Cosplay Hangouts: Lovecraft, NYC

Ashley Wilson
The Bar at Lovecraft

Looking for the perfect place to hang out in NYC is like a magical adventure into the unknown, and perhaps one of the greatest things about New York. With so much to choose from you never know what gem you may come across. Just imagine, it’s Wednesday night and you’re looking for a great Sign in Lovecraft: "Bar Downstairsplace to celebrate hump day after a long and tedious evening at work—somewhere to relax and possibly have some fun.

Have you ever considered taking a “terrifying journey into forbidden knowledge and space”? If you answered “No,” then you’ve probably never visited Lovecraft Bar in NYC. Lovecraft Restaurant & Bar has only been around for about a year, but is already leaving a great impression being voted winner of 2014’s Best New Bar by The Village Voice’s Best of NYC Readers Poll—and with great reason. This is definitely a place to visit for fun nightlife in NYC!

The décor and theme is something out of a book, literally. H.P. Lovecraft, the author most known for his chilling and terrifying tales has inspired this Subterranean “Deep End” lounge. Located on 50 Avenue B in the East Village, you won’t be short of a good time whether you go on a Weekend or a Weekday. With a fully loaded schedule, with everything from karaoke, live performances, story telling, and a night dedicated to horror and sci-fi movies, what more could you ask for? Cosplay Culture senior staff writer, Ashley Wilson, took a trip to Lovecraft NYC that she would never forget!

Walking down the street I instantly caught a glimpse of my final destination for the night, Lovecraft. I had been meaning to check out the location for awhile after hearing about it from a retailer at New York Comic Con. Earlier that day I had gotten a notification on Facebook about a night of geek themed a cappella by a group of performers known as ChoirFly. I had no idea what I was in for.

When first entered I was enchanted by what seemed to be a lab belonging to an alchemist where drinks are poured out of specimen jars with cocktails named after spooky concoctions such as “Elysian Ginger,” “Zounds!” and a drink called “The Green God,” which is served with a traditional Czech Fire Ritual. Rimming the borderline of strange and exotic, their menu draws you in with some familiar traditions for order as well as new specials. As you ascend to the back following the staircase to a lair where the supernatural and otherworldly interior decorating is inspired by stories such as The Call of Cthulu, a creature with a sea level tomb. R’lyeh, the home of the god-like creature, is explained in literature as “underwater and inside the earth,” and no better description explains the downstairs area of Lovecraft. With earth tones of rustic bronze and tarnished copper with pale greens accents, it’s hard to not feel emerged into an underground of hauntingly beautiful surrealism. The interior design and artwork was created by New York artist Benjamin Enzfelder, who spent hundreds of hours painting and sculpting the fantasy atmosphere into perfection. Exterior of Lovecraft NYC

As I watched ChoirFly, the nerd themed group of singers made up of a cast of performers with backgrounds ranging from cosplayers to actors who performed songs referencing everything from movies like Harry Potter to shows like Firefly and Doctor Who, I was enamored by the crowd as they cheered in glee to nostalgic reminders of childhood and geekdom.

As the night progressed, I was later presented the opportunity to witness a fashion show going on in another room of the shadowy parlor of their massive downstairs utopia. Sitting down admiring the amount of creativity flowing in and out of the room, I was approached by a server acquiring which drink would I be enjoying that evening. And, as usual when in a new restaurant, I asked what drink was frequently requested, and he suggested I try “Death in the Afternoon”—a blackberry vanilla infused absinthe accented with champagne. I decided to give it a try and, within moments, I was thrilled that this drink was just as good as the history of its main ingredient. Absinthe has been directly related to artists and poets such as Vincent van Gogh, Arthur Rimbaud and Charles Baudelaire, and was frequently drunk by patrons at the Moulin Rouge. It is known as a romantic yet mysterious drink made of an herbal liqueur distilled with a great number of flavorful herbs like anise, licorice, hyssop, veronica, fennel, lemon balm, angelica and wormwood. It is more of an exotic taste if you’re used to vodka cocktails and Fireball shots, but a great choice to start your experience into the unknown.

I, later, worked my way back into the other room where karaoke was now taking place. Other than singing in the shower, or my freshman year talent show, I have never sung in public…until that night. The spirited amount of energy being shed throughout the room influenced me to unveil my inner Beyoncé, and belt out lyrics from “Single Ladies” as other performers from the late night crowd performed everything from the theatrical likes of the Broadway show Wicked to 1970s hits by Queen like “Fat Bottomed Girls” and Eminem’s hit song “Lose Yourself.

As the night ended, I had a chance to speak with a few fans of the location and was surprised by how down to earth and friendly they were even though it was two a.m., freezing cold and a Wednesday in New York City. Lovecraft brings out geeks of various backgrounds and is great place to meet new people and great friends. It is definitely a place to check out for fun times, unique drinks from friendly bartenders, great servers, and a creative atmosphere. I look forward to going back for another adventure!

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