Best Neighborhood Bar on the Lower East Side (2008)
Being lazy, I rarely venture far from home in search of alcohol. Being a creature of habit, I usually visit the same haunts until I'm sick of them. So it's only recently that I've discovered the LOTUS CLUB, where my friends who live south of Houston Street like to convene of an evening. By day it's a classic café, sprinkled with slackers loafing over their coffee and Times, but after eight it switches into bar mode. Ancient church pews and pierced-tin lanterns surround the handsome U-shaped wood bar, with ample candlelit tables for cozy socializing. Once the premises of a corner store, the Lotus's two street-facing walls consist of huge picture windows shaded with bamboo blinds for privacy. Bonus: Even on the weekend, it never gets overcrowded.