6 Best New York City Bars for Comic Nerds Slideshow
October 11, 2011
Lillie's Victorian Establishment
The name alone should inspire any steampunker out there to visit this establishment. The bar is completely focused on the 18th century, being named after Lillie Langtry, a prominent actress and feminist of the time. The decor is stunning, as well as very period, with ornate chandeliers, stained glass windows, and vaulted ceilings extending high above the well-stocked bar. While the usual clientele is considered more along the lines of young urban professionals with the occasional artist, this oasis of the Victorian age is a must for any period enthusiast (and makes for a great backdrop for any steampunk photo shoots).
The Way Station
A newcomer to the scene, The Way Station is quickly proving to be a mecca for anything and everything nerd-related. The bars official theme is steampunk, done right with antique ray-guns and jet-packs on the wall (made by the owner) and redesigned, retro air conditioners. However, after looking at the impressive collection of vintage weaponry that never was, one is struck by what could only be an illusion in the back corner. A Tardis. A real, honest-to-God, life-sized Tardis. You freeze, expecting the Doctor to pop out at any second. This, however, is no longer a functioning Tardis, and only serves as the bathroom, as well as what gives the bar its unofficial sub-theme of Doctor Who. Scan the drink menu and find you can order Sonic Screwdrivers, in both the 10th and 11th Doctor variety, which are classic Screwdrivers with a twist. Make sure to ask for it extra strong, which means the bartender will pull out their very own Sonic Screwdriver (an actual one, not the drink), and use it to enhance the alcohol level, because what can't a Sonic Screwdriver do?
Bento Burger is what happens when you drive a truck full of Manga into roadhouse diner rigged with enough explosives to throw the whole thing into the dystopian future. Mainly a must-see for the Anime Festival crowd, this hyperbar with seizure-inducing neon graffiti on the walls boasts an atmosphere that feels straight out of Akira, or maybe even like a Cowboy Bebop fight scene waiting to happen. There's an Asian-Midwestern menu and Japanese-inspired drinks on offer, but the J-pop tunes and anime playing on the flat-screens are the real icing on the cake.
Gotham City Lounge
Excelsior! After a long day of haggling for the latest Spider Man collectibles, youre going to want to hit the streets looking for someplace where you can get cheap drinks (and where they wont mind you being in full red-and-blue spandex). This dive bar in Bushwick is hard to miss, what with its large mural featuring a 3-D Batman and Superman exploding from the wall. Inside, the dive-bar feel is paired with an intense collection of action figures and comic books covering the walls. Overall, the vibe of the bar is comic books, but not in a fussy way. Locals come in and out, sometimes for the comics, and sometimes for the $3 beer-and-a-shot or even one of the superhero-named cocktails (the Iron Man comes highly recommended). And don't miss the comic book trivia all of your knowledge might finally pay off in the form of a free drink.
McGee's is not a nerd bar. At least, that's the thought one might have upon first entering this classic midtown Irish pub. The bright neon green sign, the long, thin bar, and Irish bartenders are all pretty standard. One might also take notice of the multitude of photos of Neil Patrick Harris plastered around the bar, soon realizing that this is actually the inspiration for the bar Maclaren's in How I Met Your Mother. None of this, however, qualifies this place as nerdy. So what does? McGee's pub is only a few short blocks from Marvel Headquarters, making it a staff favorite among all of your favorite X-Men, Iron Man, and Captain America writers and illustrators. So, while a good portion of the clientele may well be angry Germans yelling at the football match on the television, if you're a hardcore fan and want to get a chance to buy your favorite comic book author a beer, then a stake-out might be in order.
The Slaughtered Lamb
Alright, so it's getting late. You, doing your best Hellboy-John Constantine impression, have tracked a certain werewolf to a corner of the West Village. But where could he be? You wander the streets, turn down an alley, and find your answer: The Slaughtered Lamb. This werewolf- and English pub-themed bar, named after the bar in An American Werewolf In London (and with its own World Of Warcraft counterpart) is a perfect haunt for the gothic graphic-novel lover. The bar is dank, dark, and covered with bones and chains; a perfect hiding place for something hideous. Wander into the second room, the Werewolf Lounge, and you'll find it, and by it, we mean a life-sized sculpture of a ferocious werewolf taking a bite out of an unfortunate damsel. If that doesn't faze you, however, the drinks act as a macabre reward, with an interesting and varied beer list and a cocktail menu featuring libations such as The Transformation. The shot list is what catches the eye, though, with titles such as The Ice Pick To The Neck, The Lead Pipe To The Skull, and The Snapping of the Spine. Maybe after having three of these (a special called Murderers' Row) you'll have enough courage to venture down the rickety stairs into a room ominously titled The Dungeon.