With over 18,000 alcohol-serving establishments spread throughout the five boroughs, New York City is regularly in a state of good ol’ drunken merrymaking. Still, many of these locales may be just a bit too banal for the average bar hopper. Why sip at the ordinary surface-planted saloon, when you can go to a discreet subterranean spot?! For those who just imagined themselves bragging about their experience with the latter, here are 10 subterranean bars and lounges to satisfy the underground explorer within you!
Many of these locations are featured in the book New York Hidden Bars and Restaurants. Pick up a copy in our online store and check out a preview below:
9. The Ship, 158 Lafayette Street
The Ship is the creation of Cervantes Ramirez, who used to run Cervantes Oyster Shack, the hidden restaurant behind Cafe Select and Steve Choo, a graphic designer. On the outside, the stretch of Chinatown block looks nearly abandoned. But step inside and the scale of the space is impressive for the basement bar–with 19 foot ceilings. Reclaimed decor come from parts of the building itself–floorboards and watertanks–as well as from maritime origins–like in installation of recycled ship parts from Belgium and booths covered with old sails from a yacht club. Even Saarinen chairs are upholstered in U.S. Navy blankets. Known for its craft cocktails, it’s also a place where you can hear yourself over the music. A place that has become known through word of mouth only, the sign on the door was added later–because the bar was simply too impossible to find even if you were looking for it.