Concerts, comedy, and karaoke are among the entertainment options available in Gramercy. The neighborhood is home to two major venues: Irving Plaza and Gramercy Theatre. Currently undergoing renovations, the former is expected to reopen later this year. However, Gramercy Theatre (127 East 23rd Street, between Lexington Avenue and Park Avenue South) is more than picking up the slack. Its jam-packed calendar includes British illusionist Julius Dein on February 21, country-music singer/songwriter Ryan Hurd on March 4 and 5, former Fifth Harmony member Ally Brooke on March 16, and hip-hop duo Black Violin on March 24.
Those who prefer more-intimate surroundings or impromptu nights out have plenty to choose from as well. Below, a few suggestions.
325 East 14th Street (between First and Second Avenues)
A free personal-size pizza with every drink is reason enough to swing by this neighborhood bar. Add Skee-Ball (there is even a league that plays on Wednesday nights), trivia on Sunday and Wednesday evenings, and bingo (yes, bingo!) on Thursday nights, and you have the makings of a fun, casual, and inexpensive night out.
158 East 23rd Street (between Third and Lexington Avenues)
This bar dates back to the 1880, as its tin ceiling and weathered tables and stools attest to. Traditional Irish music on the first and third Tuesday evenings of each month also references the past, as does Appalachian folk music on the second and fourth Tuesday nights. The Globe is not mired in the days of yore, however: DJ Rob Champion spins R&B and hip-hop on Friday and Saturday nights. Along with the expected burgers and wings, the food menu includes a hummus plate and several salads. Nearly two dozen beers are on tap, and a variety of spirits are available too.
272 Third Avenue (between East 21st and 22nd Streets)
Gramercy Ale House is the sort of Irish pub that used to be found on nearly every other block of lower Manhattan, replete with long wood tables, round stools, and a beer list that includes Guinness, Stella Artois, Magners Cider, and a sprinkling of IPAs. The American version of pub grub—burgers, wings, tacos, and 10 types of fries—makes up the food menu. There is live Irish music on Wednesday evenings and trivia on Tuesday nights. The rest of the time you can watch sports on the TVs, catch up with old friends, or make new ones.
393 Second Avenue (at East 23rd Street)
Thursday nights are entertainment-packed at McSwiggan’s, with open-mic comedy starting at 6:30 and trivia beginning at 9. The rest of the time you can shoot pool, play darts, have a go at the video games, watch a game on one of the eight large-screen TVs, or sip one of 17 beers on tap as well as numerous other brews and spirits.
116 East 16th Street (between Irving Place and Union Square East)
Need a laugh? Head to this comedy club just about any night of the week. Among those taking the stage are Jeff Lawrence (every Saturday at 5:30 through February), Shane Gillis and Abby Rosenquist (Thursday nights in February), and Josh Wesson (late Friday nights through February). Because it can be tough to laugh on an empty stomach, the Stand also has a full kitchen dishing up sophisticated fare you might not expect from a comedy club, such as Faroe Island salmon with saffron aioli, crab-fried rice, and butternut-squash pie.
106 East 19th Street (between Irving Place and Park Avenue South)
If you would rather take the stage than watch someone else on it, this is your type of nightspot. A bar that also serves time-honored bar food including burgers, wraps, and popcorn shrimp, the Watering Hole has free karaoke Wednesday through Saturday nights. Themed speed-dating events are held here periodically as well—perhaps you will meet someone to duet with during your next karaoke session.
243 East 14th Street (between Second and Third Avenues)
Monday nights are trivia nights at this British-influenced spot, perhaps the only place in New York where you can choose from more than 40 types of gin to sip while testing your knowledge. It is also a convivial place to watch rugby, English football (Arsenal fans are especially welcome), and other sports on its HDTVs. It hosts a gin club several Tuesday evenings each month (a ticket to the February 11 event, for instance, will get you three cocktails, a primer on Appalachian Gap Mythic Gin, and hors d’oeuvres), and every night you can partake of chicken pie, fish and chips, banger-and-mash croquettes, avocado toast, and other edibles accompanied by cocktails, beer, wine, and other spirits.
A Night Out in Gramercy