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Zagat Survey Reports Sobering NYC Nightlife Still
The Big Apple Is a Great Place to Party

NEW YORK, June 17, 2009 - Wall Street appears to have taken the sizzle out of the New York City nightlife scene, according to over 6,000 local nighthawks surveyed by Zagat. When asked what effect the weakened economy has had on their night habits, 38% reported going to less expensive places, 34% said they'd become more price sensitive and 27% reported that they were ordering fewer drinks. 

When asked whether they were going out more or less than last year, 8% said more, 36% said the same, and a stunning 56% said less.

"These answers are enough to give a bartender a hangover," said Tim Zagat, CEO of Zagat Survey. "But as the new nightlife guide indicates, there are plenty of outstanding clubs, bars and lounges in all 5 boroughs still in existence and, surprisingly, over 100 noteworthy newcomers."

All told, the updated Zagat 2009/10 New York City Nightlife guide covers 1,315 nightspots citywide, with ratings and reviews available on and via ZAGAT TO GO(TM), Zagat's mobile application for iPhone, BlackBerry and handhelds. It also highlights specific hot areas and trends.

Hot Blocks: Voted NYC's hottest nightlife neighborhood, the Lower East Side had a banner year, with the most buzz-worthy newcomers. Exclusivity came downtown with the opening of Eldridge, and Thompson LES Hotel introduced Above Allen, a rooftop bar with a retractable roof and chic furniture. Further downtown, Santos Party House opened its double-decker dance floors to throngs of partygoers and a rotating list of celeb-DJs.

Wine Weekdays - Mixed Drink Weekends: Surveyors' taste in drinks shifts from weekdays when wine (47%) and beer (27%) prevail over mixed drinks (18%), to weekends when they typically go for mixed drinks by a 59% margin over wine (20%) and beer (16%).

Cocktail Arts: Expertly mixed, stirringly priced cocktails were served at several new temples of mixology: Apotheke, Madam Geneva, Mayahuel and Raines Law Room; Sasha Petraske, whose Milk and Honey popularized the genre in 2000, added to his empire with Dutch Kills and White Star. Absinthe enjoyed a fleeting reign as the spirit du jour, and batch bourbon and hand-cut ice cubes also enjoyed brief vogues before melting away. Luckily for the 51% of surveyors who consider mixology "an excuse to charge more for drinks," the beer bar is also building up steam. Newcomers offering extensive lists of esoteric suds included East Village Tavern, The Gibson, Lillie's, Pony Bar and Stag's Head.

Over/Under: If 2008 was a stellar year for rooftop venues, underground is the place to be in 2009, perhaps reflecting a bunker mentality in leaner times. New basement lairs included BEast, Chloe, Macao Trading Co., RDV, 675 Bar and Southside, all smaller spots with varying degrees of exclusivity. "Secret bars," a staple of NY nightlife since Prohibition, snuck onto the scene with the hush-hush openings of Cabin Down Below, hidden under an East Village pizzeria, and Bleecker Heights Tavern, hanging over a Five Guys burger joint.

Meatpacking Revival: A former meatpacking area in Harlem became a different kind of meatpacking scene when an old freight house at 135th Street and 12th Avenue was transformed into three happening lounge-eateries: Body, Covo and Talay. That other, more renowned Meatpacking District, long written off by trendsetters as passe, had something of a comeback with the openings of Bijoux, The Griffin, Standard Hotel Living Room and a spin-off of SEA. But it was last call for one of the area's legends, Lotus, now residing in that big nightclub in the sky.

A Scene Grows in Brooklyn: Brooklyn burgeoned with a bunch of new arrivals: Boerum Hill welcomed Building on Bond, Carroll Gardens showcased Chestnut Bar and Prime Meats, and Cobble Hill cooked up Char No. 4 and Clover Club, voted the year's best newcomer. Elsewhere, Belleville Lounge, Brookvin, Cabana Bar and 249 Bar gave Park Slope some pizzazz, while Williamsburg rolled out Mother's, Public Assembly and The Richardson.

Tenpins Revival: Two new state-of-the-art bowling alleys rolled into town, jazzed up with 21st-century touches: soon-to-open Brooklyn Bowl includes a 600-seat performance space and food by Blue Ribbon, while Lucky Strike Lanes offers (optional) bottle service plus a private lounge equipped with its own bar and four lanes. Meanwhile, Leisure Time Bowl in Port Authority got an overhaul and a new name, Frames.

The Guide: As with all Zagat Surveys, the 2009/10 New York City Nightlife guide is made by consumers for consumers. In addition to Top Lists for Popularity, Appeal, Decor, Service and Most Visited, the guide lists Key Newcomers and maps the Most Popular nightspots. 2009/10 New York City Nightlife ($14.95) was edited by Curt Gathje. The guide is available at bookstores and other retail outlets, through or by calling 888-371-5440. Content is also available online at and on mobile devices via and ZAGAT TO GO(TM) for iPhone(TM), BlackBerry and handhelds.

About Zagat Survey, LLC
Known as the "burgundy bible," Zagat Survey is the world's most trusted source for information about where to eat, drink, stay and play around the globe, and as such has become a symbol of quality. Zagat Survey rates and reviews airlines, restaurants, hotels, nightlife, movies, music, golf, resorts, shopping, spas and a range of other entertainment categories in more than 100 countries. It has been lauded as the "most up-to-date, comprehensive and reliable guides ever published" and as "a necessity second only to a valid credit card." Zagat content is available in print, on the web, on the mobile web, iPhone, BlackBerry and on TV. For more information, visit 


Zagat Survey, LLC 
Tiffany Barbalato, +1-212-404-6416 


Also See: New York City Nightlife Scene Surveyed by Zagat: The Gramercy Park Hotel's Jade Bar Rated Top Newcomer, Average Drink Price in New York City Now $10.12 / June 2007
Zagat Survey: Daniel Reclaims the Top spot for Food from Le Bernardin, Little Doubt that New York is the Dining Capital of the World, Dress Codes Continue to Lose Ground / October 2007



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