For shame! Her Madgesty Madonna has singled out her early hit “Holiday” as one song she can’t ever imagine performing again. There remains, however, some measure of solace in knowing it is still possible to drown our sorrows in the spot where she wrote it.
Holiday Cocktail Lounge is a St. Marks stronghold. Other than a red awning, there is no advertising and yet, without even trying, it’s resisted getting gobbled up by gentrification and the corporate bank East Village takeover. This is due, mostly, to the man behind the bar.
He’s surly and scowls, but he’s got a heavy-handed pour and $3.50 bottled beer. Plus, catch him on a good day and he’ll talk about his days as a pro soccer player, or old time regular Frank Sinatra, or how Madonna still owes him money. Did we mention he is 800 years old?
Although the word “lounge” may conjure images of puffy cushions and recessed lighting, be forewarned. This lounge is infused with a powerful rotting scent (clue: it’s the fossil), a juke box and duct-taped upholstery. The whole place gives new meaning to Rat Pack.
It is a dive, and we say that with affection. Burrow into this hole before it becomes the next branch of Chase Manhattan Bank.
The graffiti is on the wall.
Holiday Cocktail Lounge
75 St. Marks Place @ 1st Avenue