447 E 13th St, New York, NY | Directions 1000940.729918 -73.981318
Neighborhoods: East Village, Downtown
...The Witch is Dead! – The crazy manager at Phoenix has been let go, but I will not return there.
I followed the previous management and staff of the glory days to Section 8 where you can find the relaxed vibe that was once the Phoenix ? HALALUGHYA! Section 8 is located on Avenue A between 13th and 14th streets on the east side of the street.
Last time I'm ever going – It's official: The Phoenix has jumped the shark.
What is wrong with that blonde, plump, screechy bartender? Is it the candid camera? Can we throw a sheet over his head and call it performance art? F--k this scene, I'm outtie. The bartenders at Eastern Bloc are NICE. And easy on the eyes, for what it's worth.
Phoenix is Burning – Last night, I (a straight woman) walked into the Phoenix to get a drink with my friends (two gay men) who are dedicated clientele of the bar, visiting the Phoenix multiple times a week for the last several years; I am often with them. So it was pretty much a typical night. But when I had to use the restroom, I was verbally attacked and then asked to leave the bar by the manager. I have never in my life been the target of such unsolicited hostility. First, being called a crude expletive (c**t) for walking past him on a staircase. (Really! There was NO prior interaction.) And then, after I responded by calling him an a**le (a kind of natural reaction, I think) being physically threatened - he said that he would remove me from the bar if I didn't leave. I have never experienced such blatant hostility or sexism. His behavior was inexcusable, unprofessional, and completely ignorant. This guy is the MANAGER! Apparently this behavior is par for the course with this guy - when I began to describe the incident to a friend who knows the Phoenix, he jumped in to identify the guy saying that he is known to be openly rude to any woman who walks into the bar.
I am quite familiar with several of the bartenders from over the years. The nicest of them which have left the Phoenix and opened their own bar (Section 8); they took their fabulous jukebox with them. So, frankly, unless you have a bad sense of smell and are willing to risk being not only harassed, but physically threatened, the bar does not offer much. The depressing atmosphere always seemed tolerable in the past because there was at least an unpretentious and relaxed quality about the bar. And they made strong drinks. However, with the dwindling cool factor and the management's apparent poor judgment in choosing this manager, I would recommend staying far away from the Phoenix.
Gone over to the dark side – Sadly, this bar has succommed to the new a priori modus operandi here in the East Village. What used to be a good local neighborhood bar, unpretentious and without the bridge-and-tunnel crowd trying to grab the so-called "East Village Hype", has gone the way of every other place in the community. These guys used to operate the now-defunct "The Bar", a great and legendary gay hangout for many years for locals, and it's a shame to see the change in attitude toward the locals and long-time patrons (of either establishment.) Rather than staying cool and hanging onto the traditional alternative/counterculture vibe of the neighborhood, they've become like every other place. Tonight, a friend of mine and I, long-time patrons of all the various East Village bars, were carded at the door, even though I am 52 and he is over 60, each of us looking WELL OVER the legal age to drink of 21. When we questioned this new procedure as uncalled for, disrepectful, and insulting, and then asked to speak to the manager about it, we were summarily thrown out and called "a**holes" by the bouncer. I can understand needing to card some people at the door to preclude serving drinks to those underage, but there clearly was no need of us to be treated the way we were -- they should allow their bouncers some discretion and/or hire bouncer are able to discern when a given procedure is necessary and when not. This is really sad, because now I can nor will no longer go there, as I no longer feel welcomed and appreciated and respected. Maybe this is part of their plan: to screen for a younger, hipper, more affluent clientele. If so, they have totally betrayed their roots and all of us who made The Bar and then the Phoenix the places they were (at one time.) Time to move on.... to someplace else that wants and appreciates my business.
totally true... – i have been and successfully avoided the rude staff and overpriced crappy liquor by making my gay boy friend buy my drinks but he had a similar experience and when we were smoking a cig outside a group of guys confirmed that we weren't alone. Bartenders there are really lame...
OMG so true! Crazy bartender but good tunes. – OMG!! We totally had the same experience.... none of the bartenders are cool but that one fat bearded guy should be on lithium... HE IS NUTS! he totally yelled at my friend after he made a joking comment about the movie on the TV being "so 80s." Apparently the irony was lost on the big boned bearded guy. We were really uncomfortable... funny thing is... after reading the reviews apparently other people have had the same experience... if this guy gets fired... or I should say "when this guy gets fired," someone post to let us know it's literally safe to return. I know he works on Mondays but maybe on other days too.
I love the music but com'on... there are plenty of nice guys in this city that aren't nuts looking for bar tending jobs... dump that a-hole and hire someone who can at least pretend to be less than depressed to be there. There's that other bartender with the goatee that is a total ice queen but at least he doesn't have pyschotic episodes. Yikes...
I'd agree with the other post... go to Eastern Bloc... the bartenders there are enjoying their jobs and the well drinks are better.
Cool Spot, Good Music, Depressing Bartenders – My friends and I were thrilled to find a gay bar that was playing music we liked (not that it's superior... but sometimes you wanna drink a beer and listen to something other than Depeche Mode). The space is pretty cool... one solitary bar, a lounge room off to the side, and more coke dealers out front than you can swing a stick at.
Each time we went we tried to remain optimistic... and gave it over a half dozen chances... but everytime we were soured on the depressing, unhappy, rude, bartenders. I've bartended before and I know what it's like to go in to work after a break up or just a bad day... but it was like... either these guys hate their jobs... or they're breaking up with their boyfriends everyday before their shifts. There were a few that weren't blatantly rude and off-putting, just awkwardly silent. But to a large extent it was like bartender versus patron every night. I mean I expect that kind of slouchy frown faced indifference from the guy at the DMV... but we like to sit at the bar and occasionally have a laugh with the guy that's unfortunate enough to be serving our drinks.
It culminated one night when my buddy, not wanting to go to the ATM, offered a tip of 6 quarters, instead of a paper bill. The bartender (a large, poor postured, bearded fellow) grabbed him (to our shock) by the arm. My friend tried to remain jovial about the situation, asking him to let go of his hand as he was hurting him. Everyone at the bar was in a state of disbelief as this bartender explained that given his age of 24 he didn't know how things worked.
Cool spot if you can take the poor service... but it ain't Kansas... and a gay bar in this city isn't hard to come by so my advice is look elsewhere for a good time... Eastern Bloc... Boiler Room... or even go over to Chelsea where the old men like young and dumb and are happy to engage in conversation. If the staff changes... someone please let me know as I love the jukebox.
A divey gay hangout that harkens back to the East Village of yesteryear. – Do not be put off by the dungeon-like exterior; on the inside, Phoenix is, well, equally dungeon-like, with a cavernous, seen-better-days, bordello-esque twist. In short, it's a dive--but calculatedly so. The walls are painted blood-red, and the place looks as if it hasn't been renovated since the late-'80s; still, there's something oddly homey about this joint--maybe it's the Pac-Man video game. Good-looking rocker boys and neighborhood Joes congregate in the back lounge and at the bar, where friendly, past-their-prime leather daddies sling the drinks. Girls that are out with their gay boys should feel comfortable enough here--as should anyone who wants a drink, but can do without the meet-market scene of flashier gay bars.
Great Bar! – I have to say the only reason I first went in to this bar was because I live across the street. But I go back everynight because its a great bar, I love the guys, service and atmosphere.
The best bar to hang out in and see cute guys – This is one of the best bars in NYC. Period. This is the kind of bar I grew up in divey, the guys not full of themselves and no attitude or Prada. Just a great place to hang out and meet people and play video games/pool and hear great music. No attitiude. No problems! Awesome!
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