Where to Drink 2015 – For a Debauched Night –


Six Stages of Rage
From Circle Line raves to Alexander Wang conga lines, ranking the city’s newest, most over-the-top parties.

Holiday Cocktail Lounge  

(Photo: Dina Litovsky)

Rinsed: Coke Yacht

Circle Line Cruises

Rinsed.it; monthly in summer, 9 p.m. to midnight.

Underground-party staple Rinsed transforms a rented Circle Line cruise liner into a warehouse rave on the Hudson, with scattered blow-up dolls as well as an upgraded set of speakers blasting diva disco and soulful house as the New York skyline drifts by.

“Usually there’s that awkward stage of a party where the room’s filling up and people are getting into it, but that doesn’t happen here. As soon as the boat leaves the dock, the party immediately kicks off.” —Brandon Robinson, 25, nonprofit director
Rage Rating: 4/9

Casablanca Cocktail Lounge  

(Photo: Dina Litovsky)

Stretch and Friends
Up & Down

244 W. 14th St.; Mondays, 11 p.m. to 4 a.m.

For what is likely New York’s only Monday-night party lasting until 4 a.m., hip-hop producer and DJ Stretch Armstrong takes over Up & Down’s downstairs lounge, bringing out the ’90s teens dancing to soul, hip-hop, house, reggae, and forgotten classics. The crowd might seem older than on your average club night, but the dance floor doesn’t clear out until the lights turn on and Stretch walks out the door.

“It feels like what Butter used to feel like on a Monday. You’re not going out to be seen, but to engage with the party experience: dancing and sweating until Tuesday.” —Mashariki Williamson, 35, journalist

Rage Rating: 5/9

Rocka Rolla  

(Photo: Dina Litovsky)

Diamond Horseshoe

235 W. 46th St.; Saturdays 11:30 p.m. to 4 a.m.

It begins with a two-flight descent down a winding marble staircase as an instrumental from “God Save the Queen” plays on repeat. An elevated stage in the middle of the room allows everyone to give exhibitionism a try, but for those who would rather maintain some privacy, secret rooms are hidden throughout. The 500-capacity Diamond Horseshoe is usually home to the dinner-theater extravaganza Queen of the Night, and sometimes its aerialists show up for an impromptu ceiling show.

“A guy — I don’t even know how to explain it — a man with breasts and a very large penis, like, sat on a bottle of whiskey and sprayed it on the crowd. It’s so dark in there that you forget people are judging you.” —Adam Werner, 24, real-estate agent
Rage Rating: 5.5/9


(Photo: Dina Litovsky)


Roving Location

Visit error404.global for dates; midnight to 6 a.m.

The anticipation begins with a cryptic email (sign up online) announcing the date and a link to purchase $15 tickets. Once inside, join the practiced techno heads on the dance floor who flock to hear sets by experimental DJs from out of town (xxxy from Berlin, MGUN from Detroit) who rarely play here. To properly welcome them to the city, no dance breaks are allowed. Performance artists (the last one was wearing only underwear and a mask) entertain the crowd as the DJs switch.

“It’s not like every grimy, sweaty Bushwick warehouse party with a million people. The industrial, lo-fi, and really thought-out aesthetics from start to finish bring me back to London and Berlin rave days. It’s not just a party, it’s a community.” ­ —Ana Lola Roman, 31, DJ and producer
Rage Rating: 6.5/9

Casablanca Cocktail  

(Photo: Dina Litovsky)

Holy Mountain

251 W. 30th St.; Saturdays 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.

Ladyfag has reconceived her seasonal epic warehouse events to fit inside a massive two-story Manhattan club. With a whole bevy of New York nightlife scenesters like La’fem Ladosha, Sophia Lamar, and Domonique Echeverria hosting and four DJs in each room, it feels almost like a queer-nightlife mall. Join in on Alexander Wang’s conga line that’s been seen winding from one room to the next.

“The craziest things always happen in the bathroom. One time it was so crowded that these two guys made the bathroom their look for the night. They weren’t even messing around in the stall; their drinks were on the sink. They were literally hosting the bathroom.” —Jorge “Gitoo” Wright, 26, model and promoter
Rage Rating: 8/9

Rocka Rolla  

(Photo: Dina Litovsky)

House Party
Webster Hall

125 E. 11th St.; Thursdays, 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.

For a single entry price ($15, but free if you’re a lady or have a flattop), all four of Webster’s rooms are yours to roam. That means meandering from a Jersey club rave in the downstairs studio, to Vashtie’s old-school hip-hop party on the first floor, into Just Blaze and a rotating cast of emerging rappers leading a mosh pit in the main room, and finishing in a sea of reggae dutty wine on the balcony lounge. O.T. Genasis’s Thanksgiving Night performance of “CoCo” was so turnt, Busta Rhymes fell off the stage dancing.

“The last one with Fetty Wap was literally the most insane I’ve ever seen it. Thousands of people. You couldn’t even walk down the steps, and still everyone was in such a good mood.” —Franceleslia Millien, 26, nightlife entrepreneur

Rage Rating: 9/9


First, We Take a Shot
New pre-game concoctions to knock back.

(Photo: Bobby Doherty/New York Magazine)

1. Erv’s Whiskey-Manischewitz
$10 with a Genesee at 2122 Beekman Pl., nr. Flatbush Ave., Lefferts Gardens; 916-936-2122

Shots of whiskey with a curry-carrot-raisin-flavored Manischewitz chaser are served at this tiny cocktail spot (full disclosure: The bar’s principal investor is Steve Fishman, a contributing editor at this magazine).

2. Butter & Scotch’s Blood & Sand Jell-ohhh Shot
$3; $6 with a High Life at 818 Franklin Ave., nr. Union St., Crown Heights; 347-350-8899

Bartenders serve dozens of these, in a blood-orange peel, made with fresh blood-orange juice, Ballantine’s scotch, cherry Heering, sweet vermouth, and gelatin.

3. Livingston Manor’s Pickle-back
$9 at 42 Hoyt St., nr. Livingston St., Downtown Brooklyn; 347-987-3292

The chef’s housemade pickle juice is miles away from Vlasic; it’s slightly sweet, spicy, and, accompanied by a shot of Espolón or Old Overholt, enough reason to celebrate the once-clichéd pickle-back’s return to good drinking graces.

More New Debauched Bars

Holiday Cocktail Lounge  

(Photo: Dina Litovsky)


Holiday Cocktail Lounge
75 St. Marks Pl., nr. First Ave.; 212-777-9637

Reborn classic dive; bartending brothers; $12 rum punch and $5 Genny cans.

Tijuana Picnic
151 Essex St., nr. Stanton St.; 212-219-2000

Jon Neidich helmed; disco-ball-bedecked downstairs lounge; classic margaritas.

Belle Reve
305 Church St., nr. Walker St.; 212-680-0101

Employees Only founder; neon “BAR” signs; upright piano and tin ceilings.

Empellón Al Pastor
132 St. Marks Pl., at Ave. A; 646-833-7039

Agave spirits and micheladas galore; namesake tacos with fixings; ceiling art from local artist Gaia.

Fools Gold
145 E. Houston St., nr. Forsyth St.; 212-673-2337

Bro-y happy-hour crowd; Marky Ramone’s brown ale on tap; Sigmund’s pretzels.

Casablanca Cocktail Lounge  

(Photo: Dina Litovsky)

The Waylon
736 Tenth Ave., nr. 50th St.; 212-265-0010

Frito pie; Lone Stars; Merle Haggard in the CD jukebox.

Mess Hall Harlem
2194 Frederick Douglass Blvd., nr. 118th St. 646-692-3098

Mounted buck heads; back patio; cheese-puff bar snacks.


900 Fulton St., at Washington Ave., Clinton Hill; 347-763-2537

Haslegrave-designed former hardware store; vinyl DJs; Scotch eggs and burgers.

King Tai Bar
1095 Bergen St., nr. Nostrand Ave., Crown Heights; 718-513-1025

White-wainscoted walls; Miami Vice–teal–and–pink seating; piña coladas.

King Tai Bar  

(Photo: Dina Litovsky)

323 Franklin Ave., at Clifton Pl., Bedford-Stuyvesant; 718-676-5245

Backyard tacos; Matthew Maddy design; frozen margaritas.

Threes Brewing
333 Douglass St., nr. Fourth Ave., Gowanus 718-522-2110

In-house coffee shop and music venue; rotating food vendors (Roberta’s, the Sussman brothers); brewed-on-site suds (the IPA is called “I Hate Myself”).

Casablanca Cocktail Lounge
300 Malcolm X Blvd., at Macdonough St., Bedford-Stuyvesant; no phone

DJ-ed soul-funk dance parties; $11 old-fashioneds; vintage theater seats.

2122 Beekman Pl., nr. Flatbush Ave., Lefferts Gardens; no phone

Daytime coffee; craft cocktails and Genny-and-whiskey specials; ’90s-hip-hop dance parties.

Rocka Rolla
486 Metropolitan Ave., at Rodney St., Williamsburg no phone

Skinny Dennis’s sister; Buck Hunter and shuffleboard; Commodore-style crowd on the back patio.


(Photo: Dina Litovsky)

Billet & Bellows
177 Grand St., nr. Bedford Ave., Williamsburg 347-294-4642

Live gypsy-jazz nights; Sazeracs; metal theme (i.e., iron the element, not Iron Maiden).

Forrest Point
970 Flushing Ave., at Forrest St., Bushwick 718-366-2742

$7 Pat LaFrieda burger; ace milk punch; ragtag outdoor space.


Sekend Sun
32-11 Broadway, Astoria 917-832-6414

Basik’s sister; bright back room with window to the patio; blue-ribbon $10 strawberry-balsamic-bourbon cocktails.

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