Sipping hot toddies by the fire is certainly a respectable way to beat the chill, but there are far more unconventional ways to warm up this winter in New York. MyCityWay lists the best burlesque bars in the Big Apple to heat up and have fun even as the temperatures drop.
The Box: Not for the faint of heart, this quintessential New York burlesque bar opens its doors at 11 pm and hosts two shows nightly. The former sign factory was taken over by theater folk Simon Hammerstein, Randy Weiner and Richard Kimmel along with Serge Becker of La Esquina and 205 fame. The result is a can’t-miss experience with circus performers, human oddities, and vaudeville thespians from around the world. 189 Chrystie Street (between Rivington and Stanton), (212) 982-9301
Nurse Bettie: For classic burlesque, this bar is king … or queen. The classy dive has a 1950’s pin-up theme and hosts burlesque shows aptly named “Spanking the Lower East Side” on Wednesday and Thursday nights. Another plus — delivery is available from nearby Schiller’s if you get hungry while sipping your ginger martini. 106 Norfolk Street, (212) 477-7515
Le Scandal at the Laurie Beechman Theater: After a long and successful run at the Cutting Room, Le Scandal has moved its beloved burlesque show to Saturday nights at The West Bank Cafe. The comedy, classic and neo-burlesque show is a New York Times Critic Pick and has been featured on MTV, HBO and The Travel Channel, and the performers include acrobats, contortionists, trapeze artists, jugglers, jazz singers and sword-swallowing belly dancers. 407 West 42nd Street (at 9th Avenue)
Duane Park: Every Friday and Saturday night you can indulge in a three-course dinner while taking in some of the best burlesque New York has to offer. The Tassel Room is the must-see weekly show that has the host, singer and burlesque showgirls performing live with the swinging jazz quintet The Stiff Gimlets. 157 Duane Street (between West Broadway and Hudson), (212) 732-5555
The Slipper Room: While you might catch some of the beautiful female performers wearing a slipper or two, that’s about all they’ll be wearing. Music, comedy and burlesque performers turn this sultry bar into a memorable night of laughs and pasties. The view can get almost impossible when it’s crowded, so we recommend getting there early to snag prime seating. 167 Orchard Street (at Stanton Street), (212) 253-7246 Editor’s Note: The Slipper Room is under renovation. But you can catch “Slipper Room In Exile” is at Casa Mezcal until it reopens.