by Amy Abate - 72 Reviews - 3 List
Times Square has long been associated with New Year's Eve mayhem and swarms of fanny pack-clad tourists snapping photos like paparazzi. Times Square is also a place that native New Yorkers tend to avoid like the plague. But whether you work in the area or are visiting New York, these five Times Square bars and clubs are a great way to forget where you are, while offering shelter from tourist traps and midtown hustle and bustle. (Photo by Zoonabar on Flickr)
Updated: July 09, 2010
Located inside the McGraw-Hill building, this upscale cocktail bar and lounge attracts suits with an edge. With its glitzy decor and scantily clad waitresses serving up creative concoctions, 48 radiates a chic downtown vibe. But beware: A scene like this in the heart of Times Square comes with a premium. Bring your AMEX Black card or have your boss foot the bill.
So you think you can sing? Unwind by channeling your inner rock star at this subterranean karaoke lounge. The club's largest lounge area holds a main stage and a slew of LCD flat screens, but if you suffer from stage-fright, reserve one of Pulse's six private suites, which hold between four and 20 aspiring American Idols and are stocked with Rock Band kits and tambourines.
Come for the Sunday gospel brunch or for an intimate experience with a host of headlining bands at this small but famous Times Square venue. The club pays homage to its namesake, the legendary blues guitarist. The celeb-spawn gimmick factor is overshadowed by a sublime sound system, tight seating and a legit lineup of must-see acts.
Located on the penthouse floor, this bi-level rooftop bar and lounge has canopied daybeds, white leather banquettes and cabana seating. Because the vibe is more Miami than New York, natives and tourists easily coexist as they take in the sweeping city skyline or salsa to live Latin beats.
A little taste of Moscow in the middle of Manhattan? The extensive varieties of flavor-infused vodka at this Manhattan staple, a short walk from Times Square, will tempt you to give in and tie one on. The dark interior, a chatty crowd of eclectic Russian ex-pats and travelers, and rounds of vodka will ensure that you lose track of time and your inhibitions.