine games or sports on the big screens in the back seem to keep everyone’s attention quite well in this surprisingly spacious but gritty bar. The menu is standard pub fare, but it’s good and on weekends you can usually find $8 pitchers of Bud to wash it down with.
Big Nose Kate’s Saloon
2484 Arthur Kill Rd.
Staten Island, NY 10309
Staten Island’s best dive bar, the music is loud and often it’s live, the beer is cheap and the food is good. Some call it Staten Island’s answer to Coyote Ugly, and from the looks of it, that’s probably not a bad desrciption. There are limioted games, maybe a couple bar-top video trivia games, but for the most part this bar is for groups of friends who want to mingle & chat & listen to music.
28 N 3rd St
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Jimmy Duff opened a bar in Williamsburg and covered every inch of the space with his collection of baby skulls and taxidermy, street signs, random posters, an Elvis bust, disembodied doll heads, red lights, a Gorilla suit and pin-up shots. He’s also added a big patio with grill, and kept the metal-heavy jukebox and cheap drink specials that make it a dive bar all-star.
1 Van Der Donck St.
Whisky Rio rests right on the Hudson River where you get magnificent views that stretch from Manhattan to the Tappan Zee Bridge. And becasue of their heated tent, you can now enjoy the spectacular views from the gigtantic patio all year around. The place offers up one of the biggest barbeques in Westchester every Thursday through Sunday, and specializes in seasonal drinks Dirty Bananas & frozen mojitos. There’s also live music on the weekends.
121 Essex St.(betw Delancey & Rivington Sts.)
One of the classier “dive” bars in the city, some even call it the best bar on the Lower East Side. The relaxed atmosphere is one part cool patrons, and one part cool staff. There’s a pool table, awesome DJ’s or a juke box that goes from Led Zepplin to The Cure, and great selections of not only whiskey but beer and wine as well. And who doesn’t like the endless supply of peanuts in a shell, especially good for those of us who are quitting smoking.
153 1st Avenue
NY, NY 10003
By now, everyone’s heard of Coyote Ugly, the movie, the show, and of course, the bar that kicked it all off. If you’ve not been here yet, be warned that this genre bar has a bit of attitude. The snarky bartenders can border on insulting, and then sometimes trample all over it, but they tend to get away with it due to of the tighness of their jeans. It’s a grnere that was perfected by this bar’s forerunner, Hogs & Heifers a mainstay of the Meatpacking District. Besides the bossy eye candy behind the bar, the cheap beer & drinks, the jukebox features the musical stylings of such good ol’ boys as Buck Owens, David Allan Coe, and many other cowboy and country classics.
The Original Hogs & Heifers Saloon
859 Washington St (at 13th Street)
Hogs & Heifers Saloon East Inc
1843 First Ave.(betw 95th & 96th St)
NY, NY 10128
Hogs & Heifers is a New York City institution, period. And these days, there are 2 locations where one can find the signature scantily clad bartenders, on the bar dancings, a bra tree, cheep beer and pub grub, and a whole lot of attitude. Thing is, this style of bar is not for everyone. Often, the sexy bartenders use bullhorns to berate customers who they feel have left inadequate tips, or perhaps have given them a sideways glance. It can get ugly, but if you don’t mind being the brunt of the joke, then you have nothing to fear and will most likely enjoy the bar’s bruising atmosphere.