Hidden Lower East Side Bar Dunzo, Still a Secret

An actual glimpse of USA's shadowy environs.
An actual glimpse of USA's shadowy environs. Photo: Courtesy Joshua Seidner

You might recall that secret Lower East Side drinkery we told you about a while back. Well, today its owner, Joshua Seidner, tells Grub Street he’s closing the venue. The restaurant that housed the bar in its basement has changed hands, and the new owners want to keep everything above board. Unlike some other hidden bars we can think of, USA, as it was known, managed to stay concealed the entire length of its short life. We visited the bar on a handful of occasions, so we can confirm that it exists (ahem, El Baño), and Seidner tells us he kept it full hosting film screenings, musical shows, art installations, “sweaty dance parties,” and peddling cheap drinks to neighborhood locals.

“The best things are always temporary,” Seidner reflected this afternoon, though he did mention that the bar might live again. “Maybe it’ll open back up at some point in the future. Maybe it’ll become a traveling sort of thing.” Lest you fear this closure is further proof New York is losing its edge, don’t forget that hidden dining rooms have emerged as the decade’s new secretive trend.