Party Earth Review The name of this sake bar is louder than its appearance as a flashing “ON AIR” sign beckons visitors to venture down the narrow marble staircase at Decibel, a tightly packed and very dark space highlighted by a single... ... read full review
240 East 9th Street
New York, NY 10003-7530
4, 5, 6: Astor Place-4th Avenue
M–Sa 6pm–2:50am, Su 6pm–12:50am
East Village, New York –
The name of this sake bar is louder than its appearance as a flashing “ON AIR” sign beckons visitors to venture down the narrow marble staircase at Decibel, a tightly packed and very dark space highlighted by a single bar eerily lit with rope lights and decked out in a mix of old Japan and downtown Manhattan.
With its graffiti-scrawled surfaces, waving good luck cat, miniature Gundam, and endless sake bottles, the décor seems straight out of Blade Runner, forming an obscure backdrop for the hip Asian post-grads and American students reliving their Japanese semester abroad as they lounge in branch-adorned booths or squint at the extensive sake list at candlelit cocktail tables.
Japanophiles will find plenty of company among the local design-firm up-and-comers and in-the-know artists and musicians looking to out-cool each other with their grasp of both the language and the pumping Japanese rock music, while neophytes can humbly ask for recommendations from the robed staff.
Although Decibel is definitely more about sake snobs than sake bombs, the blend of delicious bar food, Akira-infused atmosphere, and dark, insular urbanity, creates a Japanese sake bar experience that will delight anyone searching for an authentic night out, no matter how uninitiated they may be.
Young creative professionals, late-night sake snobs, and college students, 20s to early 30s.
Ambient Japanese electronica and rock.
Traditional sake bar menu including sashimi, small plates, and desserts. Extensive sake menu.
Snacks $3+, appetizers $4–$7, sashimi $6+, small plates $6, large plates $5–$10, desserts $4. Beer $4+, plum wine $8, cocktails $6+, mixed drinks $7+, soft drinks $4+. Shochu $6+, sake $8–$11/glass or $18–$80+ bottle.
After-work chic: t-shirts, nice jeans, sneakers, slacks.
Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays for the biggest crowds.
Sing-Sing Karaoke (9 St. Mark’s Place) is usually packed with crowds of students looking to party.