Party Earth Review Named after London’s infamous psychiatric hospital, Bedlam is a breath of fresh air conceived by the owners of Eastern Bloc – only this time, they went for “weird” over “queer,” creating an open multi-room bar “for everyone... ... read full review
40 Avenue C
New York, NY 10009
F: Second Avenue/Lower East Side
East Village, New York –
Named after London’s infamous psychiatric hospital, Bedlam is a breath of fresh air conceived by the owners of Eastern Bloc – only this time, they went for “weird” over “queer,” creating an open multi-room bar “for everyone” with a killer décor and an attitude to match.
The crowd of slick-haired rockers and their dressed-to-kill party-girl friends stepping past the drawn blinds will find themselves in a room decked out in taxidermy, medical dissection diagrams, and pages from Victorian novels, as well as a bar where tattooed bartenders work against a backdrop of a mounted bear, a Visible Man anatomy model, and a rattlesnake frozen mid-strike.
Even the bathrooms are stylishly foreboding, one wallpapered in vintage mug shots, the other in old stock certificates.
Despite the madness, however, the laid-back punkish gays, chatty lesbians, and downtown fashionistas stay fairly sane as they sip pints of Genesee Cream Ale and bob along to a garage rock playlist, while clusters of friends chill out over gossip and cocktails in the candlelit red booths.
Those looking for a more exclusive vibe can check out the VIP chamber just past the wide dance floor, where flashy groups can order bottle service from their chapped leather chairs, surrounded by a halo of mounted heads and skylights.
Although the crowd is mixed and pleasant on most nights and weekend DJs get the dance floor hopping, the real scene happens on Thursdays when both the dress and the dance moves cross over into decadent flamboyance.
A captivating bar with just the right touch of quirky, Bedlam is a badass asylum worthy of an insanity plea.
Stylish punk rockers, successful downtown artists, chic fashionistas, and gay party animals, 20s to 30s.
iPod mix of folk, garage rock, polka, punkabilly, and new wave. Occasional DJs and theme nights.
Happy Hour M–F 6–10pm.
Beer $4+, wine $7+, cocktails $6+, bottle service $150+.
Cool casual: nice jeans, tight t-shirts, sleek vintage, leather, black.
Fridays and Saturdays for the biggest crowds, and Thursdays for a great gay scene.
Just a few blocks away is Eastern Bloc (505 East 6th Street), a Soviet-themed gay bar run by the same people.