Painkiller

Bar
49 Essex Street
New York, New York, United States
Ph: (212) 777-8454 - Website
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Sun-Thu 6pm-2am
Fri-Sat 6pm-4am
Opened in 2010
Defunct tiki not included,
distances are as the crow flies.
Otto's Shrunken Head, New York 1.1 mi
1.7 km
The Hurricane Club, New York 1.8 mi
2.9 km
Zombie Hut, Brooklyn 2.3 mi
3.8 km
Brooklyn's Tiki Bar, Brooklyn 4.3 mi
6.8 km
American Museum of Natural History, New York 4.6 mi
7.3 km
Seating at Painkiller in New York
November 2010, photo by Humuhumu
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Humuhumu’s description:

Painkiller was opened by Giuseppe Gonzalez and Richard Boccato on Manhattan's Lower East Side in May 2010. The small space has dictated a streamlined decor approach, with heavy use of bamboo and flat artwork on the walls. The decor is a mix of simple tiki (in the form of untreated bamboo and flat Indonesian import masks), and graffiti artwork inspired both by the local neighborhood and tiki history.

The bar itself is a bit high, and the immovable stools are also high and close to the bar; sitting at the bar can be a challenge for the large or the small. The seating in the back rooms is comfy, though, and standing at the bar works, too.

The emphasis at Painkiller is on the cocktails, with lots of modern variations inspired by old classics. The menu does not list specific drinks, rather it is a list of drink categories, and is intended to spark conversation with your bartender to help you find a drink you'll love. Drinks are well-crafted, and are served in tiki mugs, with piņa coladas served in frozen pineapples.

How to find it:
Painkiller is on Essex St., just south of Grand. The door doesn't say "Painkiller," but instead has a spray painted mural of a palm tree and bamboo with the words "Tiki Bar."
There are 12 comments.
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June 24, 2010, 2:15 PM
This is very upscale, classy tiki bar! The drinks (and I tried most of them!) are absolutely divine (and EXPENSIVE), as is the tiki-ware and drink festoonery. Go early because later in the night, there was literally a line to get in (it's a small place and the bar had just opened, so maybe it's better now). It's fabulous, but because of the prices, I"m afraid it's a special occasion place for me. Another minor complaint: the bar stools are positioned very close to the bar so you are pretty much pressed up against it (and I am a pretty small person). Much more comfortable to sit at the booths in back (again, go early).

July 28, 2010, 6:35 AM
Possibly closed. Went by on Friday 7/23. Shuttered up with no sign of life.
wayne-tiki-tiki has visited Painkiller.

September 16, 2010, 5:26 PM
I was planning to check out PK next week, since I will be in the area ( if its open?). I heard that the drinks are really good. I gotta say this though. I saw the pics of the bar posted on the website...It looks really nice but I was a little disappointed to see graffiti style writing on the walls. It kind of takes away from the whole point of a Tiki bar. I'm looking for Polynesia not Urbania. Although, I do understand their concept, and why they did it that way. I will post again after I actually visit the place.
PAPA-OOM-Moai-Moai is a semi-regular at Painkiller.

November 13, 2010, 6:47 AM
Went last Friday. Very cool.
If you didn't know where it was, you'd walk right by. The people at pizza place two doors up didn't even know it was there and sent us the other way. It's on the west side of Essex, about 400 feet south of Grand. Walking distance from the Lani Kai.

The painkillers were great. They have taken the pina colada to be a proper drink. All fresh ingredients.
Foredeckape has visited Painkiller.

June 6, 2011, 11:09 PM
Painkillers is awesome! hard to find-you know the street location but it's easy to walk past because it kind of slips into the buildings around it. Drinks are strong and well made but of course at NYC prices. Decor could use some stronger tiki influence. Wait staff is friendly and attentive. Great place to get drunk tiki style but no entertainment/music--just surround yourself with friends!

June 11, 2011, 5:46 AM
They have been forced to change the name of the bar to PKNY...

Pusser's rum recently claimed trademark infringement - they have copyrighted the Painkiller name/drink...
djmagus has visited Painkiller.

June 11, 2011, 2:47 PM
I'm holding off on renaming it here in Critiki for now... Pusser's is experiencing some rather serious negative feedback from the bar community over this. I'm crossing my fingers that they'll realize their trademark of the Painkiller cocktail and name does them more harm than good, and isn't worth defending.
Humuhumu has visited Painkiller.

July 7, 2011, 9:20 AM
This place was fun. The drinks were INSANELY strong. I mean, we had to try quite a few of them but one was so strong I could hardly drink it (but I managed somehow :)Most were served in tiki mugs and those that weren't were nicely garnished.

This is very New York tiki. It's got some decor staples such as vintage postcards of wahine and glass bouy lamps but also has a modern lava lamp type twist it's definitely not trying to recreate retro tiki completely and is more fancy than a dive bar. All in all it's definitely worth visiting. It was practically empty when were there but it was a week night.
Sneaky Tiki has visited Painkiller.

January 5, 2012, 8:27 AM
Stop by Tuesday evenings for some Exotica by Jack & Gina along with your tiki drinks. Cheers!
tabuzak is a regular at Painkiller, and is usually there Tuesday.

January 5, 2012, 9:09 AM
The music is not appropriate on nights other than Tuesdays currently, but we are working on influencing that. Current management is receptive. I think 2012 will show a more tiki PKNY.
tabuzak is a regular at Painkiller, and is usually there Tuesday.

June 18, 2013, 6:11 AM
Sad news, PKNY will close for good around July 22...
djmagus has visited Painkiller.

July 30, 2013, 12:35 AM
Location is no longer open.
djmagus has visited Painkiller.

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