Mehanata Bulgarian Bar

Bar / Club / Drinking Activity
Mehanata Bulgarian Bar 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... New York United States 40.7194598 -73.9887983
4.17 7
DJ firing up the crowd at Mehanata Bulgarian Bar in New York!
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Ratings:
Lucas
Adriana
Jonah
Emma

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

  • Subway:

    F, J, M, Z: Delancey Street- Essex Street; B, D: Grand Street-Chrystie Street

  • Phone:

    212-625-0981

  • Links:

  • Hours:

    Th–Sa 8pm–4am

  • Recommended as:

    • Night Spot

Party Earth Mehanata Bulgarian Bar Review

The Scene

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...

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.

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Tip from Emma:

Take advantage of the birthday special – just show your ID and you’ll get into the Ice Cage free, and that includes the six shots, too!

  • Crowd

    Wide-ranging international mix of hipsters, artists, students, and a few young professionals, early 20s to 40s.

  • Entertainment / Music

    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.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    Traditional Bulgarian grill until 2am. Hookahs available with a house blend of melon, peach, and mango. Happy Hour Th–Sa 8–10pm.

  • Prices

    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.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    Anything goes. Jeans, boots, dresses, birthday suits.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights for a wild Bulgarian party.

  • Close By

    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).

Mehanata Bulgarian Bar User Reviews

Average rating:
Absolutely amazing!
Dana C. May 13, 2013
Not only to they have their infamous vodka ice cage, but they have swings at the bar, delicious (super)spiked cider AND and amazing band that will literally keep you dancing all night. I went here after purchasing a groupon deal for the vodka ice cage... I honestly did not expect to have a good time walking in because at 9pm it was almost dead empty. In an hour or two it was not only packed but raging crowded. Everyone was dancing together, drinking and partying .. great time overall.
A Little Bit of Everything
Risa C. Dec 10, 2012
Mehanata has a little something for everyone which makes it a great place for large groups since you can all be under the same roof and doing completely different things at the same time. When you first walk in the first thing you might notice is a set of tables where people are sitting around having drinks in their hunting lodge-esque first floor. You might also notice a bulgarian band playing folk music while sweaty (their air conditioning blows, not literally, in the summer) hipsters do some kind of interpretive dance to the music. Downstairs, they have the awesome ice cage, which I guess has been switched to 6 shots in 2 minutes whereas it used to be drink as many shots as you can in 2 minutes - ah the good ol' days. Downstairs you will also find more mainstream music where equally as sweaty people will be dancing and grinding against the walls. Also, try the housemade cider - deliciousness!
Crazy good time
Mark S. Nov 20, 2012
Not for the faint of heart or the judgemental, this eastern european bar is anything but ordinary. i highly recommend the glass vodka cage in the basement. two minutes for all you can drink in soviet military regalia. lose your inhibitions and your sense of normality as you dance and drink away the night. Connected to Eugene Hutz of Gogol Bordello fame, the bar certainly has similar feeling and energy to the eclectic band. If you find yourself in the lower east side, don't mind getting a little sweaty, and feel like letting go of your overly conscious self, come on down and have a good time.
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