Fat Cat

Bar / Jazz Club / Live Music Venue / Pool Hall
Fat Cat Game lovers and jazz fans won't want to miss Fat Cat, a vast subterranean, one-room club and game room offering a great mix of friendly competition and live music. New York United States 40.733564 -74.003204
4.09 18
Playing pool and hanging out at Fat Cat in New York.
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Ratings:
Lucas
Adriana
Jonah
Emma

Party Earth Review Game lovers and jazz fans won’t want to miss Fat Cat, a vast subterranean, one-room club and game room offering a great mix of friendly competition and live music. Although there’s a simple bar serving only beer, wine... ... read full review

  • Subway:

    1: Christopher Street-Sheridan Square-7th Avenue South

  • Phone:

    212-675-6056

  • Links:

  • Hours:

    M–Th 2pm–5am, F–Su noon–5am

  • Recommended as:

    • Night Spot

Party Earth Fat Cat Review

The Scene

Game lovers and jazz fans won't want to miss Fat Cat, a vast subterranean, one-room club and game room offering a great mix of friendly competition and live music.

Game lovers and jazz fans won’t want to miss Fat Cat, a vast subterranean, one-room club and game room offering a great mix of friendly competition and live music.

Although there’s a simple bar serving only beer, wine, and soju cocktails, most of the crowd of hipsters and students heads straight for the open gaming area in back to play everything from pool and foosball, to shuffleboard and Scrabble.

Well-lit ping pong dens separated by draped netting line the perimeter of the space, while various chess tables offer a place for the thinking set to get into some more intense competition.

After-work bohemians too tired to play can settle in at a cocktail table to watch from the sidelines, or lounge on the cluster of mismatched sofas to nod along to the live jazz happening on the stage and reminisce about greats like Dizzy Gillespie and BB King, whose photos hang nearby.

Laid-back but lively, Fat Cat is a cool and genuine retreat for anyone who’s been looking for just the right blend of air hockey and jazz, or the perfect haunt for listening to smooth sounds till the sun comes up.

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Tip from Jonah:

Don’t miss the nightly jam sessions featuring awesome impromptu jazz performances by various guest musicians. Sessions start at 12:30am or 1:30am and end around 4am.

  • Crowd

    Local hipsters, students, artsy young professionals, and jazz lovers, with a slightly older crowd for Sunday jazz, early 20s to 30s.

  • Entertainment / Music

    Live music nightly 7pm–4am, sometimes from 6pm on Sundays and Mondays, featuring mostly contemporary jazz with occasional salsa, gospel, and other acts. Check website for schedule.

    Pool, ping pong, shuffleboard, foosball, and a variety of board games. Events include Draw Your Partner Foosball Tournament on Tuesdays and ping pong tournaments the second Sunday of every month. Individual instruction for pool, ping pong, and music. Free Wi-Fi.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    Chips and nuts at the bar. Only alcoholic drinks served are beer, wine, and cocktails made with soju, a Korean beverage similar to vodka. Organic juices and hand-blended sodas also offered.

  • Prices

    Cover charge $3 after the music starts. Beer $3–$9, wine $7, soju cocktails $7. Board games $1/person, foosball $1/game. Pool, ping pong, and shuffleboard $5.50/person/hour Su–Th and $6.50/person/hour F–Sa.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    Anything goes: jeans, hoodies, button-downs, dresses.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    Weekday evenings for a better chance at getting a gaming table, or Friday and Saturday nights for a packed crowd and livelier environment.

  • Close By

    Wilfie & Nell (228 West 4th Street) is great for food and drinks before a night of games at Fat Cat.

Fat Cat User Reviews

Average rating:
Table games for melancholics
Alex J. Aug 26, 2013
Maybe you were told not to play with your dolls or he-man after a certain age, and the monopoly could have been forbidden in your house after a sad incident some christmas ago... The fat cat owners know you want to feel again the sensation of conquering and gambling with your friends. They give you the chance to be a kid again but with cool music so you won't look like a geek playing roll games. However, paying a ticket to go into this place and the high price of the pool should make you think if it's not time to grow up.
Fat Cat: Soulful, Sultry Jazz
Kelly C. Jun 18, 2013
If you are looking for a laid back, artsy environment of open-minded youngsters where the drinks are cheap and you can dress in your comfortable thrift shop ensemble--this is it! Descend into this large speak easy sort of open spaced lounge where there are games to join and live music to jam out to every night. I would definitely say that this place is a contemporary soulful reflection of the swanky, snazzy, and sultry voices of the jazz culture. It is absolutely worth checking out!
Cheap and chill
Karianne R. May 29, 2013
Fat Cat is the perfect place to go to f you are just looking for a chill night with your friends. The cover was only $3 and the drinks were pretty cheap too (like $3-5 a beer). This place offers live music, games, and a vintage/cozy ambiance. There are old, tattered sofas around the stage if you want to sit and listen to the music or tables with Scrabble and a deck of cards to play with your friends. The other games include pool, ping-pong, foosball, and shuffleboard. You have to pay a little for these games and there's usually a bit of a wait to play if it's a Friday or Saturday night, but it is well worth it! We were there until about 4 AM trying out each game! Overall, this place is just super chill and relaxed. It's casual and you don't have to worry about dressing up or looking fancy enough to get in, and everyone's just hanging out with their friends. So if you want to go somewhere where everyone isn't trying to grind, hook up, or get black out drunk, this will be perfect. They have live jazz and music pretty much all night and it's the type of place where you can listen to music, have a few drinks, and still be able to sit down and have a conversation (or play a game) with your friends. Overall, I think Fat Cat is the quintessential trendy West Village bar and I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for something a little different from the usual bar scene.
Fat Cat is the Prime Definition of West Village "Cool"
Stephanie S. May 29, 2013
Three dollar Blue Ribbon and eccentric live music a just a few perks that the Fat Cat has to offer the West Village. Fat Cat is easily one of the most unique and cutting-edge venues in New York City, known for attracting young 20-somethings. Seamlessly blending old school with new school, Fat Cat partiers will enjoy shuffle-ball tables, Scrabble, pool, and ping-pong tables- farther solidifying Fat Cat's reputation as a great place to bring friends. Upon entering Fat Cat, visitors can enjoy live bands that bump jazz, rock, and a variety of other musical genres throughout the venue. They can also enjoy an intimate viewing of the performers as vintage, worn couches are propped directly in front of the stage. Fat Cat offers different options for drinking including beer, wine, and mixed cocktails that are well-made and affordable. Finally, as for amenities... well... Fat Cat is an amenity in and of itself! It's one of the best places to enjoy a pleasantly buzzed night with friends! The music is free, and the games fun. Visit the Fat Cat and see for yourself!
Games, booze and live music. What's not to love?
THEA C. May 20, 2013
Whether you are a local or a visitor to NYC, Fat Cat is one of those places everyone should visit at least once. Despite its prime location in the West Village, the bar is far from stiff or overpriced. Visitors can sip on reasonably priced local beers and wine while taking in the live jazz which resonates through the vast space almost every night of the week. As well as going for the music, which is usually very reasonably priced if not free, customers are invited to partake in a wealth of fun games - they have everything from scrabble to pingpong - which will bring you straight back to your youth. As the space is so large one can happily get into a game of drunken pingpong without interrupting the live acts. They even have tasty bar snacks to keep you going. The only downside? I often like my jazz accompanied with bourbon, however, Fat Cat is yet to obtain a full liquor license. Having said this, there are so many bars in the area that it's definitely worth starting or ending your night with a few beers here as you'll have no problem finding the stronger stuff elsewhere.
Great place to lounge about
rosanna l. May 14, 2013
Visited this place to see some live jazz play and found so much more. Although the crowd was mainly 20-something student based, we were treated to an up close lounging experience which felt more like our own private jazz show by a very cool band. The atmosphere is very relaxed and the prices wont break the bank either. Lots to keep you entertained as much or little as you want.
An unexpected experience, to say the least
Kaity R. Apr 29, 2013
To be honest, when my friends first told me about Fat Cat, I pictured a grimy night club littered with pretentious college kids. But, as a rather pretentious college kid myself, the promise of cheap booze drew me in faster than you could say West Village. And boy, this place did not disappoint. Although a limited selection, the alcohol is good and cheap, which comes as a blessing to my depleting bank account. But what's even better is the atmosphere. The live jazz music is so relaxing, that it just entices you to sit with a beer and listen with some friends...or even with a hot date. During my visit, a fantastic band called the Don Hahn Sextet was playing. They brought a very bohemian vibe to an already laid back space. And the band members were some of the most interesting, polite gentlemen I've ever spoken with! The fact that this jazz club is also a game room makes it even more unique. Personally, I'm a pool shark, and love to show off my skills any chance I get. Mix in some good drinks and some even better music, and you're guaranteed an amazing time. I highly recommend a visit to Fat Cat to anyone in the area. Chances are, you'll see me there too!
Phat
Seb S. Apr 4, 2013
Fat cat is fun. Plain and simple. Where else can you crush PBRs, play scrabble, board games, shuffle board, and ping pong all to the sound track of serious jazz. Seriously serious. I saw Jimmy Cobb play here, no joke. For a modest cover of $3-5 bucks you can play around, lounge around on second hand couches and chairs, and throw back beer and wine for $5-10. You can't beat it. If you had to be a douche and gripe - bathrooms are a hot mess (but who comes here to take a deuce, honestly) and there's no whiskey. No spirits at all actually. But the night is young and the city is long, friends.
A jazzy experience worth having
Katrina S. Feb 28, 2013
Fat Cat boasts a speakeasy vibe that makes you forget it's 2013. The $5-or-so cover buys you access to a unique drink menu, live jazz band, tons of sitting space (including couches), and games of all sorts. Be warned: traditional cocktails aren't served here. No Jack & Coke or Red Bull vodka. The menu lists an exclusive selection of wines and cocktails made from the Japanese vodka alternative soju, and pack a hearty punch for $7. Beer offerings cater to the hipster crowd — Red Stripe and PBR are commonly spotted in patrons' hands. Beer can sell for as low as $2, however, which is unheard of for the West Village. This jazz club is a sight, even sober. Its basement is spacious and allows for ping pong, shuffleboard, and traditional board games. If, somehow, all game boards are occupied, there's plenty of space to sit and enjoy the rare selection of music. Hardcore jazz and swing fans dance near the band. While regulars stand out, the locale is not altogether pretentious. One occasion not recommended: catching up with old friends. It's far too loud and sounds bounces around the room like mating rabbits. See friends first over dinner, then take them here for a time they won't forget.
Great, cheap fun with live Jazz
Mark S. Dec 11, 2012
Love this spot. Been here a few times. For a cheap cover (probably to cover the cost of the band) you gain entrance to an underground lair of games and live jazz and cheap drinks. Ping Pong and a Pimms Cup? Chess and a chocolate stout? sure! I love Jazz, and the bands are usually upbeat and talented. Its fun to play some board games with friends. Actually a good date spot too although it is not very conducive to privacy. But some fun activities to liven up the evening. Nothing special about the drinks, just cheap good fun with some excellent live music. Do it.
Drunk Game Haven!
Risa C. Dec 8, 2012
Sometimes I get sick of going to clubs and bars and need to bring back my inner child, and when I do Fat Cat is the place to do it. Or sometimes it's even nice to stumble in there between bar hopping for a change of pace or as a way to settle a bet or see who has to buy the next round of drinks. It's also a great place for group outings since there's a little something for every one. It's even a good bet for a first date so if things go awry you can put them on the far side of a ping pong table to minimize conversation. Fat Cat is a great little (ok not so little) reprieve from your standard bar, and the live music is also a nice touch in case you want to dance while your friends play pool.
the only cat I've ever loved
Tara R. Dec 8, 2012
Fat Cat was our regular when we lived in the Village, and for good reason. It’s gritty, cheap, and quirky. The live jazz is always a draw—there is nothing quite like live music, and especially jazz—as are the games of chess, and of pool, and of Scrabble...The house wine may taste like vinegar and the strongest drink you’re gonna get is probably the Mike’s Hard Lemonade, but Fat Cat has the kind of in-your-face charm that garners a crowd of groupies and devotees. The atmosphere is friendly and less pretentious than one would expect at a jazz club. Definitely a place to stop by if you're in the neighborhood.
Game on!
Chris K. Nov 16, 2012
I've never seen a jazz act at Fat Cat, which I've been told is a big part of its allure. What I have seen is more table-gaming than I know what to do with. There's ping pong, billiards, air hockey, foose ball--the list goes on. They even have checkers and chess, and encourage games from home; when we went, my boys and I brought our Clue board, and ended up with a rapt crowd surrounding us trying to figure out who killed Mr. Body. So, jazz enthusiasts, I hear this place is great, but don't take my word for it. However, if you're the kind of person who likes the get hammered before becoming involved in a hardcore game of Trivial Pursuit, definitely swing on down to Fat Cat. It's a ball.
The ultimate hang-out for billiards and jazz enthusiasts.
John S. Sep 30, 2012
Is it a pool hall? Is it a bar? Is it a jazz club? It doesn’t matter what you call it. If you’re into playing games and listening to live jazz whilst drinking cans of Pabst, Fat Cat is the ultimate hang-out. With live performances running late into every night—and I mean late—Fat Cat is a legitimate destination any day of the week. I personally recommend going on a week-night. You’ll get the same energy as you would on a Saturday, but you’ll be able to walk on to a pool table without waiting and you’ll probably be able to snag a decent seat by the stage to watch the musicians work their magic. I’m not a jazz expert by any means, but I have seen some amazing shows put on by notably passionate musicians at Fat Cat, and you only have to pay a three dollar cover. You’ll be hard-pressed to find cheaper nightly live music in New York. Speaking of prices, Fat Cat is the least expensive pool hall in the area at $5.50 an hour per person during the week, and they sell three dollar cans of Pabst, the hipster beer of choice. They also have reasonably priced beers on tap and some delicious soju drinks. And don’t sleep on Scrabble. Beer and Scrabble is a surprisingly solid combination. If you don’t want to rack up a gaming tab, you can play unlimited for a buck per person. And when you get a little tipsy and start playing words like “it” and “the” you just move on to one of Fat Cat’s many other activities. This is a truly unique spot with a fun vibe; it’s one of my go-to bars in New York. Fat Cat is a must if you like billiards or jazz, or Pabst.
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