Tuesday, October 13, 2009

People Lounge

163 Allen St. (btw Rivington & Stanton)
New York, NY 10002
(212) 254-2668

Bathroom situation
- Street level: two in the rear, one with urinals, one without. Both as plain as Jane's plain brain game. Upper level: two single-person units around the corner from the bar, but one seems to be employees-only. The other one is spacious enough for you to bring a friend, and the walls are thick enough that people outside won't be able to eavesdrop on the inevitable argument that erupts when your so-called friend gets all incensed that you asked her to do "that" in there.
Takes credit cards? - yes, but this is exactly the type of place where shit can just come up missing if you happen to accidentally leave it there overnight. Not saying that this typically happens here or that it's intentional when/if it does; really just wanted to use the phrase "come up."
Crowded on weekends? - this is People Lounge's consistent claim to fame. As advertised, there be people. All in your grill.
Seating - this is one of those places that segues from respectable-ish restaurant to loungey-club over the course of the evening so there are a fair number of tables, booths & stools at the bar on the street level. None of this, however, will be available to you if you arrive after 10pm. The upper level is more lounge-sofa oriented, and trust that any stools at the bar will be pushed to the side well before SNL begins broadcasting with their newly-instituted 3 minute delay.
Neighborhood - the stretch of Allen that desperately doesn't want you to notice that they share the block with one of the LES's better housing projects.
Pretentious/assholes - though People Lounge definitely attracts a nerdier crowd than your prototypical LES romper room, it's not without its share of moneyed-up solipsists. These folk, however, will at least wait till they get home before they brag about how they almost poured your own fucking beer all over your whole fucking UniQlo-sourced outfit cuz you were looking over at them too much.
Cost of Stella - apparently if you show up in some nice UniQlo attire and have a receding hairline (oh, btw they don't allow baseball caps in here) you get charged one price, but if you show up in some been there, done that Bloomie's bullshit you get a different, lower price. Rich get richer...
What time people start showing up - the dinner here is allegedly mad decent, so a lot of people come at 8, then mosey on upstairs after getting a box for what's left of their creme brule (that's a metaphor, they don't actually have creme brule here).
Bartender efficiency - even though Visceralist has been here a few times with folks who were friendly with the upstairs bartender, it's still basically a crap shoot. People is almost always too understaffed to adequately handle the weekend crowd, so you'll be better off sneaking in a flask of amaretto.
Official Website - here. Flash'd up like it's going out of style (it is btw, shouts out to HTML 5.0), but pleasantly concise. Plus their Upcoming Events section actually has upcoming events (as opposed to the GWB-era events you see on most LES/EV bar sites these days).
Food? How late - yeah, saw some Satay's or something on their menu.
TVs? What's on - no, so the game of pretend-voiceovers-of-what-that-couple-over-there-is-talking-about is a must.
Guy:girl ratio - 50:50 ish, though you'll sometimes be hard-pressed to tell which is which. "Strong in the face" is a phrase you'll overhear more than once.
Toys - you'll have to make do with cocktail napkins and maraschino cherries.
Age of clientele - the futilely-clinging-to-their-20s set and those who encourage them. And may we add, if the majority of your waking hours during your 20s were spent in a button-up shirt, let them go. You'll fit in much bett[ed. let's just stop there and try to steer clear of the class critiques from here on out, ok?].
Space for dancing? - huzzah, People Lounge's one saving grace. They actually have a "dance floor" on the upper level and the DJ actually plays songs with +120 bpm and syncopation. Granted, it's usually so crowded that inadvertent bumping/grinding is a given, but the dopamine that (for once) is naturally released in your brain after Sean Paul's "Get Busy" fades into Keri Hilson's "Turnin Me On" will more than make up for it.
Grimeyness - mostly Swiffered away.
ID Check Procedure - bouncer out front...even in the cold, so you know he's not in a good mood, and he's checking both men's and cute women's.
Music medium, style & volume
- DJ in the upper room on the weekends and at the frequent "networking events" this place hosts. The music is usually "Wait, what?!" loud, but Visceralist is rarely mad at the selection.
Specials or most popular drink - the Purple People Eater - Hypnotic & cranberry juice on the rocks (with a splash of amaretto courtesy of our little secret). J/k, this is really more of a suggestion.

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