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There’s really nothing inherently wrong with Essex. In theory, transforming what appears to have previ-ously been a public school gymnasium into a cavernous drinking establishment is a fantastic idea, and the elementary school-style windows are enough to make you wistful for the days of naptime and show-and-tell. Essex has an extensive drink selection, but the bar’s real treat is the smokingly hot cocktail waitress staff. We’re not sure what it is about a bar with tennis balls stuck on the walls and that feels like you’re hanging out in a factory, but apparently it’s like Spanish fly for unemployed actresses. Another very important aspect of Essex to keep in mind is that it’s right across the street from the disgustingly popular Magician, so even if you’re fiending for the Rivington Street bar scene, you can still enjoy a drink and some tasty Latin-Jewish fusion cuisine without rubbing elbows with yet another blogger.