Party Earth Review Outsiders may wonder why so many young New Yorkers happily pay a $10 cover charge just to get into the somewhat seedy Mehanata Bulgarian Bar, but those in on the secret know that once inside, they’ll find a no-holds-barred... ... read full review
113 Ludlow Street
New York, NY 10002
F, J, M, Z: Delancey Street- Essex Street; B, D: Grand Street-Chrystie Street
Lower East Side, New York –
Outsiders may wonder why so many young New Yorkers happily pay a $10 cover charge just to get into the somewhat seedy Mehanata Bulgarian Bar, but those in on the secret know that once inside, they’ll find a no-holds-barred pleasure palace where almost anything goes.
Patrons who dare step into the dark dance den with its swirling lights, giant disco ball, and throngs of young partiers flailing to beat-heavy polka music can’t help but get swept up into the wild, drunken, eccentric vibe.
A rustic wood and stone lounge area with red leather booths filled with rambunctious revelers occupies one side of the main level, while the other side is dominated by an illuminated brown and yellow glass bar and its giant jars of lethal vodka cider.
A narrow balcony hosts an international mix of hipsters and students who sprawl in grungy green booths to smoke hookahs and check out the action below, where the blue and white glass-pebbled bar overhung with white branches and snowflakes provides a cool hangout for downing shots.
Those in the mood to really get down and dirty can take the stairs to the lower dance area, where the heady mix of booze, babes, hookah, and incredibly loud live gypsy funk creates a frenzied, sexually-charged atmosphere of total debauchery.
Patrons who need to cool off downstairs can check out the Ice Cage – a refrigerated glass-walled cubicle housing over fifty kinds of vodka. Guests donning Russian military uniforms and fur hats enter the freezer, where they’re given ice shot glasses and two minutes to drink up to six different shots, which may account for the spontaneous nudity happening in this unpredictably nutty Bulgarian underground.
And considering Mehanata’s famous “Get naked, get a free shot” sign, patrons shouldn’t be surprised if they wake up in the morning with a major headache, some hazy memories, and serious doubts about where they left their clothes.
Wide-ranging international mix of hipsters, artists, students, and a few young professionals, early 20s to 40s.
Live gypsy funk and world music almost every Friday and Saturday night on the main floor 9–11pm. International DJs spin polka, reggae, and Bulgarian dance music until close.
Occasional live music on the lower level and/or a DJ playing more mainstream dance music. Occasional three-day music festivals including the Gypsy Tabor Festival featuring live music, a drum circle, body painting, and Turkish coffee.
Traditional Bulgarian grill until 2am. Hookahs available with a house blend of melon, peach, and mango. Happy Hour Th–Sa 8–10pm.
Cover charge $10 after 10:30pm. Menu averages $7. Beer $6–$7, wine $2/glass, cocktails $8–$10, vodka cider $7. Hookah $18. Ice Cage $20/person for two minutes.
Anything goes. Jeans, boots, dresses, birthday suits.
Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights for a wild Bulgarian party.
Before hitting up Mehanata for an all-night dance party, there are a countless number of live music venues in the LES such as, Arlene's Grocery (95 Stanton Street), The Living Room (154 Ludlow Street), Rockwood Music Hall (196 Allen Street), and Mercury Lounge (217 East Houston Street # A).