Published on August 7th, 2013 | by Greg

Take Me Out Tours: Hit NYC’s Hotspots Like A VIP

Whether you’re a local or just visiting, it’s impossible to keep up with New York’s nightlife scene. You can read every issue of NY Mag and Time Out New York, but still miss the latest hip hotspot, dive bar, or secret location. With enough time and energy, you can probably snag a spot at some of these places, but good luck trying to get one for a weekend night, or a large enough table for your birthday party. And setting up a tour for your friends from out of town can be impossible- you need to arrange transportation and wait in lines that can stretch around the block.

That’s where Take Me Out can help. The first and only NYC nightlife tour company, they handle everything, grabbing reservations and getting you instant VIP status at the newest clubs and even backroom, hidden speakeasies. The night begins when you meet up with your limousine- hope in and enjoy champagne and then free cocktails along the way as you spend three hours enjoying the city that never sleeps. The host will bring you past the velvet ropes and to your table, and clue you in on the itinerary for the night, which is always changing and is based on the group’s preferences- they offer four basic options, mixology, nightclub, prohibition, and party bus.

We went out on a recent Friday night, joining an eclectic set of out-of-towners, visiting two lounges and a nightclub for about an hour each. We started off at an excellent Chelsea spot called Bathtub Gin, where they do have a bathtub in the middle of the floor, and the requisite Prohibition-era decor and style. Unless you were paying attention, you might not notice the place- it looks like a tiny coffee shop, but step through a painting that hides a door and you’re ready to drink like Gatsby. Our second spot was similarly unique, down an unmarked dark alley in the Lower East Side that led to The Back Room, where drinks are served in old-school coffee mugs. And we finished off at a nearby swanky dance spot, where we could stay and dance all night long.

Partying like a celebrity doesn’t come cheap, and drinks at the various establishments are not included in the ticket price (expect to spend around $12-$15 per drink, plus gratuity). The limo is comfortable and fun, and the hosts know how to keep the evening going strong, though a lot will depend on your group. Bring a bachelor or bachelorette party, impress guests, or surprise your date with a guided expert tour to some of Manhattan’s hidden gems. For $150-$180 per person, we wouldn’t suggest it for an average night out, and locals can probably visit these spots on off nights to save some dough. But there’s no denying the allure of the experience- Take Me Out is a perfect solution for anyone with only a few nights in New York wondering what to do.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Appleā€™s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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