Best Themed Bars In NYC

Are you longing to relive summer? There's a bar for that. Did you recently read The Picture of Dorian Gray and want to channel your inner "Wilde" child? There's a bar for that. Do you feel like spending a couple hours in a John Waters film? Don't worry, there's even a bar for that. Read on for some of NYC's Best Theme Bars and get ready for the best kind of "immersive experience"-- the kind with lots of alcohol. 

Surf Bar

139 N 6th Street, Williamsburg

Photo via Surf Bar's instagram

If you had a poster from The Endless Summer on your dorm wall, Surf Bar is the place for you. With sand-filled floors and a surfboard ceiling, this Williamsburg mainstay feels like a welcome oasis amidst the crowds off of the Bedford Avenue L stop. For a kitschy Brooklyn tiki bar, the prices are reasonable, the food is solid, and you'll inevitably leave having made a promise to yourself that next summer, you'll definitely take surf lessons at Rockaway Beach. 

Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club

514 Union Street, Gowanus

Photo via Royal Palm's instagram

Royal Palms is a shuffleboard bar but if we really had to describe the theme, it would be "your grandfather's Florida retirement home if that retirement home was trendy and in Gowanus." They even have a cocktail called the "Shuffleboard Bob," which probably is also your grandfather's nickname. If this sounds like your kind of scene, hone your shuffling skills and join their weekly shuffleboard league. 

Trailer Park Lounge

271 West 23rd Street, Flatiron

photo via Trailer Park's facebook

Leave all chic Chelsea expectations aside when you enter the Trailer Park Lounge. This bar is what happens when Vegas, Memphis, and Pink Flamingos have a tacky baby and raise her solely on frozen cocktails (like the "Kiss My Frigid Woo-Woo) and tater tots. Grab a drink and kill a few hours just looking around at the oddball collection of kitsch, from a velvet portrait of a poodle to a mannequin sitting in a clawfoot bathtub surrounded by beer. And with a tagline like "The Place to Meet Your Next Ex," you're bound to meet a few characters while you're at it. 

Oscar Wilde

45 West 27th Street, Chelsea

Photo via Oscar Wilde's Facebook

There is perhaps no 19th-Century literary figure more deserving of his own bar than Oscar Wilde. Elegant but playful, the eponymous bar is the perfect way to celebrate the prolific playwright's life. If you were an English major in college, you'll be delighted to walk around the opulent space feeling like Lady Bracknell while sipping cocktails named after Wilde's plays (Lady Windermere's Fan) and closest confidants (My Love for Bosie, Wilde's lover).

Slowly Shirley

121 West 10th Street, West Village

Photo via Slowly Shirley's Instagram

Old Hollywood is alive and well at Slowly Shirley, the speakeasy located below The Happiest Hour. Come for the vintage vibes, stay well into the night for the expertly crafted cocktails and delicious bar snacks. With a sweeping collection of rare spirits and gorgeous art deco decor, this bar will have you glancing toward the door every few minutes in hopes of glimpsing a famous face from days of yore.

Burp Castle

41 East 7th Street, East Village

Photo via Burp Castle's Instagram

With a name like Burp Castle, you might expect a raucous sports bar filled with yelling patrons about whatever team is on TV. Not exactly. This tiny East Village hole-in-the-wall is, in the "Brewist" monk tradition, a quiet bar. Quiet like the bartender will shush you if the noise level rises above a whisper-- and they're serious. Burp Castle might not be the place to catch up with a huge group of friends over some hot wings but it is a great place to take a quick trip back to the Middle Ages and try their well-curated selection of Belgian beers.

Full Circle Bar

318 Grand Street, Williamsburg

Photo Via Full Circle Bar's Facebook

For all intents and purposes, Full Circle is a skeeball bar. They do also have a Dreidel League that's worth checking out but there is no question that this bar's heart and soul is skeeball. Why else would they serve Genes(k)ee, a beer that was just begging to be subjected to endless skeeball puns? If you find yourself successfully balancing your beer and rolling a bunch of "hundos," (that's 100 point shots for the skeeball newbies), join the Brewskee Ball league and take your skeeball love to a whole new level. 


82 S 4th St, Williamsburg

photo via yelp

This brand new Williamsburg spot is paying homage to Blockbuster filmmaker Quentin Tarantino with its food, drinks, and of course, themed ambiance. The interior design features a bar that resembles the famous tavern scene from "Inglorious Basterds", while classic Tarantino scenes will be projected onto the walls. The food menu includes the "Hateful 8 Wings", "Death Proof Chili", and even "Pussy Wagon Tacos" named after the bright yellow Chevrolet Silverado seen in 'Kill Bil: Vol. 1." No matter what your favorite Tarantino flick is, it's worth checking out this brand new spot and seeing what they've got up their sleeve.

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written by: alexis priester
instagram: alexispriester
twitter: PriesterAlexis