My Dislike of Basement Bars

March 28, 2011

In my almost two years in the city of New York, I have experienced many bars. Hipster bars, dancey bars, pub bars, college bars, expensive bars. You name it, I’ve experienced it. For the most part, I love New York bars, but there is one type of bar that I consistently dislike with a strong passion. Yes, I’m talking about basement bars.

Basement bars are usually found in the Village, SoHo, and the Lower East Side. They are typically hard to get into and generally the douchiest bars in all of New York. First, let’s start with entering the bar. The lines are incredibly long. Hundreds of people line up to be incredibly crammed into a tiny basement bar that ultimately blows (see below). In addition, people are either drunk, impatient, angry because they are sobering up because they are waiting on an hour long line, or all of the above. Furthermore, the bouncers are the biggest jerks/idiots you will find (unless you are a hot girl). They think that because they are a bouncer for this “exclusive” basement bar, they are special people that can say and do anything they want to you. I’ve been pushed against walls, yelled at, and generally disrespected by these people who are just complete idiots. Additionally, bouncers sometimes make up random dress codes for guys to get in, which is always (not) fun.

Moving past the out of bar experience, inside the bar is not much different. You walk down a set of narrow stairs wondering what kind of fun (or lack of) you will have here. You then walk in the doorway to see that this place kind of blows. The low ceilings and crowdedness is the perfect combination for the opposite of fun. The low ceilings kind of makes the bar feel like my basement at home, except in my basement at home, beers are not $7 a pop, there is no loud house music playing, and I can watch a huge flatscreen and play Playstation 3 (I’ll take my basement at home over this bar any day). The low ceilings cause the bar to get incredibly stuffy and hot. When I go to a bar, I always consider the sweat factor. How are you supposed to talk to members of the opposite sex if you are constantly worried about your friends calling you Pit Stains McGee (hasn’t happened to me)? How are you expected to partake in a conversation when the dude next to you is sweating onto you (or the girl dancing next to you is glistening all over your newly pressed button down)? It’s gross. As if this wasn’t bad enough, because you are so hot and dehydrated, all you can think of is having an ice cold beer, but the price of one beer is equivalent to a six pack at D’Agastinos (and don’t get me started on having a credit card minimum of $50). After the fact that you are drenched and broke, you just want to sit down and enjoy the company of friends. However, because there is a speaker blasting house music every ten inches on the walls (so loud, you don’t even want to beat the beat up), you can’t hold a conversation with the person standing next to you. Lastly, even if you find a quiet corner to talk with your friends (good luck), there is always the group of girls dancing in the middle of a packed/overcrowded bar, which is equivalent to a mosh pit at a concert, but without a moshpit circle and much more violent. News flash, ladies, if this was supposed to be a dancey bar, there would be room to dance.

Last Saturday, I dealt with this, and for the fifth time since I’ve been in New York, I’ve sworn off this type of bar. I constantly leave these places disappointed, out of money, bruised, and covered in other people’s sweat. But alas, this is New York. Just like I did last Saturday, you can easily find a karaoke bar and have a duet with a random hoodlem of “Forgot About Dre.”