7 Downtown Bars to Keep You Busy All Week

Mix up your nightlife with these 7 fun events.


By Emily Mason, Contributing Writer

New Yorkers love going out. Thursday through Saturday, the streets are flooded with drunk college students, young professionals, and even the occasional group of parents out on the town for the one night they could secure a babysitter. But everyone has their breaking point. Maybe it’s when you hear the same terrible Drake song played in three bars in a row, or maybe it’s when you see not one, not two but three ghosts of hookups past in the same club. Going out has become too routine — but there are ways to spice up your nightlife. We’ve got some suggestions for the most interesting spots to hit Monday through Sunday.

Monday Nuyorican Poets Cafe

Location: 236 E. Third
Price: $8

Nuyorican Poets Cafe at 236 East 3rd Street. (Photo by Tony Wu)

Nuyorican is one of New York’s most beloved poetry spots. Its open mic Monday is probably the best place around to get up on stage and read whatever you’ve been working on or just listen to strangers pour their hearts. It’s a great place to grab a drink, meet some fellow poetry lovers and talk about how misunderstood Allen Ginsberg was. You may even be inspired to break out that black turtleneck and start smoking hand-rolled cigarettes.

Tuesday:  The Half Pint Trivia Tuesday

Location: 76 W. Third St.
Price: Free

The sign of the Half Pint at 76 West 3rd Street. (Photo by Tony Wu)

If you’re looking to impress a bunch of strangers with how smart you are, consider heading to The Half Pint in the West Village. The event is comprised of three rounds and participants can win a range of prizes including theater tickets, books and games. But be sure to call ahead and reserve your spot — seating fills up fast.

Wednesday: Wednesday Late Night

Location: 107 Macdougal St.
Price: $10

The Grisly Pear at 107 Macdougal Street. (Photo by Tony Wu)

The Grisly Pear is a comedy club on one of NYU’s most-loved neighboring streets: MacDougal.  To lighten any mid-week blues, head over to the Pear at 11:45 p.m. for its weekly Wednesday Late Night event featuring a mixed bag of rotating comics. And if you’re trying to go hard on a Wednesday,  drink every time someone makes a joke about how different men and women are, you’ll blackout in no time.

Thursday: Parkside Lounge

Location: 317 E Houston St.
Price: Free

Parkside Lounge at 317 East Houston Street. (Photo by Tony Wu)

Parkside is a Houston Street staple. Stop by to hang out on one of the couches and play pool, or head to the concert space in the back for live music and dancing. It has tons of different events going on all the time so you’re bound to have some late night shenanigans.

Friday: SPIN Players’ Night

Location: 48 E 23rd St.
Price: Free

The entrance to Spin, a ping-pong-themed bar. (Photo by Justin Park)

This pingpong party starts popping at 10 p.m. every Friday night at Susan Sarandon’s legendary ping pong social club. Compete for prizes and play your way through each pingpong challenge. You’re bound to meet some new people.

Saturday: Back to the Eighties Show with Jessie’s Girl

Location: 158 Bleecker St.
Price: $23 in advance, $25 day of

The sign of (Le) Poisson Rouge at 158 Bleecker Street. (Photo by Tony Wu)

If you’re feeling a retro vibe for Saturday night out, go to (le) poisson rouge for the weekly ’80s night. The DJ plays ’80s throwbacks while spandex-clad patrons party until the early morning. It’s just like being in the ‘80’s minus all the quaaludes. Be sure to dress the part and get ready for a far-out evening.

Sunday: Videology Bar and Cinema

Location: 308 Bedford Ave.

On this slow bar night, check out Videology Bar and Cinema, which has a constant rotation of fun events series including Pictures with Elixirs, where you can enjoy a drink related to the movie of the evening. Past pairings include Hocus Pocus with a glass of Life Potion Punch and Only Lovers Left Alive while sucking on a blood popsicle. Not into that? Try out one of the Drink Along events where organizers create drinking games for cult classics like Scream or Beetlejuice.