Please Seat Yourself: NYC Music Venues Ranked Best To Worst By Bathroom

Evangeline Axiotis
Evangeline Axiotis goes by many nicknames, (mainly inappropriate ones), but most people know her as a music festival junkie. She's currently going through a quarter-life crisis. Her biggest supporter is her dad who constantly reminds her that raving is not a real job - but she hopes to change that soon. She can also recite any Biggie Smalls song by heart.

“BRB going to find the bathroom” is a phrase we either hear or say on any given night out. The experience can be pleasant or repulsive. It could end up being a quick trip or take up an hour of your night. You could make a new friend in line or end up in the middle of a brawl. Either way, we find a way to deal because let’s face it — unless you’re planning not to drink, then you’re going to end up having to go. Best case scenario it’s #1, worst case scenario it’s #2.

So while a venue’s bathroom won’t be a deal breaker, you should probably know what you’re getting yourself into ahead of time.


1. Hammerstein Ballroom

The venue: Hammerstein Ballroom offers a wide range of shows. Last time I was there I saw Ellie Goulding for her Amex Unstaged show directed by Scarlett Johansson (still unsure of her whereabouts that night). The time before that was for Future Sound of Egypt 350. If you haven’t heard of them, think underground techno rave. Two completely opposite shows at the same venue, with the same incredible experience.

Inside, Hammerstein actually looks like a ballroom/theatre, with an upstairs balcony seated area and even drapes. The main floor is standing and the ceilings are super high so you don’t feel claustrophobic.

The bathroom: Matching the rest of the space, the bathroom feels like the Plaza of bathrooms. There is a foyer type waiting area lined with mirrors so you don’t have to inconvenience people trying to wash their hands. Not to mention, they have great lighting in there. There’s also PLENTY of stalls so there’s never any line. Everything is super clean, even though I didn’t see a bathroom attendant. I ended up hanging out in the bathroom for way longer than I normally would.

2. Verboten

The venue: Verboten has an industrial vibe that might be intimidating to some and refreshing to others. The layout is no bullshit — bar, floor, DJ — boom. No fancy stages or dividers, no maze to get to the bar or to the bathroom.

The bathroom: It’s conveniently located right next to the dance floor so you can literally shimmy your way over — thank god. Sometimes the location can mean the difference between a 10-minute bathroom break and an hour long one. There are two separate bathrooms for guys and girls joined by one common sink area. The urinals have a glass pane at their heads so guys can look at the dance floor while pissing, which seems creepy and cool at the same time. Overall, great bathroom experience.

3. Marquee

The venue: Good old Marquee, the once exclusive club has turned into an upscale Webster Hall on the weekends. Now, you don’t need to be 6-feet tall in heels or drop a fortune on a table to get in. You can simply buy tickets to your favorite DJs and smother each other on the 10×10 dance floor. Even though Marquee may have opened up the venue to the general public (and by that I mean people without promoters), they still have their VIP table layout which left little room for a dance floor. Trying to navigate from the dance floor to the bar/bathroom is a nightmare.

The bathroom: Good luck trying to get in here — especially if you’re a guy. The lines usually extend from the narrow hallway into the main floor and for some reason the guys line is always longer. If you’re in the girls’ bathroom, you’re bound to get smacked at some point by the door opening and closing while you’re waiting for a stall. It’s not spacious in there. However, there’s usually a nice bathroom attendant and it’s equipped with all the amenities that club bathrooms usually offer — mints, hair ties, emergency deodorant, perfumes and nice mirrors.

7. Webster Hall

The venue: Webster is one of those venues that I only go to if the show either A. starts before 9 p.m. or B. is the only place I can see that show. Basically, it’s like my last resort, for a few different reasons. Mainly, it attracts young ass people and they are always doing something to piss you off. The venue is also super disorganized with entry. Last time I was here they kept us locked downstairs like cattle and didn’t open the main floor until about 20 minutes before the show started. A stampede ensued and I vowed I would never come here again.

The bathroom: Disgusting. It’s not even fathomable what goes on in these bathrooms. I’d feel more comfortable licking the sidewalk than touching the doors to the stalls. I’m going to blame this more on the savages that come through these bathrooms than the venue itself. I mean, there’s no point in trying to spruce them up when it’s just going to get destroyed in one night. The lines are also ridiculously long and there’s always people pushing and shoving over who’s next. This is one of those bathrooms that kills your vibe every time you go, guaranteed.

8. The Hangar Brooklyn

The venue: COLD is the first word that comes to mind. It’s an open warehouse that doesn’t have doors so brace yourselves in the winter. It’s also deep in Brooklyn so it’s super inconvenient to get to by public transportation. You can imagine the Uber situation trying to leave this place. I always leave early for that reason. Inside it’s roomy and you end up warming up quickly via drinking and dancing. I will say the production is always impressive and it’s a perfect spot for electronic acts.

The bathroom: This place will really make you think twice about that extra beer – and not because it costs $10. The bathrooms are porta-potties outside so if you come here during the winter you’re in for a rude awakening. I’ve seen people give up half way through waiting in line and run inside to warm up. They usually run out of toilet paper so plan on bringing napkins with you from the bar. Covering your nose, squatting and peeing is not an easy skill, so try practicing at home. I don’t know about you, but my worst nightmare is to drop something or fall into a porta-potty.

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