Sunday, April 6, 2008

Tonic: Really bad medicine


The only reason the logo is worth putting up on this post is so that you know to avoid it when you see this logo near Times Square. The photographer has consistently had the worst experience in any bar/club in NYC at Tonic Times Square.

Tonic hosts an 'Indian' DJ and upstairs gets converted into an Indian dance party every Saturday. That was the reason why we first checked it out. Lets start at the experience at the door. The door policy, and cover are completely arbitrary. The doorman refused entry to a friend of ours on the reason that his ID was 'hand written' and therefore not valid. What was this ID you ask? It was an Indian passport. The ultimate identification document for any individual, one that contained a number of visas- including a US visa, one that is recognized by the strictest immigration standards, was not enough for a doorman of a B-grade club! You see the Republic of India isn't as 'advanced' as the US of A yet. There are passport offices where the passports are still hand-written, and then signed and sealed by the authorities. It meets all the security and authenticating standards of every country in the world, except for the enlightened Tonic doorman. In any other setting, a refusal to acknowledge a country's passport is treated as a national affront and may spark an international incident. It is also worthwhile to note that fake IDs, apparently so rampant amongst US youth, are almost always printed. Was it because the passport belonged to an elite wall-street investment bank employee who happened to be Indian (and clearly above 21)? The doorman would neither listen to reason, nor willing to take us (the lucky folk with printed IDs) to the manager to sort out this issue. Therefore to get into Tonic, you first have to convince a guy who is either hugely ignorant, or hugely racist.

The club upstairs is even more pitiful. It is a cramped, long hallway type area with a bar dominating one side. The acoustics are terrible with speakers crackling and hissing with every bhangra beat. The photographer had a prolonged feeling of Tinnitus after leaving this place. The drinks are watery and the ambiance is an afterthought. The crowd is best described as B-grade. There is no cover for women till 12am, so unsightly ladies who cannot get into any club (but apparently have printed IDs) cover every available square footage of Tonic. The men are no better. 'Indian men have BO' is not a racist stereotype- rather an apt description of the men at Tonic. In my opinion, the average Indian music is not worth the ordeal at Tonic. People looking for similar music, but a much better ambiance should look at Kemia Bar or Mehanata or Earth or SOBs.

Drinks: 4/10
Ambiance: 3/10
Service: are you kidding?

Tonic. 727 Seventh Ave., New York, NY .

1 comment:

deblina said...

This friend is my husband...well..and he is above 21 and the reason for not letting him enter was so ludicrous that I could not believe at first ...are you kidding me ? the ID which lets you enter into a country doesnt let you enter a bar ?that too a shady bar in the corner of Times square which I think runs more because of its distance to Lehman Brothers than its music....
well no more to say I guess...The bouncer knows more!