Named after a 1980’s movie about a bunch of munchkins who take over a hotel… What? That’s Under the Rainbow? Ha, sorry. Named after a book by Malcolm Lowry about a delirious alcoholic hanging out in Mexico in 1938 on the Day of the Dead (or Dia de los Muertos for our Spanish speaking friends), Under the Volcano tries to recreate a funky feeling of romantic Mexico and, well, drinking. This certainly ain’t your typical spring break, tropical Mexican joint. It ain’t Chi-Chi’s or Chili’s or whatever. It’s about sweaty Albert Finney sitting in the dark surrounded by skulls and candles drinking whiskey in a dirty glass while World War II breaks out a thousand worlds away in Europe. A perfect meeting place for an after-work drink, its oddball darkness and Spanish poetry scrawled along the tops of the walls will keep away the annoying loudmouths from The Ginger Man across the street, and makes for a mellow hang out to drink a couple shots of tequila before heading out for dinner. This neighborhood is certainly lacking in terms of social outlets, so it’s nice to find something that is relatively unique amongst the urban blight. [MF]
12 E 36th St.