International Bar

Dive Bar
International Bar Nestled behind an unimposing storefront is the International Bar, a deliciously divey neighborhood hangout that brings a reliable mix of old-school booziness and crunchy art-teacher weirdness to the East Village. New York United States 40.727028 -73.985386
2.55 8
International Bar - Dive Bar in New York.
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Lucas
Adriana
Jonah
Emma

Party Earth Review Nestled behind an unimposing storefront is the International Bar, a deliciously divey neighborhood hangout that brings a reliable mix of old-school booziness and crunchy art-teacher weirdness to the East Village. Exposed... ... read full review

  • Subway:

    6: Astor Place-4th Avenue

  • Phone:

    212–777–1643

  • Hours:

    M–Sa 8am–4am, Su noon–4am

  • Recommended as:

    • Night Spot

Party Earth International Bar Review

The Scene

Nestled behind an unimposing storefront is the International Bar, a deliciously divey neighborhood hangout that brings a reliable mix of old-school booziness and crunchy art-teacher weirdness to the East Village.

Nestled behind an unimposing storefront is the International Bar, a deliciously divey neighborhood hangout that brings a reliable mix of old-school booziness and crunchy art-teacher weirdness to the East Village.

Exposed brick walls adorned with paintings by local artists, kitschy Halloween decorations, and Christmas lights make up most of the décor, while a few mismatched tables feature amusing views of a dangling miniature suit of armor or a cheerful fantasy of Casper the Friendly Ghost hovering gaily over the Manhattan skyline.

Business types dropping by for after-work relaxation and groups of ladies priming for a festive night out crowd the front counter, which serves as prime people-watching real estate, and unwind to quirky jukebox selections of hard rock, gangsta rap, and bizarre musical oddities from groups like The Shaggs.

Like any good dive, International Bar opens at eight in the morning for hardcore breakfast drinkers before welcoming a steady parade of afternoon regulars and a younger late-night crowd of students, creative types, and freelancers.

Summer nights find the back patio transformed into a trailer park paradise as an energetic rabble of stubbly local musicians, tattooed professionals, and off-duty club chicks lounge on plastic chairs to smoke and fight the heat with icy cans of Genesee.

A favorite with unpretentious locals for its mix of good prices and wry attitude, International Bar is best summed up by a bouncer named Beef, who says he’s lived in the neighborhood forever, “and walking in here the first time, I thought, ‘Damn, I’m home.’”

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Tip from Jonah:

Two-dollar cans of Genesee – not to mention the option of rolling in at 8am to end the night or start up fresh on a new day – make this dive truly legit.

  • Crowd

    Local rockers, after-work design professionals, students, creative types, freelance journalists, and budget drinkers, mostly 20s and 30s.

  • Entertainment / Music

    Jukebox with odd selections including music by The Shaggs, Motörhead, and Roy Smeck.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    Happy Hour daily 1–8pm.

  • Prices

    Beer $2–$5, wine $5+, cocktails $6+.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    Casual: jeans, t-shirts, sneakers, skirts.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    Thursdays for the pre-weekend student crowd, Fridays and Saturdays in general.

  • Close By

    Less than two blocks north is Spanky and Darla’s (140 First Avenue), another down-and-dirty dive with cheap drink deals.

International Bar User Reviews

Average rating:
Great Dive Bar
Taylor M. Jun 21, 2013
If you love dive bars, like I love dive bars, then you'll love it here. I. Seriously where else in the city can you get a beer for 3 dollars. That is literally unheard of. It's dark and a tad crowded, but with those prices what do you expect? It's a great place to pregame because it's in a decent location and won't cost you that much. I only gave it two stars because it's not for everyone. You have to be comfortable in slightly dank bar, with a slightly weird crowd. But if you can get past that then I say go! Drink all the 3 dollar beers you can. Because the next place you go will probably be 3 times as much.
Cheap
Mark S. Dec 10, 2012
If your only two concerns are drinking alcohol and not spending a lot of money, drink at home. If another concern is going out, and maybe meeting people, this might be the place for you. The only way in which this place stands out are the prices, which are low. However, the space is limited, and therefore the density of people gets pretty high. The bartenders work quickly, which is good for the place. But it is small, very cramped on busy days, and doesn't offer much besides low-cost inhibition demolishers. So if you are in the area and want to pregame for cheap, come by. I wouldn't recommend this as your central destination, however.
Extreme Dive Bar
Jaclyn W. Nov 16, 2012
Think back to when you were a freshman in college and still chasing your vitamin before class with Georgi. Welcome because you've just stumbled back to that year. This place is beyond the cheapest of cheap. $20 could probably buy you their best liquor here and I'm not even kidding. It's one long room (think a huge dorm room) with a bar and some tables in the back. Why there's a bouncer? I'm not sure. I wouldn't exactly be racing to get into this place. Forewarning: If you order tequila shots, think old, gold Jose Cuervo. Are you gagging yet? If you like cheap and trashy places, by all means do not let me stop you from coming here. If you'd like to not grow hair on your tongue, then stay clear. I've never been to their patio area since both times I went it was winter. I don't expect much from it though. Also, McDonald's is next door in case you get bored/hungry/need to use a restroom. The only reason the atmosphere here is so friendly is because you have to be that drunk to go here.
Great bar, tough crowds
Chris K. Nov 14, 2012
When the place is sparingly filled or the backyard is open, I love this place. The drink selection is great, the crowd is a lot of fun, and the jukebox, loaded with rarities like Roy Smeck, is phenomenol. What a wonderful bar. Sadly, I've almost never come to International Bar when it hasn't been packed to the gills. Don't get me wrong, that's a testament to this place's draw and its fun-loving attitude, but the narrow dimensions of the space often results in a lot of rubbing up against people I'd rather not cuddle with. Definitely swing by and check it out--on the right night, this place is dynamite.
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