For those of you who will be in and around the East Village this weekend, there are two new bars to check out with very different vibes.
First up is The Draft, a brand new 1920’s-style sports bar taking over the space formerly occupied by The Blue Seats. Owners Kendra and Natasha are preparing for the soft-opening of the bar tonight and promise a “relaxed neighborhood sports bar” vibe. The 22 flat screens from The Blue Seats are still there, but the booths have been removed to allow for a more informal setting and a lot more standing room (as the venue is on the small to tiny scale). The proud new owners first met 12 years ago as bartenders at Bulls Head Tavern in Gramercy and are very excited to finally have a place of their own. The Draft offers a sizable menu with everything from pizza to wienies, sliders, and wings. Cocktails range from $6 to $12, and carry 1920s era themed names like “Gams,” Bee’s Knees,” “Putting on the Ritz,” “On The Lamb,” and “The Real McCoy.”
The bright orange sign of Billy Hurricane’s on Avenue B has been heralding the new bar’s arrival for some time. With the Grand Opening yesterday, the wait was finally over. The concern about the frat-boy appeal of this “Mardis Gras-themed” bar in the former Rehab/ Midway Rock Club space that describes itself as a “speakeasy downstairs and a speakloudly upstairs” may be deserved, but whatever their clientele, Billy’s was certainly packing them in last night with crowds gathering in the sizable venue and spilling out onto the sidewalk. When EV2BK was there, the place was still heating up but the bright lights and over-sized wall decor was certainly an overhaul of the formerly dank space. It could be annoying or it could be fun, we’ll have to wait and see what the weekend holds.
The Draft, 157 Ludlow Street (between Rivington and Stanton)
Billy Hurricane’s, 25 Avenue B (between 2nd and 3rd)