When an old dive bar becomes a new bar it frequently loses it's tattered prom dress allure. One exception to this rule is Niagara Bar on Avenue A and 7th Street.
This Jesse Malin owned establishment, formerly King Tut's Wah Wah Hut and home of the Joe Strummer (badly painted but well-intentioned) mural maintains a sense of old-school cool no longer easily or readily found in the East Village.
Once upon a time King Tut's was home to a varied cast of characters including Klaus Nomi, Rockets Red Glare and these extraordinary murals painted by Laurie Olinder. It closed in the early 90s, later becoming Wally's Midtown and then eventually Niagara.
While the pool table and Klaus Nomi performances are gone and the murals painted over - supplanted by a single Kenny Scharf piece, Niagara still maintains some of the old vibe. The cast of characters is less characters and more a mix of NYU kids, hockey players and some stalwart EV denizens but you gotta hand it to this place. There is something about it that maintains a strong sense of dirty dive bar integrity. And to that I say AMEN!
King Tut's Wah Wah Hut