Let me present you Mehanata – a Bulgarian bar located in the Lower East Side, which during the last 15 years earned its reputation as one of the loudest, the most outrageous and crazy night clubs in New York, which would place it high in the running for craziest worldwide.
Birthplace of the new gypsy punk wave and the Balkan beats phenomenon, it is the place where the breakthrough act Gogol Bordello was formed as a band and shaped as a style. Front man Eugene Hütz to this day is among the patrons of Mehanata, along with the notorious world music artist Manu Chao.
Mehanata is not a celebrity focused place, but being one of Manhattan’s hottest spots in naturally attracts the party goers, so it’s not uncommon to see Elijah Wood, Dave Grohl, Gwen Stefani, Scarlett Johansson or even Macaulay Culkin doing shots of rakia at the bar.
The party in Mehanata has no limits – the music jumps from break-beat to Bachata in an eye blink, which doesn’t bother the model material crowd on the dance floor, who after several glasses of the home made vodka apple cider, usually move to the poles downstairs.
One of the landmarks of the place is the infamous Ice Cage – a glass box with temperature of 5 °F and selection of vodka from all over the world, which gives you the real Russian drinking experience: wearing an authentic military uniform, you receive a glass made of ice and the challenge to take up to 6 shots in 2 minutes.
If you survive, you can victoriously smash the glass in your helmet, if not – there is a puke bucket in the corner.
Among the other more quite attractions are smoking hookah and eating shish kebab, but if you want to push the party up a notch, you can get out and cruise the streets with a specially provided gypsy party bus.
The staff is a wild bunch of characters from all over the world – hot bartenders and waitresses from the Eastern Bloc, DJs from Latin America and Canada, who are proficient in beats from the Balkans, street smart bouncers from The Bronx and a manager, who until recently was making a living as a kick-box fighter in Bangkok.
The family dynamics are unprecedented, even during tense working hours when everybody scream and throw ashtrays at each other, then after 4 AM, when the customers leave, the group has the traditional round of drinks and jokes as a big happy family.
The best way to realize what is Mehanata is to experience it – the club is located at 113 Ludlow, opening hours are Thursday through Saturday from 8PM to 4AM, but usually the wildest part of the night is after 11:30PM.