Think you can’t find a classy dive in Manhattan’s bar district? Guess again. Everyone knows that the Lower East Side has countless watering holes, yet few are daring enough to tease and please beyond cocktails. Even though legendary cover girl Bettie Page passed in 2008, her legacy lives on at Nurse Bettie, the city’s only pinup bar where raven haired beauties can show off spiked stilettos and dangerous curves. First opened in December 2006, Nurse Bettie is tonight’s cure for beating those barhopping blues, especially when all you want to do is indulge in fine booze, dance to rock ‘n’ roll, and enjoy a peep show.
Nurse Bettie, co-owned by Stephen Schuler, is that secret happy hour getaway you don’t ever want to share, yet you’ll be tempted to boast how there’s still a sexy venue downtown where drinks cost less than $10. This alone lures curious visitors inside the dimly lit space, which is always packed with red-lipped ladies and grinning gents. Guests can relax on black leather couches and mingle with real life bombshells. From its smoky ambiance that leaves you feeling more naughty than nice, to its towering Gil Elvgren paintings of lusty vixens revealing silk stockings and not much else, Nurse Bettie is petite in size, but well endowed with all the many surprises one will find here.
We don’t know if it’s Nurse Bettie's exposed bricked walls, chandeliers, or occasional DJ that easily enchants us, but we have a feeling that it has something to do with its prized bartenders, all as gracious as the company. Let them know your poison, or better yet, sip on one of Nurse Bettie's specialty drinks, such as the brandy-filled Cherry Bomb or famous Bubblegum Martini. When doors open at 6PM, be prepared to savor $4 cocktails and San Marzano pizza with Joan Holloway lookalikes. If that’s not enough to get you panting, stop by on Wednesday and Thursday nights for burlesque shows, courtesy of Honi Harlow and Calamity Chang.
Is there anything that you won’t like about Nurse Bettie? Sorry, the answer is no. Beat the crowds, which can reach outside Nurse Bettie's welcoming doors, by arriving early and scoring the daily password from the venue’s Twitter page for exclusive deals that are too good to pass up. It’s exactly what the doctor ordered.