Okay, so Staten Island isn’t exactly known for its nightlife. Sure, it’s easy to hop on the ferry and make your way to the bars of downtown Manhattan. But why not explore something closer to home? Being so near the heart of the city is definitely a plus for prospective College of Staten Island students and believe me, it is pretty great but we Islanders have our own low key activities that don’t require a boat ride.
1.) Everything Goes Book Café
There’s a growing hippie scene in Staten Island, and Everything Goes is at its center. Owned by members of the borough’s only commune, The Ganas Community, it holds poetry readings, open mics, art showcases, drum circles, and more. The venue itself, located at 208 Bay Street, combines a used bookstore with a coffee shop. The environment is quiet and welcoming, and all of the coffee, tea, and sweets served are organic. Though the café closes somewhat early on weekdays, it usually stays open until about 10pm on weekends. After that, most patrons disperse to the small, ever-changing DIY art and music venues that pop up along Bay Street.
2.) Le Roi
Hookah, anyone? Head to 10 Akron Street in Bullshead, Staten Island. Le Roi offers a great college environment with tasty, moderately priced food, beer and wine, and of course, plenty of hookahs. It’s quaint but comfortable, and is best enjoyed as a low-key night out with friends or as a place to unwind after hitting the bars. Le Roi is set in the south shore near the mall, and is easy to reach via bus. It is open daily from 2pm to 2am.
If you’re interested in CSI, check out our article on 5 things I wish I Knew Before Attending.
3.) 120 Bay Café
Another venue on Bay Street, this bar serves a more eclectic crowd. Besides the regulars that come in daily, clientele here varies due to the diverse range of music and themed nights that are offered. Think: jazz night, trivia night, and comedy night. On weekends, live music is performed by local bands and musicians that bring a crowd of twenty somethings to slurp up drinks and eat delicious food. Did I say delicious? I meant it. This bar & grill serves impressive dishes. In fact, if you’re not into live performances, come early just for the food. As its name implies, this bar is located at 120 Bay Street.
4.) Drunken Money Bar & Grill
When asked to name a bar on Staten Island, many out-of-towners will only be able to answer with the name of this bar. Why? It’s owned by famous Mobwives star Big Ang. Set in Westerleigh at 1205 Forest Avenue, it’s an easy commute via bus. People often come here to get a picture with Big Ang, although she is not always at the Drunken Monkey. When she’s not around, you’ll have to settle with mingling with the regulars. This is a neighborhood bar in every sense of the word. Stop here for a happy hour drink with your close friends, and you won’t be disappointed.
5.) Joe Broadway’s Billiards & Sports Pub
There aren’t many pool halls in Staten Island. The other options are smaller, quieter, and have a divey vibe. If you’re into that, cool. If you want to shoot in a more hip joint, come here. It’s not just a pool hall it’s a full bar with great food try the burger or the wings. This is a two story venue; the top is the pool hall, the bottom has a bar and kitchen. On weekends, the downstairs area hosts live musical performances and DJ’s. The ambiance can be loud and rowdy at night, so beware. If you’re looking for a laid back vibe, come here on weeknights or during daytime hours. Weekend nights are reserved for the party people.
Lisa Lee writes poetry and prose for fun. She attended the College of Staten Island and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.