Parkside Lounge 317 E. Houston St. (Aves. B & C)
Lower East Side
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Despite the psychobilly, punk, alt-country, and rock bands making noise in the back room, this Lower East Side dump ain’t just for hipsters. Come by during one of the Latin parties and see for yourself. Or maybe swing by for the grimmest happy hour around and ask one of the grizzly old-timers at the bar as you get change for the videogames and digital jukebox. On second thought, don’t bother them—they don’t want on you on the Lower East Side, let alone at their bar. It’s that certain bit of edge that keeps Parkside Lounge sharp. A true dive with a bit of personality, this place is all about cheap drinking and the friendly facilitators who make it all happen. Parkside feels like one of those small lodgey bars one might find way upstate, where the experience can just as easily be fun or threatening, depending on the mood of the locals. Let them win a game or two of pool and you’ll be fine.