7. Lake Street, Greenpoint
This Minneapolis-themed bar (named for one of that city’s main thoroughfares) is owned by a bunch of Midwest rockers, including members of the Hold Steady, the Wanted, and w/o. Lake Street has a rocker theme, including hanging lights made of old tom drums. And the bathrooms? One is covered in seventies black-light posters, and the other is wallpapered with pages from the diary of Hiro Tanaka, photographer and roadie to dozens of bands, who learned to speak English on tour buses.
A few honorable mentions go to:
Secret Project Robot, Bushwick
The Secret Project Robot art collective started in the basement of the old Monster Island in Williamsburg. Now they have a big space in Bushwick where they showcase art, music, installations, drag revues, and lots more. The actual bathrooms aren’t so exciting—though you do have to hop up a step to the raised throne, which can be a bit challenging. What’s much more interesting is waiting in line for the bathroom, which you do standing in a hallway where the walls and ceiling are completely covered in stuffed animals.
The previous most bizarre bathroom in Soho was Bar 89, which had clear glass doors that became opaque only when locked. Since that bar closed, Peep Thai restaurant has surely taken over the top bathroom spot in the neighborhood. The conceit? Peep’s bathroom doors are one-way mirrors, so you can “peep” at the other diners while you’re doing your business, but they can’t see you while you’re doing so.