Cafe Wha?, New York City
You descend a staircase lit by glow-in-the-dark stars and sparkles along the walls and enter the bowels of the club where your senses detect the smell of alcohol, smoke, and a hint of mildew in the air. I LOVE IT!! Not a fancy or ritzy place, Cafe Wha? (a.k.a. the Wha) is not for the snooty or snobbish. So if you're of that ilk, turn around and ascend the staircase from whence you came! From rock to reggae, soul to salsa, you can "dip-it, pop-it, twirk-it, stop-it" all night long to the musicianship and vocal stylings of Jason, Elan, Byron, Brian, Jesus, Vince, Noam, and whomever else is onstage. You'll be singing along to popular songs and dancing in your seat, in the aisle, or if you're really courageous, on the stage!
The Wha house band is off the chain -- you'll never want them to take a break and you'll never leave disappointed. Low cover charge, inexpensive drinks, and decent barroom fare lend themselves to the mood of this speakeasy-esque nightspot. Crowded, noisy, smouldry, sexy ... it's the BEST!!
Dress Code: Jeans, sneakers, bridal veils, stilettos, shorts, even suits (you'll ditch the jacket and loosen the tie once the band and the drinks kick-in) --- just come as you are!
Cafe Wha? used to be (and remains) my favorite nightclub in New York.
It is crowded, sometimes too much, but it is a great place to have fun with friends.
There are certain things you have to take in account before making the decision to visit the club:
1. There is no bar, where you could sit and chat with your friends.
2. If you're less than 6 people, most likely you'll have to share a table with others.
3. You can only dance in the aisles, so my suggestion, don't take a sit close to the wall if you'd like to dance later. It will be almost impossible to move all the others to make your way to the dancing area.
4. Don't forget your ID, you will not be served alcohol if you forgot it! And, trust me, they always check it!
5. Beofre making reservation, make sure that the house band is playing that day, otherwise you will miss all the FUN!!!
Dress Code: Jeans and sneakers are fine.
This nice small venue is a typical pub with live music every night. It’s located in Greenwich Village like many other small venues like this. The stuff were very polite to us and the man at the door told me that the entrance fee is $10 +2drinks per person. We were there early so we could choose our table. Most of them are small so I guess it’s gonna be uncomfortable when it’s crowded and there’s not enough space for dancing.
One weird thing was that you can’t sit next to your each other but only across from each other!! The beer was cold enough, the wine nice and the music that night was a jazz/samba band from Brazil, the BRAZOOKA!
They play there every Monday and one of the singers was very beautiful and they have some nice funky tunes but it seemed that most of the people in the pub were kind of bored. The only bad thing in that place was that the aircondition was turned on all the time and we felt like it was winter! :) Café Wha? Organize jazz nights at Hudson River so check their site of you are interested.
Go with some friends and have a blast at Cafe Wha? There is live music and dancing a its just a lot of fun. The decor is dark with lights flashing and you can just feel the beat of NYC right in the club.
Dress Code: casual
Most of Newyorkers will tell you that Cafe Wha? is more for people from New Jersey than for people living in Manhattan.
Well, for me, European expatriated in Africa, Cafe Wha? is enough New York, to spend a night there.
I wanted to spend a nioce week night in NYC. I browsed VT to take advices from other VTers, and decided for Cafe Wha?
I really did not regret.
We arrived quite early, like 8 PM, had a American dinner while the group, Dysfuncktion was warming the place.
And this was magic. between 10 and 1, people were dancing between the tables, then after the break until 3 AM.
Unfortunately fun has an end and we had to leave in the cold village.
Cafe Wha? is a tiny, tiny place, with a tiny stage, but what a nice night!
Dress Code: Casual
It is better to make a reservation at least in the afternoon before going. This place is popular. The best way for the reservation is their web site.
Halcyon ~ 227 Smith Street, Brooklyn
This Cafe, Record Store, Board-Game Parlor with DJ is a gathering spot for nightcrawlers from NYC. Thursday evenings begin with the Mixtape Sessions, deep-house grooves spun by DJ Lola and the Almagest, Acupuncture's Takes place on Friday evenings, Saturday afternoons, the decks are cleared for anything goes, Saturday nights, Halcyon host the abductions affair, for which parties like Hamsa, Sleaze Factor and Love Committee are "kidnapped" from their normal club abodes for the evening. Sunday Afternoon is the Hangover Helper, a favorite of WFMU DJ small change.