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169 Bar - 33 Reviews - 169 E Broadway, New York, NY - Bars, Pubs & Clubs Reviews - Phone (212) 473-8866

169 Bar

169 E Broadway (at Rutgers Street and Jefferson Street)
New York, NY 10002
(212) 473-8866
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Bars, Pubs & Clubs

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Food & Dining


169 Bar - New York, NY
169 Bar - New York, NY
169 Bar - New York, NY


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dont listen to these bands...this bar is a jewal in nyc...these musicians are stupid losers


Bar 169 is a good out of the way bar to get a drink and play pool with some friends. A good dance party breaks out there every so often and they host shows, although they’re charg...

best bar in nyc 5/9/2010

dont listen to these bands...this bar is a jewal in nyc...these musicians are stupid losers more

Absolute A-Holes, Horrible to Bands-DONT GO HERE 3/29/2010

Upon entering this club, there is a nice feel, but BANDS BEWARE! On a rainy night, if you don't bring the minimum, doesn't matter what you say....they will send you home, no play, not even pay to play. You get a firm..."sorry that's our policy-not my fault" from the sound guy. These people are not about the music, they're not even interested in the people you did bring and the drinks you bought yourself. Even if there are NO other bands on that night, you will not even get to set up if you don't bring the minimum. It says on their website that your show may be delayed or canceled....but REALLY? No one else in NY does this...It's one thing to not bring enough people and then never to be asked to play there again....BUT to not even be allowed to set up and play? There were plenty of people in the audience that might enjoy live music, but because of their "POLICY" which serves no real purpose in my opinion, we hauled our stuff there and hauled it right back home again even though their bar was 1)promoted on our sites and 2)never verified in email communications when we booked the gig about the policy. Now mind you, we are actually a very good band...schooled, tight, fun and appropriate, but I hesitate to ask if they even listened to the music at all. This BAR REPRESENTS EVERYTHING THAT IS WRONG WITH MUSIC TODAY. BE WARNED....STAY FAR FAR AWAY. Pros: none Cons: everything more

not a band friendly bar 2/1/2010

This is another one of those clubs that can't draw a crowd. So there solution is to solicit bands to play in the bar as long as they bring at least 10 of their friends that pay the cover. more

There are well over 169 resons to avoid this place... 8/4/2009

I could gladly list over 169 reasons not to go into the 169 bar...but I don't have to. I will simply mention the only 1 thing that's bogus. Skinhead criminals run the joint and the cops let them get away with it. And the women who work there gag on you know what 24/7...but not yours. Give this place not one single dime. Pros: None. Cons: Evertying about the place is bogus... more

Biggest scammer of musicians & fans in NYC 6/23/2009

I'm completely blown away by how many positive reviews there are for this bar. Most of them must be from the owners and their friends. Do yourself a favor and search "169 bar scam" on your favorite search engine. You will read the real horror stories about this place. Here's their scam in a nutshell: they overbook bands (we're talking about a dozen bands in one evening). Then your band will never get to play that evening unless you bring enough people. So if 9 of your friends showed up to see you play at 8pm, chances are they won't let you go on until midnight at the earliest, if at all. Even your most loyal friends will leave frustrated after shelling out $10 at the door and sitting in a dirty bar for 3 hours. The place has multiple booking agents too. Avoid this place like the plague! Pros: Your band can definitely book a gig here Cons: You won't get to play and your friends will lose $10 more

Awesome Live Music Bar 11/18/2008

Went to 169 with some friends on Saturday, had a great time. The drinks were fairly priced, and the musicians performing were really good! My friends and I had a great time and look forward to coming back. I liked that I can see their schedule of musicians on their website. The atmoshpere is really nice here too. Very comfertable and relaxed. Good crowd as well. Great times at 169! Pros: Music, Bar Scene, Atmosphere Cons: None really, my experience was great more

Real good vibe, great DJ, and live music, creative drinks, friendly staff 7/13/2008

This place has come a long way , for the better, from the kind of lower east sid bar it used to be years ago. The decor is warm and inviting with a New Orleans charm, the music is always perfect for the occasion, with a DJ that is awesome. There is a great sounding piano that accompanies the live performers. And most importantly, you can have conversations with people and hear them, good music levels ! It's a good place for after work and way after work, at any hour it's a real good time. Pros: Warm vibe, awesome DJ,creative drinks, friendly staff Cons: None more

Great Place to Perform 3/13/2008

I've performed here twice, once with my hip hop group (Eff Radio), and then a few days ago with my rock band (The Sharpe James) and had a blast both times. The staff was real professional and cool, the promoters were both great, and the crowd was real receptive. I definitely recommend taking the stage here if you love playing live music. Oh, and the Absinthe ain't bad either. more

grate music 2/10/2008

the live venue was grate (i was there for my friends show), the get acts that you can't find everywhere. It's so hard to find a place that plays good old funk these days. Average white band, James brown , Johnny guitar ... bartender was HOT! can't ask 4 more than that. Pros: music, service, absinthe. Cons: no food, but can have it delivered more

great peanuts! great vibe! great banana rum infusion! sangria and funk!! 8/28/2007

really cool "continental" joint, feels kinda like a neighborhood Italian or southern France local bar without trying...huge help-yourself ceramic water tanks on the bar along side sangria glass jars, I counted 10 different infusions, banana rum was my favorite last night but the orange, strawberry and pear vodkas also rocked., the bartender let us try all of them in little shot glasses for free....the music performers were also awesome, i dont think there is a bar in the city that has so many unknown yet really freaking great performers, they must really spend a lot of time going through demo kits picking out the best, one after the other, and it only cost $ DJ after the bands also...they crank up the mirror ball.... Pros: their doing everything right, great of the way place pre-explosion get it while its hot! Cons: not a thing! more

169 Bar is the most honest and awesome bar I know of, they are very cool to everyone, great vibe!! 8/28/2007

I was at the 169 Bar the other night (one of my favorite hangouts) they usually have awesome talent, but there was this horrible supposed "jazz" band playing god knows what...I think the trumpet player was shane endsley, supposedly some big shot jazz did he s**k!!! there was only like 3 people in the room that looked like they cared but they were like 18 or was more crowded earlier but he drove everyone out... I talked to the bartender and he said it was some kind of mistake, that the music shane had on his website was way different than what he was palying and that they would never book him or anyone like him again, he was really releived that shane decided not to play another set and i think I can speak for everyone in the room (at least the ones left) we were also VERY HAPPY not to have to listen to the train wreck he apparently thought was music...shane get a real job PLEASE!!! LEAVE THE REST OF US ALONE!!!...cut your loses now, i know you probably spent a fortune on music college but it just is not going to happen...try ITT ...and 169 Bar ...PLEASE do not book him or anyone like again!!!PLEASE?!? ( I know you wont!) peace out!!! Pros: great music, great vibe, happy people Cons: shane endsley more

Perfect bar, great for hearing live performers 8/10/2007

I've been coming to this bar for is better than ever...a Pabst & a shot during happy hour for $3!!!...i mean come on! how low can you go!?!?....the place is filled with plants outside and in...and the music they play is really classic groove/funk stuff...kinda New Orleans-ish...its really a relaxed vibe with a mixed crowd of local asians, puerto ricans, afro, hipsters, and gentry...purely accidental...i do not understand some of the negative doen't even sound like the same place.... great performers also...if you can catch them; awesome jazz singers.... Pros: infusions, sangrias, cheap deals... Cons: ???...none!! more

best sounding small room in the city.... 8/5/2007

I played the 169 last night and had a great time, theres nothing crappy about a SWR bass head or speaker and the Crate amp worked perfectly fine...the Gretch drum set was brand new and very nice...and how many bars have a 1939 upright piano?....the whole set-up was really perfect for the room. I heard the bands before me and they all sounded really really great?!? i have no idea what the previous reviewer is talking about, it is probably one of the best sounding small rooms in the city...that is if you play at a good volume for the room...its not madison square...i understand that the reason they dont have sound checks, but rather "line checks" is because its a neighborhood bar...and there are regular people sitting at the bar which is in the same room...their not going to shut everything down to sound check a band in the middle of a friday night just to appease some begineer musician who cant get his settings right... plus they only have vocals miked...its not rockett of the bands where obviousely playing madison square garden in their minds as they were way to loud...this place is for musicans who are having a good time... not for demanding "rock stars" ....after we played we hung out for 2 hours dancing to the DJ music which was classic 70's funk...i have played here before and i will play here again, if i can get booked, because if you check their calendar, their booked up 3 months in advance... Pros: PBR + a shot for $3 during happy hour.!!..$5 all night!... infusion drinks Cons: bands that play too loud.... more

fun stuff! 8/5/2007

I like it there a lot because it's one of the few live venues that let the musicians showcase their music to everyone in the joint...other places have a room in the back where the musician only plays for their following, which sometimes can be very small...also it gets really trippy and fun as you get buzzed because of the interior design and seriously sometimes, the artists are so's just awesome...also i was watching flight of the conchords last night, and there was a scene where the two guys are drinking at the bar! that is my favorite show on television right now so i thought that was so cool! Pros: the talent, interior design, and the overall vibe more

unbelievable turnaround.... 5/17/2007

I've been coming to this bar for years, the new owner has really changed everything, apparently he's a life long muscian from New Orleans and and has really brought that aesthetic and his understanding of music to what was once a dark hole of a bar voted continualy as "best dive bar" .... it is far from a dive bar now! really cozy, great lighting and laid-back, no more loud, crappy rock bands...jazz, latin, groove... really great music every night... even the music between bands is awsome groovy/jazz stuff that you never hear anywhere esle...Jimmy Smith, Booker T, Meters, Ramsey Lewis...and you gotta come during happy hour for their "Truckers" special; 2 PBR's and 2 shots for $5?!?! in Manhattan you can hardly beat it! i dont think you can even get a better deal in williamsburg....I read the other most recent posts and i can't believe it...they must be on some kinda vendetta...probably some friendless, loud, sucking rock band... The staff is cool as sh*t...i came to see a friends band and hung out all night, got loads of buy backs, every one got wasted including the bartender we ended up siging Karyoke till ...definitly worth your while...the new dart board and Coney Island bowling machine is the coolest.. best chill nights are mondays, tuesdays & wednesdays... Pros: great chill vibe, chinese peanuts, "Truckers Special" at happy hour, betwen band music... Cons: occasional, loud, loser, no-fan bad attitude bands taking up space from the cool music the DJ plays more

Best Bartender Ever!! 5/17/2007

The bartender at this place was so awesome. The drinks where amazing. Good stiff drinks. I went in here expectin not much but I just had a blast. I was given the blue windex looking drink called an Adious Mother f*cker and let me tell you I was saying adious to everyone. I think it was something similiar to a Long Island Ice tea but little smoother. After two of these I was gone. There was some random bands playing which was kinda cool bc it gave it an ecletic sound. The bald man on the dj booth was spining some old school music that took me back to the 7th grade. Overall me and my friends had a great time. If you're ever in the area make sure to stop by this historic bar! And if the bartender with the sidebrowns is working you're in for a treat! more

Jazz Dive Bar 5/17/2007

I've only been in NY for couple of months but this place is pretty cool. I went on a Wednesday night and there was this awesome Jazz band jaming out. The bassist seemed to love the music more than anything in the world. Drinks were well done and bartenders where cool. Its a jem in the desert. Got some good chinese food right on the corner too. This place is definately a nice spot to get away from the midtown uptown mess. Its a little ways away but definately worth the trip. Cheers! Pros: Music, Pool table, Darts, PEANUTS! Cons: Location more

I'd rather drink at a garbage dump in New Jersey 5/3/2007

If you went to this bar you were probably suckered into seeing a band. Everyone knows that this place or the Pussycat lounge are desperate for music acts. If you're a music act aim high and skip this joint. If your friend is playing there, skip that show. The staff is a bunch of a holes, that don't even like music. They are just trying to screw people into giving them money. Type of place where people pay $10 to see their friends play a bad show and then leave promptly after the show is done. Pros: Can't think of any... Cons: ugly girls, terrible service, bunch of jerks. more

A dump 5/3/2007

This bar is pretty bad and unpleasant. Pretty much on par w/Pussy Cat lounge. It's desperate for $$$ generated off of music acts. They'll take anyone (talent not required) as long as they bring 10 friends. The actual staff is a bunch of jerks that won't even let you into the dump w/out paying $7-10 to get in. There are other better venues in the city where you can catch quality live music for cheaper rates and better environment. Sidewalk Cafe, Cake Shop, Pianos all come to mind. When there isn't a band playing the atmosphere can be summed as un-hip 40 something, music is along the lines of AM radio Aretha Franklin/Journey, and the staff/management reminds one of the security crew that breaks up fights on the Jerry Spring show. If you want a depressing experience head to 169 E. Broadway. more

The Worst Bar in NYC? 2/10/2007

It's the worst I've been to by far. Worst musical act I've seen in the last five years too (cd scratcher). Seriously, they buzz you in after shaking you down for $10. The decor looks like The Max from "Saved by the Bell". I'm feel bad for Chinatown. I went there to support a musician friend and it ruined my Saturday. Pros: I'm having trouble with this one. Cons: extensive more
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  • Though Chinatown is largely bereft of bars, this dingy dive serves as a scuzzy sanctuary for downtowners hunkering in the area tenements. 169 is more festive than the average bottom-feeding bar, with lush foliage, deep red-and-black booths and swimming fish keeping watchful eyes on the leopard-print pool table. Come early weekdays, and 169 is pin-drop quiet; however, the scene grows feverish late-night, when bands plug into amps and DJs crank speakers ‘til last call.

  • 8/27/2009 Provided by Citysearch

Additional information

  • Hours:

    Daily 4pm-4am
  • Payments:

    Master Card, American Express, Visa
  • Neighborhoods:

    Lower East Side, Downtown