Is There Nightlife on the Upper East Side?

Because I’ve been writing this blog about the Upper East Side, people have been asking me the question:

Is there nightlife on the Upper East Side?

Immediately I began to wonder if people are asking me this question because secretly they suspect there is no nightlife on the Upper East Side. On the other hand, this is New York, right? There must be nightlife around here somewhere.

Well, based on my informal survey results, it turns out there is truth on both sides. Yes, the Upper Eastside has a definite contingent of those who like to curl up in their nests like sparrows at dusk. While others, wide awake as owls, are on the hunt for nightlife—and finding it!

From the Sparrows:

Yes, there’s nightlife on the Upper East Side, and it’s called the inside of my eyelids.

It’s fun to go out on garbage night and check out what your rich neighbors threw away. I have a friend who got two gorgeous Louis XV chairs that way.

Who needs to go out when the elderly lady in 5C will have cocktails with you any night of the week?

You have no idea how interesting the 10pm dogwalking crowd is.

From the Owls:

The Auction House
300 East 89th St.
New York, NY 10128
at Second Ave


From my inside sources:

The Auction House on 89th & 2nd is a cool spot. It feels more like a LES bar than UES. Leave your mink at home because it’s rumored they have a “no fur” policy.

Brasserie Julien
1422 3rd Avenue (btw 80 & 81)
New York NY 10028


Inside sources say:

This place has jazz on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. And the food is great.

Café D’Alsace
1695 2nd Avenue
New York, NY 10128


Inside source: No further comment.

1616 2nd Avenue (Corner of 84th St. & 2nd),
New York, NY 10028
212- 772-6660


Based on my inside-source info, I’d say this was a “no.” Except if you’re a cougar—the age qualification for which appears to be dropping below 40:

Dorrian’s is known for being a preppy intern bar, so when I told a friend that I was going there, she responded “you would”. There was a massive bouncer at the door, guarding the place as if it was the hottest thing going. By the time I finally was allowed in, I was underwhelmed, due to my heightened expectations from the line and the bouncer. The crowd in the bar was reminiscent of a frat party at UVA or Trinity College, but there were also a few cougars sprinkled into the mix. Anyway, the highlight of the night was watching my friend make out with a 34 year old woman on the dance floor. As a whole, I’d say the night was a success. I’m not sure you wanted this much detail, but I am in the midst of a job search and have a lot of free time on my hands.

Earl’s Beer and Cheese
1259 Park Avenues (btw 97th and 98th)
New York, NY 10029


From the New York Times 9/6/11:

“First-time patrons are easy to spot. Watch for the distinctive expression as they enter: a raised eyebrow (“How did this place get here?”) undercut with an anxious pout (“What do I do?”).”

From my inside sources:

It is tiny, but cool. Good craft beers. It seemed to be all young professionals from Mt. Saini. People were spilling out into the street.

Heidi’s House by the Side of the Road
308 East 78th Street
New York, New York 10075
(212) 249-0069


Inside Source:

A few tiny tables and a darling little bar. Looks like just the spot for a romantic glass of wine.

The Kinsale Tavern
1672 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10128


Inside source:

Kinsale Tavern on 94th & 3rd is a great sports bar.

So, does anyone else have a favorite UES nightlife spot or garbage antique collecting idea?


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