Posted in NYC | music | venues on July 25, 2014

by Wyatt Marshall

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Sad news for Upper West Siders of the no-collar persuasion: Ding Dong Lounge, the punked-out dive bar and venue at 106th and Columbus, is closing on Thursday, July 31 after 13 years in business. The bar will be relocating to an as-yet undisclosed location.

From an announcement on Ding Dong Lounge's website:

Like so many other unique New York City businesses, the Ding has lost its lease, despite having the highest sales in its 13 year history and being named the Best Cheap Manhattan Dive by both the Village Voice (link added - ed.) and Gothamist.

This is not the end of the Ding, as we will be relocating & reopening in the near furture (watch this space for details). However, for right now, please come out to show some love and say goodbye to our beloved Ding Dong Lounge during our last days at the Columbus Ave & 106 St. location.

We love you all!

Ding Dong Lounge was a grungy oasis for people looking for a no-frills place for cheap drinks in an otherwise pretty bleak part of town where forgettable, overcrowded bars are the norm. As mentioned above, the bar received accolades for being the best dive in Manhattan -- not bad for a place not much further than a stone's throw from Columbia University. Good music and colorful staff -- which allegedly included a stuntman who was, among other interesting gigs, a weapon specialist in Mortal Kombat (the movie) -- helped make the place great. Ding Dong DJ/doorman Chris should be familiar to patrons of The Acheron, where he also works. Mark, thank you for all the drinks.

The space played host to hundreds of shows, typically of the somewhat-underground indie/punk variety, and had a number of weekly regular events. One memorable show for me was headlined by the experimental noise rock band White Suns, who just played Summerscreen. The opening band was a three-piece named Bob Crusoe, an absurdist "guitar," drums and off-key trumpet (I think) band that delivered one of the most ridiculous performances I've ever seen -- pure cacophony, with nonsense lyrics/noises that were alternatively spoken and hysterically screamed over one of the worst improv sets of all time. Lots of rolling around on the ground. A+.

It's been a bad week for NYC dives. The Ding Dong Lounge will be missed. Here's to a quick reopening.

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Comments (33)

I once showed my date my Ding Dong!

Posted by Anonymous | July 25, 2014 2:06 PM

^^ I bet he really enjoyed it

Posted by Anonymous | July 25, 2014 2:14 PM

I'll be back in the furture.

Posted by Anonymous | July 25, 2014 2:15 PM

Lots of memories I can't remember at the Ding Dong.

Posted by Anonymous | July 25, 2014 2:17 PM

"Like so many other unique New York City businesses...'

How is a bar a unique business? You can see almost immediately who you're dealing with here.

Posted by Anonymous | July 25, 2014 2:27 PM

artisanal cocktails or gtfo

Posted by Anonymous | July 25, 2014 2:28 PM

ching chong ding dong

Posted by Anonymous | July 25, 2014 3:10 PM

Because nothing says PUNK quite like the Upper West Side.

Posted by Anonymous | July 25, 2014 3:45 PM

The Upper West Side had a dive bar? Was I supposed to give a shit?

BTW cheap drinks in Manhattan = $5 Budweisers during happy hour.

Posted by Anonymous | July 25, 2014 4:00 PM

Ding Dong was a great bar.

Screw the assholes on BV's comment board. There's more to New York than neighborhoods off the L train, dipshits.

Posted by Anonymous | July 25, 2014 4:07 PM

If sites were referring to Ding Dong Lounge as a Manhattan Valley dive bar or South Harlem (as most of the ethnic residents up that way contend the area is) no one would be shitting all over it. It will be missed. Only place anywhere near that area that you can get a bucket of beers for $10 and watch an underground punk show.

Posted by Anonymous | July 25, 2014 4:13 PM

^A sensible person for once!

In it's day, it was one of the only good bars in NYC, period. (I never thought of that hood as the Upper West Side.)

Posted by Anonymous | July 25, 2014 4:17 PM

Brooklyn Vegan calling Ding Dong Lounge and "Upper West Side" dive is proof positive of how BV just isn't from NYC and are just a bunch of hipsters taking up space here who would like nothing more than to drive out all non-white people in favor of people like them or what they'd consider "the good non-whites".

Ding Dong Lounge was not on the Upper West Side / that area is not the Upper West Side. The Upper West Side is generally considered to be bordered by and including Hudson River Park, Central Park West, 59th Street, and 96th Street. Realtors call 97th to 110th Street between Hudson River and Central Parks "Upper West Side" to make that area more sellable.

Ding Dong Lounge is (soon to be "was") located at 929 Columbus Avenue between 105th and 106th Streets, nine blocks above the very northernmost border of the Upper West Side. It's close to the UWS but it's not there. BTW cool the place is described as "Punk bar with live music" on Google Maps haha.

Thus ends the lesson on NYC neighborhoods.

Posted by D | July 25, 2014 4:31 PM

^ D never knows shit.

More proof.

Posted by Anonymous | July 25, 2014 6:11 PM

Actually I know plenty of shit.

UWS = Bordered by and including Hudson River and Central Parks, 59th to 96th Street.

Get a clue and a life you dumb fuck.

Posted by D | July 25, 2014 6:28 PM

What's the nearest C-Town to the Ding Dong?

Posted by Anonymous | July 25, 2014 6:49 PM

Why? 'Need a job? I don't work there but you are more than welcome to apply.

Posted by D | July 25, 2014 7:04 PM

maybe the ding dong can take up residence in someones c-town

Posted by Anonymous | July 25, 2014 10:17 PM

One night I had a friend pick me up at the Ding Dong and drive me straight to rehab. Fucking loved that place. And calling it Upper West Side is new-realtor bullshit.

Posted by Anonymous | July 25, 2014 10:18 PM

^ wow. Tell us more, shitbag. Want a drink?

Posted by Anonymous | July 25, 2014 10:31 PM

^ Real tough behind a keyboard.

So what is the UWS to you? I need a laugh.

Posted by D | July 25, 2014 10:43 PM

I wrote 10:18. Thank you, but no. I don't drink anymore. Now go pretend NYC didn't exist before Bushwick gentrification, rent boy.

Posted by Anonymous | July 25, 2014 10:47 PM

^ Right on! But let this dick reply to me. I got your back.

Posted by D | July 25, 2014 11:06 PM

Please. I remember when you'd know you'd entered The Bronx because of the abandoned cars on 95. You guys are weak.

Posted by Anonymous | July 25, 2014 11:28 PM

Actually the only weak one is you and wtf are you babbling on about The Bronx for? We're talking about Manhattan - stick with that/one borough, dumbass.

And again, 929 Columbus Avenue between 105th and 106th Street is not the Upper West Side no matter how many yuppie/hipster-pandering realtors you gulp the semen and pussy juice of sell it up as that.

Posted by D | July 25, 2014 11:50 PM

"And again, 929 Columbus Avenue between 105th and 106th Street is not the Upper West Side no matter how many yuppie/hipster-pandering realtors you gulp the semen and pussy juice of sell it up as that."

This tidbit is as baffling as it is wonderful. Keep it up?

Posted by Dr. Acula | July 26, 2014 2:03 AM

UWS has always ended at 110th. This fake D fool needs to spend less time on Gawker when he's at Queens Public Library and more time learning to read books, old school style.

Posted by Anonymous | July 26, 2014 2:23 AM

^ 105th and 106th isn't UWS you dipshit.

Posted by D | July 26, 2014 4:35 AM

It was until they renamed it "Manhattan Valley"

This renaming of sections for real estate purposes needs to stop. Hell's Kitchen will always be Hell's Kitchen to me--not Clinton. Bushwick will always be Bushwick--not East Williamsburg.

Posted by Anonymous | July 26, 2014 6:16 AM

it's closing on Wednesday not thursday

Posted by Anonymous | July 26, 2014 8:10 PM

Sad sad sad. Was a great place. A super place at first but still a great place whether it's uws or not. Btw in the 20 years I lived in that neighborhood uws/man valley/soha/etc were all interchangeable. But the fact that the ding helped convert that area fr

Posted by Bonerpetite | July 26, 2014 8:49 PM

...a crack filled shithole to another gentrified area safe for hipsters is a fact. They were pioneers.

Posted by Anonymous | July 26, 2014 8:52 PM

Whatever the neighborhood is, it was pretty sketchy when the Dong opened, and stayed that way for years. But it was still a nice area, even then, and it was amazing to have a great bar not in the overpopulated Lower East Side, or the new, whitey Brooklyn.

It's the sad irony that a decent bar opening in an area like that makes it palatable for the less adventurous, more business owners move in, and the bar that started it all gets pushed out.

Posted by Anonymous | July 27, 2014 7:39 AM

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