Nurse Bettie

26 May
If I owned an actual fur coat and had been able to squeeze it in my suitcase, I definitely could have worn it last night to Nurse Bettie.  Less so to Backroom, the opulent speakeasy where we were headed, and where fur-clad girls’ birthdays are ruined on a regular basis, apparently.

Just as we were high fiving after NOT being foiled by the red herring signage (Lower East Side Toy Co – chuh) and NOT being stabbed by a junky in the pitch black alley, some not-so-well-heeled Manhattenites careened down the steps behind us, rattled a door and announced drunkenly that Backroom was closed.

And so we were welcomed into the buxom breast of Backroom’s smuttier next door neighbour, Nurse Bettie. NB is quite the classy dive – all exposed brick, low lighting and top shelf offerings.  An extended happy hour including cheap but oh-so-classy cocktails ensure that clientele is a mix of tipsy ladies with smudged red lipstick and gentlemen dapper in their (second-hand) suits.  And of course us, and a dishevelled German tourist who stumbled in later: the waylaid Backroom-seekers.

Pin-up bars are few and far between, and the novelty of peeing under the watch of a host of smouldering Bettie Paige angels warrants a visit to the bathroom at least.  Anywhere you can sprawl on leather couches and drink a G&T for $5 without having to watch a football match is worth a visit in my book – and at $14 a creamy Night Nurse cocktail is hardly a splurge.  Best of all, Bettie has a healthy weeknight dance floor culture that flourishes under the watch of a bevy of handsome bartenders.

It’s the suavest cheap drinking in the Lower East Side.  Or so say the people who haven’t made it next door…

Nurse Bettie
106 Norfolk Street
Lower East Side, NY

Image: Club Planet, Tom Sibley Photography


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