The building that houses Arlene's used to be an archetypal Lower East Side bodega, hence the name and authentic signage out front. Divided into two sections, the main room—lovingly titled the Butcher Bar—is without fail jam-packed on the weekends, owing partly to the heavy-handed bartenders and the selection of beers on tap. In the rear of the main room is a section of tables and benches for more intimate drinking with groups of friends, or a little one-on-one time. On nights with live music—read: most nights—those tables can be taken over quite quickly be bands-in-waiting who make use of the stage entrance (and bathroom) at the rear.
Arlene's hosts a slew of bands on any given night, representing the wide swath of genres found in the New York scene. It usually costs something to get inside the band room, of course, but you can be assured that the drinks are poured with the same generosity as the main bar. Bands will enjoy the backline at Arlene's, lovingly provided by Gibson, and the spectacular sound, curated deftly by Howard.
There is also the ever-popular, recently documented, metal and punk karaoke night, where Joey Ramone lives on through his fans. The sound is always great even if the actual voices aren’t. New talent gets a chance to perform at the weekly open mic night, which has the unusual benefit of a Saturday timeslot, even if it is from 3-7pm.
Telephone: (212) 358-1633
Address: 95 Stanton St
Hours And Additional Info