Superdive, 200 Avenue A
Superdive has crash-landed in Alphabet City, showering its corner of Avenue A in rough, raucous, booze-soaked pandemonium. Keg service is on: email Kegmaster Matthew to reserve a barrel of brew for between $400 and $600, have it tapped for you and carted over to your table in a kegerator on wheels. Go behind the bar and pour yourself a party cup of whiskey if you want — well drinks are six bucks. Seriously guys, this place is nuts.
It's a jet-fueled dive: no bar I've ever been to lets you hang out behind the bar, stick your hands in the ice bucket and pour yourself well drinks. The bartenders don't seem to mind all the people pouring and dancing and hitting on girls in their space, though. They're like bartenders at a dive you've been going to for ten years — buying rounds, making up drinks, pretending your late night rambling makes sense. East Village nightlife needed something like Superdive to come along. It's a huge, loud, blown out version of a really gross bar — the polar opposite of the $12 cocktail spot.
It's prettier than your average East Village hole, too. The space is clean and well laid out, with enough room to dance when the lights get low around 11pm. The patrons are prettier too. People are still going into the bathroom in groups of four, but they're distinctly post-corporate. No one looks like they're going to start a knife fight.
On a Tuesday night the place was full but not uncomfortably so, with an open iPod blasting a mix of classic rock, dance beats and songs from the Clueless soundtrack. Bartenders Alex and Jennifer were slinging $5 draughts and $15 pitchers, along with a few dirty mixes like the "Red Mexican," a blend of tequila, Red Bull, and OJ ($9). They're still feeling things out, so they ran out of a few things like Maker's Mark and lime juice early in the evening; but they were honest and apologetic about it and they gave us a round of kamikaze shots, so we forgave them. Manager Keith Okada flung himself up on the bar to tell us about what's coming in the near future ($1 PBR machine! Five liter mini-barrels! Metal karaoke!). Okada came up with the idea for the bar ("What if you could get like, keg service?") — he wanted to create a space where anyone could buy enough cheap beer to get, shitfaced in three hours. He did it. Superdive is a party: a place to drink a lot and get wasted and say things you'll regret in the morning, but not without a smile on your face.