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Bars have a lot of work to do when it comes to cultivating the kind of experience that people would want to have. In an ideal bar, the drinks will be incredible, the food will be amazing, decor will be spot on, and everyone will always have a good time.
Most bar owners know how to mix a great drink, hire great chefs, and even decorate a place well. These are factors that are often easy to work on and easy to control. What isn't easy to control, though, is the kind of crowd your bar becomes associated with.
If you're lucky, you may end up with a good crowd of people who make bartending a joy. If you're unlucky (or foolish, in some cases), you will end up with a bar that has clients terrible enough to drive away new business.
There are plenty of bad bars out in New York City, but in terms of clients, these are often regarded as the worst.
The Leftfield - Chinatown
To its credit, the Leftfield is a petty decent bar to go to if you're looking for underground music shows. However, the place has a major problem with its patrons - especially on days where they are involving rock bands.
While many bar patrons are alright here, the problem with the Leftfield is that concert nights mean that tends to get filled with people who are music snobs - as well as the people who want to pretend that they're music snobs.
If you go here, expect to be given dirty looks if you can't tell the difference between emocore and grindcore. Oh, and if you're not wearing "scene appropriate" clothing, you might end up getting insulted straight to your face.
The Woods - Williamsburg
The Woods is one of those Brooklynite bars that tries to attract hipsters, but only succeeds in attracting people who are drugged out, creepy, and potentially predatory in nature.
Most of the time, the patrons are the kind of "frat bros" who get kicked out of clubs by the time the clock strikes 10. When they're booted out, these coked-out bros end up at The Woods hoping to score with whatever woman is unfortunate enough to exist near them.
Along with the frat crowd, a decent amount of "edgy" NYU students also end up here. Expect to hear about how their parents pay for everything, and see a lot of sniffing and twitching, too.
Wicked Willy's - Greenwich Village
This has become one of the most notorious hangouts for aging frat bros in the New York City area, and to a point, it almost looks like the place was designed to be that way. Cheap drinks, stripper poles, and karaoke nights with drunk, aging, tone-deaf women make this place feel like both an old boys' club and a grimy testament to the staying power of frat culture.
If you go here, be forewarned - you will want to sit in a bathtub for hours after setting foot in this area.
Whiskey Blue - Midtown East
If you're like most people, you really can't stand the "young money" crowd. There's something about their spoiled, entitled, and self-absorbed personalities that make them just awful to be near, even if they like you. At Whiskey Blue, the entire pull of the place is that it has $20 drinks, guys clad in designer suits, and women who want to become Stepford wives.
People at this insanely pretentious bar don't really have much going for them aside for money. So, in order to fill the empty holes they have, they go to this hellhole and drink while looking pretty. Yuck.
Dorrian's Red Hand - Upper East Side
This bar is a lot like Whiskey Blue in many ways. It is all about flashing cash, and it's all about supplying validation to a group of people who don't really seem to care about much other than money. The only really big difference is the age groups they cater to.
Dorrian's Red Hand is all about yuppies from the 80s, as well as the women who want to be with them. This venue also seems to have a lot of older guys who want to show that they're still "with it" by using 90s dances to the latest Kanye song - and it's just as cringey as you'd expect it to be.
The Gaslight - Meatpacking District
This cute little coffee shop would probably be an ideal place to enjoy a mellow night out, if it weren't for its surprisingly testosterone-fueled "bro" patrons. Often crowded to the point of suffocating, the Gaslight seems to be one of those places where guys just get way too aggressive for no apparent reason.
Between the $16 cocktails and the regular outbreak of bar fights, it's really hard to figure out how this place stays in business - let alone packed as a tight sardine can.
The Stumble Inn - Upper East Side
While most of these bars could be considered frathouses, this one is more or less a sorority haven. Girls here are often coated in several layers on makeup, toting sorority letters, and literally stumbling drunk. The guys aren't much better, and seem to be totally cool with risking being puked on if it means they'll get laid.
Something about the Stumble Inn makes you feel grimy, and it definitely feels like the kind of place where guys may end up slipping pills into a girl's cup if they think they can get away with it. Bottom line, don't go here.
The 13th Step - East Village
First off, this bar is actually named after a fake step in Al-Anon. (Al-Anon only has 12 steps.) That's already really not a good look, because it's kind of making fun of a serious illness that patrons could be struggling from.
Name aside, the 13th Step seems to be the world's biggest fraternity magnet. Expect to see guys getting wasted, girls walking away from the venue barefoot and in tears, and all sorts of bar fights.
It's trashy. The people inside are trashy. Why is this a thing?!
Brass Monkey - Meatpacking District
When guys get rejected from seriously upscale and exclusive clubs like 1OAk, they all somehow seem to gravitate to Brass Monkey to lick their proverbial wounds. When you combine a bunch of bruised ego males with a very small set of girls, you end up with a terrible mess.
Partially because of the rep as a "go to" place post rejection at 1OAK, and partially because of the drink prices, this place has become famous for its regular barfights. If you're a guy who has a girlfriend, going here may mean you'll end up having to take a swing at a guy who's too aggressive for his own good.
Union Pool - Williamsburg
This venue was once famous for having the hottest hipster women, the best bands, and cheap drinks. However, as the years continued to pass, the clientele has become somewhat of a joke.
Nowadays, it's partly a tourist destination and partly a hyper-pretentious hole-in-the-wall where people pretend to be deeper than they really are. It's also become heavily populated with creepy hipsters that just want to get laid and pretend they're "starving artists."
To make matters worse, it's still a singles bar and hookups do happen in the bathroom. The bar staff actually had to hire attendants to make sure people stopped sexing it up in there.
230 Fifth - Midtown
If you watched Sex And The City, then you already know that 230 Fifth was where the ladies met up to talk about the guys they were with and drink cosmos. Since then, this upscale bar has devolved into a tourist location with people who "swear that they are Carrie Bradshaw more than Miranda!"