85 E 4th St, New York, NY | Directions 1000340.726425 -73.989952
Neighborhoods: Downtown, East Village, Bowery
Set in the former communist party headquarters (or so they claim) this upstairs drinking hole is populated almost entirely by East Village debauchees, many of whom have seen hard miles. The romance of the place persists, though; it might be the last bastion of the old East Village decay at its best.
Average bar – This bar is extremely average. I was there for about an hour before I left. Drink specials are good and extremely strong. Not a very relaxed enviroment though. Not much to say.
A favorite, but call ahead.... – I love this bar and go there a lot but on a Thursday, after work around 8pm, you expect to be able to go and have a drink. Lo and behold, there's a private reading, no signs to tell you this and a nasty woman coming outside to tell you to "keep it down..." There is no indication that a reading is going on, unless you peer through the window of the door to the bar, and we weren't being loud, we just didn't know why our favorite bar wasn't accessible... I probably will have to call ahead first, which is totally ridiculous.... gimme a break!
Where writers unite, under the influence of martinis and words. – Formerly home to the Ukrainian Working Men's Club, KGB is still decorated with period photographs and Marxist aphorisms. Now, Boho literati read, perform and swill hooch. It may not be the Round Table, but just about every up-and-coming poet and fiction writer, as well as some established icons, comes to read for free. Michael Cunningham, Kathryn Harrison, Elissa Schappell and A.M. Homes are among those who have appeared during the reading series' history.
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