Boozin' at... Speakeasy
I read that getting in required you to know someone inside, but we didn't seem to have that problem on a Saturday night. The security seemed unnecessarily tight - you go up a staircase and get buzzed through a metal-grated door halfway up, then enter the main room after dealing with a hardass bouncer. When we got there, salsa music was blaring through the club, with a mixed-crowd of latinos, latinas, and hipsters crowding the dancefloor. The bar is towards the back, and had some pretty laid-back bartenders. Prices were reasonable for Manhattan, but a little steep for a place that you have to haul over to Avenue C for.
I'm not one for dancing, but our Mexican companion insisted I go out on the floor. The beat was infectious. After a little while, the music moved from salsa to electronic music. Later, the mood changed again, with Reggae tunes and a thinner crowd as the night wound down. There's a pool table towards the front of the place that was in use by the most thuggish patrons most of the night.
Speakeasy has the feel of a secret club in a Latin American country. I'm no hipster, my skin was a bit pale, and I can't salsa for beans, so I had a tough time fitting in. But get a few Mexican beers in me, and all bets are off.
Review, in haiku:
It's smoky, sketch, and
dim, but much more of a speak-
easy than Blue Owl.
(Ave. C between 9th and 10th Streets, west side of street)