165 Ludlow St, New York, NY | Directions 1000240.721401 -73.987715
Neighborhoods: Lower East Side, Downtown
Horrible Bar – honestly really do not want to even give this place one star. I had been here before and had an ok time. So when it came planning my bday party, I thought that this place would be a good pick. I also have a friend who is friendly with the bouncers who let us know that they would make sure all my friends got past the door with ease. Everything was going pretty well until 3:30 when they closed the section of the bar where my table was. Being the bday girl, I had some friends watching over everyone's purses at the table, including mine. When they closed this section of the bar, I did not have my purse and asked the bouncer, who was keeping people out of the closed section, to see if my purse was over there. He possibly could have been the most rude person, I have run into in my 3 years of living in NYC. After asking being told I couldn't go over and look for my purse, I let him know that I would take care of it myself. As I began to walk away, for some reason, he felt the need to grab my arm and try and pull me back. Absolutely uncalled for. I have bruises on my from where he grabbed me. I pulled my arm away and walked outside to where the bouncers were standing by the entrance doors. Now I have met these bouncers once or twice before since they are friendly with one of my guy friends, I went outside to ask them to help me look for my purse, however no one was outside. Not only that but the doors to the bar were no locked and there was no way for me to get back in. I had no purse, no phone and all of my friends were inside. I waited for someone else to exit so that I could get back in the bar. As I walked back in, another bouncer grabbed me and said that I could not come in. What is with these bouncers who think they can just grab you? There was no reason for me not being able to return into the bar. I was not sloppy drunk or disrespectful whatsoever to these bouncers or the bartenders. I finally managed to get ahold of one of my friends who was inside and started to walk out the door of this horrible bar. I will never go back to this bar or recommend it to anyone. In all, I probably brought 30 people into this bar for my bday celebration. I truly wish I did not provide them with business that night and really wish that I never this bar a chance on what was supposed to be a special evening.
Fun time always – I love this bar, have been about 3 times and have a great time every time. The music is fun. It's kinda a dirty bar, but not in a murray hill frat boy bar kinda way. More like a laid-back, drink beer, dance and meet people kinda way. It is a good sized bar down the stairs, can get crowded but not over crowded. Good to go to after a coupld drinks and dance and meet people. No pretentious people from what I've experienced.
One of the best nights I've had in a long time. – I'd had quite a bit to drink by the time I got to Dark Room, but the name alone made me want to be there (I'm a photographer). I was happily surprised to find it was a huge bar where anything goes. You can drink, you can dance, you can meet people. The music was awesome pop hits from the last few decades which is great fun to dance to when you're already half in the bag. It was really crowded, so I was glad that I'd already had a lot to drink, but for some reason it didn't seem too packed or too obnoxious. Everyone was just looking to have a good time. Will definitely return.
A Lower East Side sensibility prevails at this sexy but low-key spot. – In another light, a beautiful bar with atmospheric stonework and deep banquettes could be seen as pretentious. But this basement-level spot keeps the pretension as low as the lights. In one room, a slightly older crowd commands a jukebox on which Johnny Cash shares time with Joy Division and the White Stripes. In the other, a DJ spins pop '80s tracks as hips sway. Both enjoy the comfy leather banquettes and matching ottomans, which can be had for the price of a single can of beer. In a testament to diversity, bottles of Bud, glasses of wine and the remnants of fancy mixed drinks all litter the two packed bar tops.
Hits: It would be hard for anyone to feel out of place at a bar where seasoned night owls with earplugs share space with girls in pointy-toed shoes and local hipsters.
Misses: It can get slammed at prime-time on weekends, so you may have to push your way to the bar (or the bathroom).
Great for hanging out, good atmosphere, a little cramped for dancing – I went to the Dark Room thanks to a birthday party and it was great. The bouncers kept out the teeny-boppers, frat-boys and general riff-raff. Albeit a hipster and weird crowd was in the majority, there were no untoward events, the bartenders were courteous and the music was awesome. None of that trendy pop cr@p. Loved the LES vibe, because why else come to the LES?
One word: awful – Really bad music. Really, really hot. Unattractive crowd. Crowded. Did I mention hot? Just awful overall.
Two different but good experiences – The first time I went to this bar was on a Thursday night and everybody there was ultra LES cool. Like old school cool. Almost too cool for school. The 2nd time I went was on a Saturday night and it was oddly more of a mainstream clientele. However both times were very fun. No matter how crowded, we always found a seat. The bartenders were super nice and the music was awesome!!! They played a great mix of contemporary and 80's new wave/alternantive. I would definitely go back and recommend this place to anyone who hasn't already been.
A seedy joint with a r&r vibe. – The place is large, there's always room to settle in. Rock dudes and chicks seem to be attracted to the place. Also some unsavory types. Great for people watching late at night. Good drink prices.
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