9 Doyers St, New York, NY | Directions 1001340.714425 -73.998089
Mon-Sat 630pm-2am; Sun 8pm-2pm
Neighborhoods: Downtown, Chinatown
A Fun Time Once Inside but Prepare a Backup Plan – My first experience at Apotheke about a year ago was on a weeknight. It was a lot of fun trying to locate this speakeasy since it’s unsuspectingly placed behind a Chinese restaurant with a yellow sign on a little narrow alleyway called Doyer St in Chinatown.
There were no lines then and very few seem to know of this establishment at that time, which made it pretty special. Since I’m a highly imaginative individual, I love concept bars, and totally dig the whole old world apothecary theme with bartenders dressed in lab coats, spirits in experimental glass tubes and cylinders, an entire cocktail menu list divided into inventive sections such as: Health & Beauty, Stress Relievers, Pain Killers, Aphrodisiacs, Stimulants, Pharmaceuticals, Euphoric Enhancers and Therapeutic Treatments. I also loved the vintage furniture, especially the old sugar cane press near the bathroom! We laid back on one of the velvet thrones and sipped the night away to quiet jazz.
Fast forward a year later, Apotheke resembles a club-type lounge with velvet ropes and a line of hopefuls backed up about 30 minutes at minimum on a good weekend night. The doorman, James has this totally weird method of picking and choosing which crowd he lets skip the queue to go right in, which obviously pisses some folks off. But alas, we were handpicked and were able to join in the crowd that was already dancing to the latest hip-hop (?) tunes. A lot different from what I remembered in terms of atmosphere and crowd; I still liked the cocktails and concept though. After the owner's homemade Absinthe made its round twice, along with numerous other elixirs and prescriptions, I no longer cared about how obnoxious the line/bouncer was or this place has turned out to be slightly grungier, but had a great time with the fun group I was with. I will still return to Apotheke despite its decline … (maybe as an off-meatpacking club-lounge and IF there is no line) just don’t expect it to be a Raines Law Room or Little Branch.
The Black Door man is an A-hole – I went there once for a friends birthday and never again. I don't mind waiting on line. I don't mind the arbitrary rules that apply to some instead of others but what I don't like is an arrogant, stupid, egotistical, full of himself loser bouncer/door man. This guy can't be making a living doing this. He is a F'in loser. Nothing more and a lot less. Have been to some real horrible places with real d.o.u.c.h.e bouncers but this guy takes the cake. He better be careful because one day he's going to say the wrong thing to the wrong person. I would love to catch this p.r.i.c.k. alone somewhere and see how tough he really thinks he is. If it wasn't for NY's strict gun laws I would put my .44 in his mouth and ask him to apologize in clear English. GET RID OF THE BLACK BOUNCER. I don't know his name but he was black.
The Rudest Bouncer I ever seen – Bouncers are extremely disrespectful and ignorant. They would create a line even though the place is half-empty. Whenever they interact with people in the line, they are for some reason always vulgar and rude. It is humiliating scenery. Garbage bags are surrounding the place and it literally stinks there.
The place inside is nothing special at all. Drinks are overpriced, staff is not responsive and it looks like they are making you a big favor by serving you.
My recommendation – take your money to some other place, there are many better places in New York. Avoid Apotheke!
James the Doorman is a Jerk – I confirm other what other reviewers here have said about this idiot James the British accented doorman. He has a ridiculous door policy. This past Saturday, he forced about 10 people to stand outside in 20 degree temperature for 1.5 hours at 1 am. While my 2 friends and I waited, we watched 30 people walk out of the place. But he didn't let any of us inside. My friends and I were well dressed and ready to buy lots of drinks. Instead we froze our butts off for no reason. Once we got inside at 2 am, the place wasn't even that packed any more. Plus, the music was one cut above a typical wedding DJ. This doorman is ruining the place. Get rid of James and get back to making drinks Apotheke!
Monday had the most Amazing Jazz – Nick and Craig explained to my friends from Maine how the drinks were made. As always, they were nice in every way...
A Delicious & Rocked Out New Years – The crowd was positive and the energy was so amazing. The new year was brought in the right way.
Great Place & Atmosphere, truly one of a kind – The service was amazing and from the 2 gentlemen at the door (James and Juan I believe), to the explanation of mixology and what exactly egg white could add to a drink, I am sold! Death & Co., Sasha's places, etc. - The mixologists there think their shit does not stink. Here, I was immediately comfortable, and had the most amazing experiences going out in NYC.
James the Doorman – I am absolutely convinced that James (the doorman with the fake british accent) is on the pay from a competitor who is trying to shut down Apotheke. The man is a raving lunatic whose door policy is decided by his volatile mood swings. I have been going there since the very beginning and quickly came to realize that James needed to be 'talked up' to make himself feel better. But after going there so many times - I just can't do it anymore. James we go to Apotheke to enjoy the music, drinks and atmosphere with our friends. Not to regale you with stories and entertainment. You have lost another faithful customer. For those who still want to go to Apotheke and are not very good at chit-chatting idiotic bouncers (yes its an art - first you must bring down your IQ level to below 100) please note that James lets people in if you politely give him 20 reasons (if you know what I mean). One note - if you end up going there on a nightwhen Aubrey is manning the door. You are in luck - the man is all class and all charm. Good luck to him.
WORST DOOR POLICY IN NYC – Seriously....i have NEVER in my entire life had such an experience. My fiance and I went for a friends bday on sat night. Waited for 30 min for the doorman James to turn us down. He said rude comments and announced to everyone on line that were not allowed in, plus purposely allowed a group behind us in! What was his point to humiliate me, jealous, maybe i reminded him of someone? We even had half the party come out to help along with the fact that they already had bottle service. WHO does he think he is, such a pathetic soul, were in an economic crisis and he is going to turn down two young professionals who can actually afford to be there.
Worst door policy for a bar/club in NYC...no question!
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