Jesse Malins Guide to East Village Dive Bars

Hi I’m Jesse Malin and this is Travel Savvy TV. When rock & roll and punk rock, essentially bands like The Ramones and Blondie and the Dead Boys were playing, I kind of would read about it magazines when I was a little kid in Queens and that led us to play in clubs at 13 and 14 downtown, you know music was still new and exciting. If it wasn’t just something where moms had Mohawks and the kids in the stroller had a Ramones shirt. I think initially when I got involved in down here in East Village was a burnt-out area, it was very cheap rent because it was dangerous, so you could come here and live cheaply, create, of course it got more popular and then it got polished up. It’s very expensive to live here now.

Jesse Malins Guide to East Village Dive Bars Photo Gallery




I’ve had the bar in Niagara with Johnny T and a couple other partners since like the late 90s. He found the spot. It was a place called the A7 Club where we all grew up playing hardcore punk. We wanted a place where people could come and listen to music and talk about music and talk to guys, talk to girls. Over time, you know, lots changed, you know, Joe Strummer came here and drank. We always keep rock and roll as the main thing, you know, try to keep the drinks reasonable, we’re a corner bar, you know. Black & White is on East 10th Street, very French looking but it’s a rock-and-roll bar,you know it has a dark cozy thing, the DJ’s are great, you can just kind of slide into a secret spot there. Blue & Gold is an old polish bar on East 7th Street that hasn’t changed at all, it’s just cool, it has a great pool table and the drinks are super cheap and people are a little grumpy behind the bar but it’s kind of endearing because they’re not trying to be so politically correct and it’s good to have those kind of bars because you need them. 2A is a corner bar that I like a lot that reminds me of that Edward Hopper painting Nighthawks, drinks are super cheap, they play good rock and roll, sometimes they put on a full-length albums on a turntable that’s behind the bar, a lot of characters, a lot of neighborhood people that come there, regulars, it’s great place for conversations or just people reading, looking out those windows. Sometimes being in a bar and having a drink and staring out the window it’s kind of like reading a movie.

HiFi Bar, it’s on Avenue A it’s got the best best jukebox, like everything, they got a great selection of beers, sometimes they have some live music there, there’s been some interesting stuff, but I would say mostly go in there cuz the music is just fabulous. A guy Mike that runs it took a lot of time making this special crazy jukebox and see if they have any of my records in there, if they’re not you know saying oh screw that guy he’s our neighbor. I had two records come out this past year, New York Before the War and then Outsiders. I’ll be touring around the world a lot of 2016, we go all over Europe, we’ll be back in New York, Chicago, Nashville, California, and I also am making a record with my band Degeneration which was my group in the 90s and that’s gonna come out in June, it’s our first record since 1999. It’s the same five guys, we all grew up together. I just love that I get to stay out of a straight job and we get free beer and we get to see the world and play really loud and you know no one tells us to turn it down and go back to your room.

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