Must-See Washington Heights
by Laura Kusnyer, 07/31/2013
Apt 78. Photo: Joe Buglewicz
Nightlife: Apt 78 and More
If Apt 78 were located downtown, it would have a line down the block to get in. As its homey name suggests, the ambience inside the modest space is like a house party. Although there's no dance floor, there's a distinct feeling that guests could all get up from their chairs at any moment and start dancing—and sometimes they do. The Roots' Questlove will occasionally guest DJ here. But all the turntablists play thematically relevant requests and inspired sets of new and old hits. Chill '90s hip-hop from groups like A Tribe Called Quest is often in the queue.
There's a clubbier scene a few blocks up at Arka Lounge, a see-and-be-seen dance club where guests encounter fish tanks, tight clothing and intimidating dance moves. Across the street is Locksmith Wine & Burger Bar, which is in many ways the opposite of Arka. A little quirky, Locksmith's track list hops from Danzig to Pitbull in a matter of seconds. The music is fun here, as is the oversized portrait of Ghostbuster II's evil Vigo in the bathroom.