Party Earth Review The true standard for New York’s tiki enthusiasts, Otto’s Shrunken Head mixes equal parts classic beach vibe and rebellious downtown swagger to create a tall glass of surf-punk heaven. Every night, rockers in bowling shirts... ... read full review
538 East 14th Street
New York, NY 10009
L: 1st Avenue
M–F 2pm–4am, Sa–Su 4pm–4am
East Village, New York –
The true standard for New York’s tiki enthusiasts, Otto’s Shrunken Head mixes equal parts classic beach vibe and rebellious downtown swagger to create a tall glass of surf-punk heaven.
Every night, rockers in bowling shirts and chatty groups of work friends file past the grimacing tikis and shrunken heads in the colorful front windows to find their place in the aqua-blue lounge.
Red leather booths provide space for packs of partiers to sip their frozen daiquiris, while loners can sidle up to the bar for a beer.
A hallway decked out in old surf LPs leads to the back room, where tipsy musicians and artists gather as local bands take to the small stage to crank out acoustic rock and surf jams.
Of course, the tiki drinks rule the scene, and ultra-tasty cocktails like Zombies and Singapore Slings served in head-shaped porcelain mugs for ten bucks a pop (five as a deposit on the fancy cup, because nobody gets away with stealing here) get the outgoing crowd revved up for the late-night DJ spinning fan favorites.
But though the place can get packed and rowdy – especially once the party girls down their massive rum-filled volcano bowls – it never gets too out of hand.
A veritable Polynesian pleasure dome, Otto’s is the perfect escape for beach bums and Zombie-lovers looking for just the right elixir to help them get away from it all.
Young professionals, laid-back punks, tattooed party girls, surf rockers, and birthday party groups, 20s to 30s.
Live music in the back room most nights, including indie rock, country, rockabilly, surf rock, and alternative. DJs in the front room in the evenings spinning new wave, danceable surf, and classic rock. Occasional barbecues and cooking contests.
Volcano bowls available for large groups. Happy Hour M–F 2–8pm, Su specials 4–8pm.
Beer $3+, wine $6+, cocktails $7+, tiki drinks $6, shots $10, volcano bowls $26, deposit on tiki glasses $5.
Rocker casual: t-shirts, jeans, work clothes, leather jackets, boots, sneakers.
Different every night, though Fridays are a good bet for the biggest crowds and Saturdays for the most notable bands.
A few blocks away is Crocodile Lounge (325 East 14th Street), another laid-back rock bar featuring games like Skeeball and free pizza with each drink.