Party Earth Review From its secret location to its art deco décor to the camouflaged drinks, the Back Room takes the speakeasy theme seriously – and literally too. Once past a tattered sign for the fictitious LES Toy Company, guests navigate... ... read full review
102 Norfolk Street
New York, NY 10002
F, J, M, Z: Essex Street / Delancey Street
M–W 7:30pm–2am, Th 7:30pm–3am, F–Su 7:30pm–4am
Lower East Side, New York –
From its secret location to its art deco décor to the camouflaged drinks, the Back Room takes the speakeasy theme seriously – and literally too.
Once past a tattered sign for the fictitious LES Toy Company, guests navigate a spooky alleyway before entering a Victorian space seemingly pulled from an episode of Boardwalk Empire.
The main room is awash in crimson wallpaper, with antique baubles and chandeliers hanging from the glistening tin ceiling and framed female nudes capturing the sultry glamour of the prohibition days.
The vibe is often mellow – even on Fridays and Saturdays when patrons have to be at least twenty-five to get in – and the crowd tends to be a mixed bag of hip professionals and their trendy crew, while the rest of the week sees a healthy dose of college coeds dropping in, enticed by an atmosphere that’s a little more grown-up but still affordable.
A short staircase leads to a cluster of ornate upholstered chairs and a modest fireplace, while a nearby sliding bookcase allows access to a secret VIP room with its own bar.
The real novelty, however, is in the drinks, with beer bottles in brown paper bags and cocktails and wine doled out in large tea cups – a clandestine nod to the days when boozing came with a potential jail term.
Old and refined but decidedly cool, The Back Room is a party space that manages to be mature without being stodgy.
Yuppies, trendy groups of girls, mature college kids, creative types, speakeasy fans, and in-the-know tourists, 20s to late 30s.
Live jazz M from 8pm. Rock-based music including an eclectic mix of alternative, indie, classic, funk, soul, dance, disco, and new wave. DJ Th–Sa from 9pm.
No food. VIP room primarily reserved for friends of the owner or folks with a substantial budget ponying up for an open bar. Patrons must be twenty-five or older to enter F–Sa.
The first Monday of every month hosts an interactive theater night and tickets are required for entry.
Beer $6, wine $8, cocktails $8–$14.
Upscale casual to dressy: collared shirts, blazers, suits, designer jeans, little black dresses, flirty tops, heels. No real fur of any kind allowed.
Friday and Saturday nights to shimmy with a twenty-five-plus clientele, or earlier in the week to avoid the laid back but large weekend crowds.
Milk and Honey (134 Eldridge Street) is an intimate speakeasy for the sophisticated drinker, where mixologists customize beverages to fit patrons’ unique palates.