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PDT

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113 St Marks Place, New York, US

By Anistatia Miller & Jared Brown

St Marks Place was at the heart of the East Village punk scene, and the preceding counter-culture that birthed it. It’s cleaned up a bit over the years, but it still carries that raw, edgy feeling. PDT (Please Don’t Tell) fits into that tradition, where many other newer venues in the neighbourhood prefer to stand out in contrast. Enter the Crif Dogs hot dog shop next door to PDT’s blank black façade. Go into the phone booth on the left wall. Pick up the phone.

Find out if you can get a table or seats at the bar in 30-45 minutes (on a slow night). Order a bacon-wrapped dog and a beer. Settle in. It’s worth the wait. Don’t feel bad if you happen to get a seat in the bar immediately. A tiny window was put in between the two service areas years ago – now it’s possible to get a Crif Dog in PDT as well.

On entry it takes a moment to adjust to the darkness, then the room reveals itself: exposed brick walls, wood-panelled ceiling, wood floors, hunting trophies, tables and banquettes left and centre and the bar tucked away to the right. Created by bartender Jim Meehan, this venue has established a reputation as a trendsetter and visionary in cocktails. PDT has recently opened pop-up bars in Hong Kong, Barcelona and other far-flung cities. While you’re not likely to find PDT alums such as Meehan, Don Lee or John Deragon behind the bar, you will invariably find young rising stars.

Ideas such as fat washing or infusing popcorn began here or were brought to their highest level. This has built a reputation that attracts drinks fans from around the world. However, that phone booth entrance is reason enough to go. It’s fun – bouncy castle fun – no matter how many times you go through it.