The recession is no excuse to spend your nights drinking PBRs in a dingy dive bar. But it also isn’t the time to shell out tons of moolah for admission to a club. Thankfully, some of the city’s nightspots understand the need to shake your money-maker while being a money-saver.
218 Sullivan St., btwn Bleecker and W. Third sts., 212-252-2151
Sullivan Room’s weekend nights are known for world-class DJs — and $10 to $20 cover charges. But on Sundays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, lesser-known spinsters offer the same type of tunes (house, drum and bass), but with a reduced $5 cover charge.
244 E. Houston St., btwn Aves. A and B, 212-982-3532
Stay has the feel of a trendy club (bottle service, ’60s decor), but it doesn’t have a cover charge or obnoxious bouncers. Partiers dance to a mix of Top 40, hip-hop, rock, house, classic rock and ’80s music.
6 W. 25th St., btwn Fifth Ave. and Broadway, 212-832-4040
On weekend nights, rapper Jay-Z’s high-style sports bar turns off the games and turns on the dance music for its “club nights” (no cover on Fridays, $10 on Saturdays). The 12,000 square-foot space has two floors, several VIP rooms and a sleek, sporty decor. While you dance to the mix of reggaeton, pop and hip-hop music, keep your eyes peeled for owner Jay-Z, who frequently stops by.
118 10th Ave., btwn 17th and 18th sts., 212-352-3313
The massive Park officially goes from a restaurant to a club at midnight on weekends. The multi-level venue has two loungers and three bars — each with different music, ranging from house to techno to hip-hop — plus outdoor spaces in the warmer months. Most cocktails cost between $10 and $12.
249 Eldridge St., btwn Houston and Stanton sts., 212-777-5153
Sapphire Lounge has a $5 cover on Fridays and Saturdays, and is free during the rest of the the week. On weekends, the tiny Lower East Side club is packed with partiers who revel in the down-to-earth ambience, tasty drinks and DJs spinning a variety of music, including reggae, house, hip-hop and Latin. Cocktails and beer range from $6 to $10. The club also has rotating art exhibits.
302 Broome St., btwn Forsyth and Eldridge sts., 212-334-9676
Happy Ending’s name is a cheeky homage to its seedy past; it’s a former massage parlor. The street level has a swanky Rat Pack vibe and red velvet booths, while the basement level, which retains the showerheads and saunas of the original parlor, has a more club-like feel, complete with electro, disco, pop, rock, hip-hop and reggae. Beer, drafts, wine, and mixed drinks are $8 or less, and there’s never a cover.
Get on the list
Sometimes the only way to gain admittance to a club is by getting on a list. Get reduced or no cover charge at venues like Kiss & Fly, Taj, Hiro, Suzie Wong, Country Club and El Morocco by signing up on one of these sites.