This is the first post by contributor, Amber Hopkins.  Stay tuned!

Ten dollars for a beer and manicure!?!  Yes, please! Two concepts rarely associated with each other are that of “Beauty” and “Bar”, so the notion that you could combine them certainly piqued my interest. If there’s one place that can do them both well, it’s Beauty Bar on 14th Street.

Since the late eighties, Manhattan’s East Village has been scrutinized as being yet another one of the borough’s neighborhoods to fall victim to gentrification.  Although there is conviction to what these critics have been saying, if you look beyond the neighborhood’s newly-renovated “green” apartment complexes and trendy restaurants, the Village still maintains part of its unconventional charm by way of off-beat bars and the patrons who visit them.  Beauty Bar certainly fills this mold.

I’ve walked by Beauty Bar hundreds of times since first moving to the East Village last Fall; however, its rough looking exterior and the leather-clad hipsters outside were a bit off-putting.  Now don’t get me wrong, I love a good dive bar, but I wouldn’t be going at this one alone.

So, last Wednesday evening I put the plan into motion and met up with two girlfriends after work.  We entered the dimly-lit bar and were greeted with the unusual smell of nail polish combined with stale beer.  Saddling up to bar, I took a good look at just what we were sitting in…It was a vintage beauty salon!  Retro hair-dryers and kitschy 60s art lined the walls and the black and white checkered floors truly added an extra touch to the avant-garde atmosphere.

I obviously took them up on their ten-dollar manicure and drink special.  While it was definitely not the best manicure I’ve ever gotten, the entertaining conversation with my tattooed manicurist certainly made up for it!  As my nails were drying, the after-work crowd slowly trickled out and were replaced by a younger, rowdier set.  This was our cue to head home, it was a Wednesday night after all. After my visit, I heard through friends that the dance floor on weekend nights is a blast, and with a ten-dollar manicure deal like this one, I’m sure I’ll find my way back!

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