Party Like It’s 1999: the After-Hours Club Lives On!

UntitledDaniel Maurer

Thought after-hours clubs were taking a dirt nap? Thought illegal speakeasies were just for those crazy kids over in Brooklyn? Think again. On the outskirts of the East Village, the after-hours tradition is still going strong.

We don’t want to spoil anyone’s fun here (we’ve been accused of that in the past), so we’ll keep this vague. But rest assured there’s a place where, at 5 a.m., you can bang on the door and a bouncer will appear. He’ll tell you to step inside, charge you $10, and direct you down the stairs into a narrow, brick-walled lair where DJs pump out house and techno. In a crowd several dozen strong, you’ll see couples making out, boys smoking e-cigarettes (and regular cigarettes), and girls ducking into the bathroom two at a time. But mostly people are dancing and drinking into the wee hours.

How wee? Well, the bartender who was serving drinks at 5:30 a.m. Saturday said the party goes till 6 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays. (That bartender didn’t know he was talking to a reporter.)

When the bouncer let us out by directing us up a dingy stairwell and through a metal gate (the bar’s service entrance), he said, “Have a good night, and do not stand by that door.” The door is not inconspicuously located, you see: when we stepped out onto the strangely quiet streets of the East Village (even South Brooklyn Pizza and Stromboli were closed), a police car was right there at the intersection.

This is no fly-by-night operation: we first caught wind of the place last spring and have heard about it from two people since then. Feel free to guess the location. We won’t confirm or deny.