51 1st Ave, New York, NY | Directions 1000340.724827 -73.987610
Neighborhoods: East Village, Downtown
The Most Horrible Service Ever! – I called on the phone to book a marketing event for my company. The person on the phone was very rude. I was told to ask for Sam, he told me that Sam just died. I asked him to speak to someone who can help me and he told me that no one works there anymore. I told him that he was being very rude and had absolutely no phone etiquette, to which he just made more rude comments to. I asked him his name and he wouldn't give it. If this place has these kinds of people answering their phones, its no wonder they stay at the lower end of Manhattan's hot spots! They definitely lost our business, which we had a huge guest list of our clients that we were taking out for a thank you event. We will definitely go elsewhere. If the owner cares about his business, he will definitely look into firing the guy answering the phones. I have to give this place one star even though they deserve zero!
Best place ever!!!! – I've been to Karma on several occasions and I don't understand these recent negative reviews. The staff is ALWAYS friendly and nice. Sometimes I have to wait a little sure but what busy place do you NOT ever wait. As far as the crowd.... Karma welcomes EVERYBODY, the basement is filled with all kinds of shows. Gay Nights, S&M nights, comedy shows, Open Mics, House Parties, you name it there is probably a show or a group that has some kind of function at Karma at LEAST once a month. The drinks are very reasonable and the bottle prices are fantastic!!! For my birthday last year I ordered a bottle of grey goose and it was only TWO HUNDRED bucks!!!! i've never gone anywhere and gotten a bottle for less than THREE!!!! I think Karma is GREAT and i will continue to go again and again, I guess there is just NO pleasing some people................
the most disgusting place on earth – They need to get new managers. This place is falling apart. Not only is the place dirty and smelly (yes I know it's a smoking bar, but I am a smoker myself and still found it to be gross), but the people are strange. Sad old neighborhood people. I thought it would be better on the weekends but it's just full of low class scum.
The worst part is on a slow night I had to watch one of the managers harass his bartender. He made lewd comments and even rubbed up against her when she was trying to get something. Then the other manager, I'm assuming it was him or maybe an owner, just made a joke about it. It was really awkward to be there while this was going on. He didn't seem to care that she was uncomfortable and that people were staring at him.
I also don't get the deal with gay night? Or...not gay night? Their signs often make jokes about gays, but I thought they had a gay night so I don't know what that is about.
Not really a place I'm proud of having been to a few times.
Each time gets worse.
Liked it...didn't love it – I found this spot online, and decided to check it out last night.
I LOVED the atmosphere. There was a gay party downstairs, and the music was banging. Upstairs, they were playing pop stuff from my junior high years with lots of long gaps between songs - so I got to enjoy the good music during those gaps. The lounge was dark, couches lined the walls, and tables were separated by black curtains (which I WISH could be drawn around to create a private booth). Everything seemed clean.
I ordered a margarita with a couple changes, it was delicious - though small.
We ordered in from one of the 397 Indian restaurants that surround this joint (yum).
The server was an inattentive hottie. My coal was going out, and it took him about 15 minutes to bring another- this was after we were able to track him down and get his attention. They sure did charge us $4 more for the second one.
The hookah itself wasn't great either. The flavor was supposed to be coconut and apricot, but I tasted mint in there.
The hookah was small, and they only put one single coal on it... Color me unimpressed.
All in all, great spot for a hot date (you could totally make out without being gawked at!), tasty drinks, super cool atmosphere, but if you're a hookah enthusiast, you may want to punch someone in the mouth.
Gay Free?? – I am a neighbor of Karma and it is always packed. I'm not a smoker so never go in. However regardless of that, I just walked by and saw a sign outside that said "Gay Free basement." I sincerely hope that was a joke because it sounds pretty discriminatory. I'm not sure how funny a joke that would be anyway. Tacky, Karma.
Although the space always has gay guys and gals when I'm there, they used to have a dedicated "Gay Night" in the "basement" lounge on Tuesdays, which was "free". The reviewer above must have read the sign too quickly.
worth checking out – You don't really know what you will get when you come in here. l just worry about someone stealing my wallet.
The glasses are kind of small but the atmosphere is cool. If you like hookah and smoke it's great.
But they need hotter girls or at least nicer girls.
Actually there was one girl who was like f-cking beautiful but I had never seen her before so I don't know if she was new or if she is still there. My friends and I were being jack asses but she was still pretty nice to us but it was also slow so she didn't really have a choice.
A crimson-tinged smoker's nirvana in the East Village – "You can smoke here," proclaim signs all over this lounge, exempt from the city's ban on smoking in bars because its hookah pipes classify it as a tobacco bar. The child-sized chairs and red velvet couches are crammed with friends and couples just as likely to be smoking cigarettes as the naughty-looking hookahs. Pounding, hypnotic music discourages conversation, and everything has a red tinge, from the ashtray-littered bar to the somewhat sinister-looking artwork to the eyes of the constantly puffing patrons. Of course the main attractions here are the hookahs, which stand like golden fire hydrants along the bar and on every table. Tobacco flavor selections include apple, apricot, strawberry, mint and rose. If you can wrangle a drink list from the busy bartenders, you'll also find a variety of specialty cocktails featuring pineapple and mango flavors.
Free Comedy Club? – You may never have guessed, but a LES Hookah bar is one of the best places to see FREE, underground comedy shows. When I say underground, I do so almost literally, as a walk past the upstairs bar and down the staircase will lead you to an almost cavernous event space. Acts include those that have performed on Comedy Central, Saturday Night Live, and other stars of film/TV (Janeane Garofalo, the Verizon Guy from the Time Warner commercials, etc). Drinks are reasonably prices (especially when you consider that you avoided the cover charge that is usually unavoidable at a comedy club).
Check Facebook for the schedule of one of the most popular Saturday night shows, “If You Build It,” hosted by Rob O’Reilly (Comedy Central’s Live at Gotham).
GREAT PLACE TO HANG OUT – I just recently had my birthday party at karma and had a fantastic time. The staff was extremely helpful, my friends had a great time, and the manager even came over to buy me and my friends a round of shots b/c it was my birthday. I can't wait to head back again and dance the night away with all of my friends.
I was a little dissapointed that they didn't serve any food, HOWEVER they did allow my friends to keep my birthday cake in a fridge until we were ready to eat it.
so all and all a GREAT place!
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