Otto's Shrunken Head

New York, NY
Bar
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538 East 14th Street
New York, NY
Opened in 2002
Daily 2pm-4am
(212) 228-2240

Critiki ratings

Otto's Shrunken Head

6.4

Overall

by 145 people

1

10

Detail
Everyone You
Decor 6.6
Drink Quality 6
Drink Selection 6.6
Mood 6.6
Music 5.4
Service 7.2
Tikiness 6.4
Tilt 6.4
Vibe 6.4

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Humuhumu’s description

Otto's Shrunken Head is a tiki-meets-punk bar on Manhattan's Lower East Side. Live music acts play regularly in the back room. The music styles range from rock to metal to exotica, and it's often loud. The front entry of the bar has cases filled with tiki mugs and knick-knacks. Over the bar is a row of pufferfish lamps. There are carvings by Wayne Coombs and Crazy Al. Drinks are served in mugs that are available for sale, including a custom shrunken head mug.
In late 2010 a fire damaged the back room of Otto's, but repairs were able to be made swiftly.

Comments

EdOConnor
EdOConnor has visited Otto's Shrunken Head.
September 13, 2018, 9:50 AM
I went to Otto's a few years ago, so please factor this in with my comments, which may seem nit-picky to some. At that time the bar's décor was tiki-themed, but the spirit of the place was not really feelin' it. Similar to other comments here, it felt like a NY dive-bar dressed up in Tiki clothing. The bartender shook up a few Mai-Tai's which were serviceable, but at a level of quality and presentation that I would not serve my guests at my home. On the plus side, Otto's did sell a nice array of tchochkes, scorpion bowls and tiki memorabilia-- nothing earth-shattering and some of it quite standard, but I did stock up on a few items before I headed out the door.

Overall I think I was a mismatch for the type of patron Otto's attracts. I'm a cocktail afficionado and I'm willing to pay significantly more for interesting/exotic high-quality cocktails and an engaging experience. While that's not the vibe at Otto's, I have no regrets about going there-- there are just better establishments to seek out for my personal tastes.
EricVailTiki
EricVailTiki has visited Otto's Shrunken Head.
August 13, 2018, 11:26 AM
Otto's kinda sucks. I spent much of my youth frequenting punk shows but the band playing in the back room was WAAAAAY too loud. I couldn't hear my girlfriend sitting next to me at the bar. And the drinks weren't very good at all. Too much alcohol (yes, that's a bad thing -- destroyed the taste). The bartenders were aging rocker chicks. Not a fan of the place, at all. Still, they had some cool, expensive mugs so they had that going for em -- which is nice.

NYC is not a tiki haven. It's more about the cocktails. I'd rather head over to Blacktail for some Cuban drinks, barhop the East Village, belly up at Pegu Club (my favorite) or hit up a classic like Bemelman's on the UWS.

tikitraveler
tikitraveler is a semi-regular at Otto's Shrunken Head.
June 30, 2018, 4:34 PM
Pretty cool Tiki dive bar. Punk/hipster crowd, and rock music. Plenty of tiki statues, check. Velvet black light painting, check. Assortment of tiki mugs, available for purchase, check.

Tried around 5 drinks. Mai tai wasn't particularly good. Most of the drinks had a generic fruit juice + rum flavor. The bar's special "shrunken head" drink was very good.
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