Eastern Bloc

Dive Bar / Gay Bar
Eastern Bloc A high-energy gay hotspot with a devil-may-care attitude, Eastern Bloc is a rollicking neighborhood joint that attracts a wild, fun-loving party crowd. New York United States 40.725443 -73.983336
3.07 9
Eastern Bloc - Dive Bar | Gay Bar in New York.
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Ratings:
Lucas
Adriana
Jonah
Emma

Party Earth Review A high-energy gay hotspot with a devil-may-care attitude, Eastern Bloc is a rollicking neighborhood joint that attracts a wild, fun-loving party crowd. Though exposed pipes, touches of red and black, and a few propaganda... ... read full review

  • Subway:

    F: Lower East Side-2nd Avenue-Houston Street

  • Phone:

    212-777-2555

  • Links:

  • Hours:

    Daily 7pm–4am

  • Recommended as:

    • Night Spot

Party Earth Eastern Bloc Review

The Scene

A high-energy gay hotspot with a devil-may-care attitude, Eastern Bloc is a rollicking neighborhood joint that attracts a wild, fun-loving party crowd.

A high-energy gay hotspot with a devil-may-care attitude, Eastern Bloc is a rollicking neighborhood joint that attracts a wild, fun-loving party crowd.

Though exposed pipes, touches of red and black, and a few propaganda posters give a token nod to the bar’s name, the communist theme is undermined by the amusing and inexplicable collection of exotic taxidermy.

As couples and young professionals gather at the dimly-lit bar to contemplate the zebra head, dangling bobcat, and horned creature hovering next to the “Goat Czech” sign, singles and mixed-gender groups of giggling college students huddle on leather banquettes to break the ice over cheap beer and to peruse the display of gay pornography images.

Patrons who haven’t had enough visual stimulus can hang out by the glowing DJ booth in the back to watch psychedelic videos on the TVs, or just show up on one of the many theme nights when disco balls and go-go dancers whip the crowd into a sweaty mass of hard-bodied dance fanatics and glammed-up, Adam Lambert-styled punk rock boys grooving around the stripper pole.

Mellow and welcoming on the off nights, Eastern Bloc really takes off on party nights when an exuberant crowd and electric atmosphere reign supreme.

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Tip from Emma:

This place has a really cool décor and a laid-back vibe, but the pictures on the walls are enough to scandalize even a hardened club veteran. If your friends are sensitive about gay porn imagery, don’t bring them here – they might be put off by it.

  • Crowd

    Young professionals, dance fanatics, couples, curious newcomers, and college students of both genders, 20s to 30s.

  • Entertainment / Music

    DJs spin most nights, ambient music otherwise. Theme nights include Atomic Karaoke on Mondays, Tricky on Tuesdays for funk and soul, Good Times on Wednesdays for disco, Contact on Thursdays for electro, retro, and rock, Bloc Parties on Fridays and Saturdays with DJ X+Y and go-go dancers, and Beer Blast on Sundays for cheap drafts all night.

    TVs display psychedelic images and old black-and-white videos. Stripper pole.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    Happy Hour daily 7–10pm.

  • Prices

    Beer $4+, wine $6+, cocktails $6+.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    Gay club casual: tight t-shirts, polos, nice jeans. Undershirts, dresses, and suit jackets on some theme nights.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    Wednesdays for the disco DJs, and Fridays and Saturdays for the crowds.

  • Close By

    Two blocks away is Horseshoe Bar (108 Avenue B), a sprawling party bar that’s less gender specific but just as fun and rowdy.

Eastern Bloc User Reviews

Average rating:
A nice little queer spot
Sugi S. May 14, 2013
Granted this space may not be for everyone, it most definitely has it small perks. Cheap drinks which can be hard to find in Manhattan. It can be an okay place to get acquainted with someone during the week because it's not that crowded. There are also arcade machines if you and your date are feeling nostalgic. Weekends consist of drag performances which is always a good time no matter where you go, let's be honest. That's where this small place can get way too cramped. In that case, you can head over to Josie's across the street from some pool or Sidewalk cafe which is next door where you might find a free live music performance.
Dark, divey, divine
James D. Mar 28, 2013
The first time I went to Eastern Bloc, I met a drag queen (who I have subsequently hung out with several times), I danced for hours, I spent twenty minutes in the bathroom oogling at the gay-themed graffiti, I had deep and meaningful conversations with the bouncer during my cigarette breaks, I got numerous bear hugs from one of the very cute bartenders and the DJ hailed me out from his booth as "that sexy dance bitch". Suffice to say, it kicked ass.
Not to everyone's tastes
Hardy C. Feb 19, 2013
The patrons of Eastern Bloc are very representative of the gay scene in the East Village: a mix of the Williamsburg hipster with a splash of crass. The theme is the Eastern Bloc: Soviet propaganda everywhere. It's certainly different and unique. Yet iIt's not for everyone. It's dark, small, and can be extremely uncomfortable when crowded. Just trying to figure out where the line for the bathroom begins and ends is frustrating. Hardcore porn plays on video screens above the bar, with sketchy men leering on, never taking in the bar scene around them. It can be a bit unsettling at first. But if you get there late or enough, you can have a blast dancing to the great, diverse tunes spun by the DJ on the weekends. They also have a weekly Wednesday disco party for those who can't deal with the weekend crowds, and it's quite convenient. Drinks are relatively cheap for Manhattan spots, but you can better ones elsewhere. Still, it's energy on rowdy nights is unmatched. If you don't mind getting a little bit sweaty or messy while dancing and having fun, you'll enjoy Eastern Bloc.
The Duff's of gay bars
Chris K. Nov 14, 2012
What makes Eastern Bloc special is that it's just so damn punk rock. First of all, the gay part of this semi-dive is right in your face, with vivid pictures of phalli going as far as the eye can see. On top of that, the Soviet color scheme of red and black and the emphasis on taxidermy and circus patterns makes this place like something out of a sinister gay dream. I was impressed by how unequivocally gay this place was without feeling the need to resort to some hackneyed "fabulooooous" nonsense, instead sticking with the time-honored downtown tradition of the bizarre and edgy. Dudes, get ready for the coolest night you'll never remember.
Wild
Alicia B. Nov 3, 2012
If breathing room is important to you, you probably wouldn't be very comfortable in this teeny, tiny space. The dance floor is packed, drinks are spilling left and right, and nobody could care less. It's a really, really fun bar to go to with your open-minded friends who will be less shocked and more tittilated by the hardcore porn playing on the TVs. It's pretty rough around the edges-- scantily clad twinks and lurking daddies abound. So for something a little less cruisey or gritty, I'd recommend Bedlam a few avenues east. This kind of bar is a find in Manhattan, though, so I definitely keep this in mind when my gay friends come to town.
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