Category Archives: Bar

EV2BK Nightlife Preview – The Draft and Billy Hurricane’s

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.

The Draft

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.”

Billy Hurricane’s

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)


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EV2BK Hotel Review – Ace Hotel

I first toured the Ace Hotel over the summer and was impressed with the thoughtful layout and design, the general vibe of the place appealed to me right away. We were thrilled when they agreed to let us shoot the upcoming Boy Crisis video there. I can’t say enough about how great the staff was to work with and, as a result of the Ace being so accommodating, I think the video is going to be amazing (more details to come on that soon).

The Ace Hotel, 20 W. 29th St., New York, NY

Owner Alex Calderwood opened up the first Ace Hotel in 1999 in a former Salvation Army halfway house in Seattle. In an effort to accommodate, and appeal to, musicians and artists, affordability was a top priority. Ten years later, Calderwood has opened up three more Ace hotels—one in Portland, one in Palm Springs, and the newest hotel in New York City. The Ace Hotel New York has 12 stories and 260 rooms. The affordable rates make you feel like you know about a secret inside deal at one of the coolest hotels in the city. As you enter the lobby, you can smell the coffee brewing at Stumptown Coffee Roasters, a Portland favorite, that has a small coffee shop set up adjacent to the front of the lobby. Although there are long lines at times, it turns out that the coffee is worth the wait.

The reception area features an apothecary case filled with taxidermy (birds) and reclaimed laboratory tables that are used as the reception desk. The hotel commissioned artworks by local artists to decorate the lobby and many of the rooms. The lobby is a scene —bustling all day and night— with a laid-back vibe where at any given time you could find some hipsters on their laptops next to an eccentric artist sketching and a group of European tourists mapping out their next move. They kept the original mosaic floors and coffered ceilings in the lobby and it’s obvious that great care was taken in the construction and layout of each room, with a nod to the historically land-marked buildings’ origins.

Each room has a somewhat different layout and design; many include vintage refrigerators, chairs, and tables, customized Gibson acoustic guitars, plumbing pipes refashioned into clothing racks, and fur and leather accents and upholstery. These varied layouts enhance the illusion that you are in a cool apartment rather than a standard hotel room. And check out this view:

The event space downstairs, Liberty Hall, is another find. I first saw the space when it was raw, and then went to the Fader/ Levi’s show there in the fall and now it is completely finished and it looks great. You can use the whole space for a large event or break it down into three separate sections. If all of the above wasn’t enough of a draw already, The Spotted Pig’s Ken Friedman and April Bloomfield helm the newly opened Breslin Bar & Dining Room, which is located adjacent to the main lobby in a simple, elegant space.


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bk Bar – Zombie Hut

Zombie HutIf you’re looking for a relaxed bar with a great outdoor space to celebrate this Memorial Day weekend, the Zombie Hut on Smith Street has a wide-array of stiff cocktails that should do you just right. This tiki bar pulls out all the stops with its’ Polynesian décor, bamboo covered walls, fun drink accessories (hot pink dragon-shaped stirrers), and fruit garnishes, to give it an authentic, kitschy vibe. The drinks are stiff and pretty cheap (the Sangria and the Mai Tai are my favorites) but if you’re not in the mood for these Polynesian cocktails, there is also a wide-array of beers on tap and PBRs are just $2. A large selection of board games are always available to borrow, but be careful as some matches (of Connect Four especially) can get heated!

Zombie Hut
273 Smith St
Brooklyn, NY 11231

Enjoy the long weekend!


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