The few blocks between Houston and Delancey are already teeming with watering holes, but Dark Room—with its sexy dark-red walls, leather banquettes, and crowd of attractive, expensively disheveled locals—bridges the gap between the dingy, PBR-serving dive bars and the swank, velvet-rope-guarded clubs that make up the neighborhood’s scene.
Housed in the narrow, subterranean confines formerly known as Ludlow Bar, Dark Room has all of the class of a lounge with none of the attitude. Drinks are inexpensive—$5 will buy you a well drink or any of the beers from Stella on tap to bottled Corona. The gorgeous, greasy-haired bartenders are friendly. The jukebox is stocked with both the best of the ’80s post-rock bands and the new revivalists who worship them. They even serve cans of Sparks ($3), the trendy, alcoholic energy drink that tastes like a mixture of orange Triaminic and Red Bull and will keep you up all night.
Since opening in August, Dark Room has been the site of many an after-party for Bowery Ballroom headliners (the Libertines, Auf der Maur, and the Killers all partied here post-show), but after a few cheap drinks in the dimly lit bar, everyone’s a rock star.