Punk rockabilly surfer tiki bar. So much kitsch. So much fun. So many tattoos!
I started off another of my epic bar crawls at Otto’s Shrunken Head for happy hour. It’s kind of fitting that they have $3 pints of PBR of which I downed a few along with a shot of Jameson while listing to the DJ play an eclectic mix of punk, surfer, goth, and rock tunes. Since it was early still I had a chance to chill out as the crowd was sparse save for a sexy tattooed bartender who dug my Star Wars dancing Stormtrooper t-shirt, and the two tattooed ladies in cool throwback Bettie Page styled outfits that asked me to turn around and model for them. The crowd that was in there ranged from older sexy tattooed cougars, to younger hipsters, to fun music types, to punks, to rockers, and other kinds all mixed into one giant flaming tiki bowl of personalities. Half the crowd looks like they want to kick your ass, including the bartender if you piss her off, and the other half looks like they would be fun to get drunk with as they are all here for that one sole purpose. It’s a fun diverse crowd in a fun eccentric retro tiki themed bar!
Zebra striped barstools, colorful blowfish lights, tiki heads, photo booth, colorful walls, and a back room where bands play sometimes. It’s a non-pretentious place where all are welcome. Yeah, it’s a bit grimy, dark, and can use a power washing. Character and ambiance, baby. Of course they serve up mixed drinks in tiki glasses and have the eponymous flaming tiki punch bowls for group imbibing. A few standard beers on tap such as Yuengling and PBR. They even have comedy shows here to go along with nights when live bands are performing. Cash only but not to fear as it’s pretty cheap overall. Drink specials on beers and frozen concoctions during the week. Can’t help myself as I love these kinds of bars. Kitschy craziness!
Some people would say that it’s divey and dirty, not their type of music, and with a crowd that might not be attractive enough for them. That’s ok. Let those people hang out with the beautiful bridge & tunnel folks in the LES or Meatpacking District overcrowded and overhyped club scene. No velvet rope here. All are welcome. It’s an unusual spot to go have some drinks and listen to a live band. I’ll sip my frozen tiki drink with an umbrella in it while catching a wave to cool rockabilly tunes. Divey, dirty, and cheap suits me just fine.
Otto’s Shrunken Head -