Walk down St.Marks Place on any given evening and you’re bound to see the usual mix of crust-punks hanging onto a scene that nolonger exists, hordes of NYU students in search of half-price sushi, and tourists picking over counterfeit sunglasses embracing the “New York” experience. While the street has gone through many transformations over the years, there’s still a few remnants of the old guard left standing. One of those trusty haunts is Grassroots Tavern.
Grassroots is one of those rare places in the village that is vaguely divey without being ironic, plays good music without blasting over conversation, and is home to an old bartender who will laugh at the request of anything “muddled”. Granted every time I’ve been here, the name of the actual bar would escape me after a couple of drinks so for awhile I was referring to it as “Paradise Bar”. Cause to me, that’s what it was.
The long worn-down tables, cheap pitchers of beer and $1 popcorn make for perfect conditions to grab a group and hunker down for the night. Its basement location helps it not to be noticed by most passerby’s and climbing those stairs at the end of the night are always a good litmus test of how inebriated you are.
Plus it’s in stone’s throw distance to Sing Sing, should you find yourself feeling musically inclined at the end of the evening. It’s a shame Chipotle isn’t open 24 hours, but not everything can be paradise.
20 St Marks Pl
Between 2nd & 3rd Ave [East Village]
Photo Courtesy of: Eater