Best dive bar, best East Village bar, best New York bar, best end-of-the-night bar — Lucy's is all these, and a great jukebox bar. From Johnny Cash to Johnny Rotten, there’s something for everyone.
The bar showcases Formica tables, wood paneling, cheap and strong rail drinks, two beaten up pool tables, incredible bathroom scrawl to rival the Raven in D.C., classic overheard New York conversations, and red fluorescents that make you feel like you're about to do something illegal.
Of course, the most important feature of Lucy’s is Lucy herself. There she is, year after year, behind the bar, smiling, asking what you want to drink with her Polish accent, and hair that, let’s face it, just can’t be real. Get there too early and you feel more like a barfly than anywhere else, get there too late and you’ve got no shot at a table.
In a city that constantly reinvents itself, where places need time to fashion the just-right patina, and exist in worn-out perfection for only so long before being torn down and out, Lucy’s has managed the perfect balance of bar dents, forgotten kisses, and shots to make it an East Village institution. It’s almost enough to make the worst cynic love his city again.