New York City-Lower East Manhattan
May 11, 2018
Cool, and famous for being cool, this legendary sleazy-chic Lower East Side watering hole has been serving drinks to hipsters since 1989, and it is still packed with down-home regulars and the odd tourist hoping to spot the more famous of them. Owner Ulli Rimkus was a member of seminal artists’ collective Collaborative Projects during the 1980s, and initially created an informal art gallery in the space while waiting for her liquor licence. The gallery remained even after the bar opened and the high-ceilinged, Technicolour room still hosts art shows, while an ever changing, creative paint job pulls the whole thing together. True to her artistic roots, Rimkus also favours silk-screeners, skaters and rappers over bartenders when hiring staff to pour the drinks. So no surprise the bar has long been a hub for creative types, intellectuals and assorted layabouts. Regulars are fiercely loyal some even got themselves inked with matching Max Fish tattoos when the bar was threatened with closure in 2010. And those who have been coming since the 80s recall a bomb threat interrupting a shoot for the opening sequence of Saturday Night Live, Igg Pop visiting, and Bob Dylan parking his limousine out front and having drinks ferried to him in his car. Still a particular favourite with indie-rockers, members of Mogwai, Pavement, the Propellerheads and Jon Spencer Blues have all been known to stop by for a drink. Shoot pool out back, play pinball, or just pull up a stool and sip on a Martini Dry – they’re still the same after all these years.