First Look: Dim Sum Palace Moonlights As Dimly Lit Hidden Bar

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Photo: Daniel Maurer

Once again, D.J. outfit No Ordinary Monkey is throwing a party at 88 Palace on April 30. Funny enough, it’s not the only disco conversion of a dim-sum palace we’ve caught wind of. A couple of weeks ago, Golden Bridge Restaurant started quietly moonlighting as Bar 50, open from 9 p.m. daily. The massive space, which you can tour via our slideshow, has already held a “rave” that drew around 1,000 night owls (during private parties, hundreds of dining-room chairs are moved aside to create a lushly carpeted dance floor under color-changing chandeliers), but it’s mostly a quiet bar, located up an imposing flight of stairs.

The back recreation room boasts a couple of racing arcade games, a couple of pool tables, and a picture-window view of the Manhattan Bridge. In the front bar area (decorated with projecting dragons and photos of the owner shaking hands with Bill and Hillary), colored spotlights rotate while flat-screens show sports and the speakers pump house music. Ask the friendly bartenders for some dice and they’ll play a round of “Bullshit” with you. Be warned: There’s a good chance you’ll hear “What Is Love” at least once while you’re here, but this month, at least, your exposure is minimal. Beers are $3 and house shots are $2 from Sunday through Thursday, 9 p.m. till 10 p.m. (the bar closes at 2 a.m.).

One last bit of trivia: A door down from Golden Bridge, there was, some years ago, a completely unmarked karaoke bar with a giant dance floor that you could only access by going through a travel agency’s office on the second floor (unless you snuck through the exit doors, located in the tunnel-like Chinatown Arcade). We once went to a blowout there that was busted by the cops. We’d be surprised if the space is still used for such shenanigans, but we’ll put it out there for intrepid explorers and nightlife historians.

Bar 50, 50 Bowery, 2nd Fl., nr. Canal St.; 212-227-8831