682 Commercial St.
Hard to find factor : 2
1 Not too bad
2 Takes some searching
3 Ask a native
4 Bring a map
Neighborhood: Chinatown/Financial District
On the downlow since: 2003
Surprised by design: Oh my goodness. That really is the first thing that came to our minds when we stepped through the nondescript entrance into the fabulous lounge spot that is EZ5. Obviously, this bar once lived its happy life as some kind of Polynesian-themed place. You can tell from the wooden beams and the traces of, er, Polynesian “art” and fabric flowers that still linger in the bar’s various nooks and crannies. Then perhaps there was a falling out. Perhaps, EZ5’s subsequent owners decided all things themed are trash and refused right then and there to ever entertain the notion of having any kind of uniform décor ever see the inside of this rather spacious lounge again. Patrons get to choose between sitting on sporadically placed black leather bean bags or on brown square and rectangular leather Ottomans. Or you can slide into one of its orange, half-circle booths that can easily accommodate seven. A two-seater tabletop video game of Galactica hangs out in one corner. A disc jockey console, topped with a rotating KISS lamp, sits in another. And really, we could go on and on, playing “I Spy,” but we’ll save that fun for your visit.
Take it easy: On the weekends, EZ5 has been working itself to death to tout the funky little bar as the next hot nightclub just waiting to be discovered, with the lounge buzzing with disc jockeys and locals. On weekdays, a mixed crown reigns supreme. We spotted locals, out-of-towners, Financial District wonks and downtown hipsters. Though it was clear we were newcomers, our friendly bartender hardly looked us over. We dug the winter moon, an interesting blend of yogurt, apple mix, vodka and soda water. We also devoured the bowl of wonderfully salty peanuts mixed in with equally salty pretzels that definitely left us thirsty for more. Much more.
Spirited affair: What really won our hearts and minds over at EZ5 was the whole-hearted seasonal-appropriate decorations that covered the joint. Not only was Halloween honored with orange and black hanging ornaments and various other ghoulish accoutrements, but just plain old autumn was given its due. Garlands fashioned out of orange, brown and red leaves lined the upper portion of the bar, which contrasted nicely against the random tube of blue lights that lined the bottom portion.