The Continental sat at the end of a strip of dollar-pizza joints, tattoo parlors, a failing McDonald’s, and shady guys selling jewelry from sidewalk stalls, so the scene is pretty much set. With a storefront that is awash in signs promoting cheap drinks – its largest and most notable one is a banner outside that says, “5 shots of anything $12 all day/all night (yes we’re serious),” most locals referred to it as ‘the shots bar.’ While unapologetically a low-dollar dive bar for probably the last decade or two, the bar started out as a music venue that played host to countless music acts like The Ramones, Iggy Pop, and Guns & Roses, to name a few.
In its final years, there was no shortage of controversy surrounding the bar as the owner implemented multiple policies that were met with anger like ‘no baggy pants,’ ‘no free water,’ and ‘no using the word literally.’ The owner’s attitude was always “don’t like my policies? Go somewhere else.” while full well knowing most people would stay as it was impossible to drink cheaper anywhere else in NYC. All told, The Continental wasn’t the kind of bar you’d go to soak up the ambiance and have a dive bar night. As a matter of fact, it was completely devoid of ambiance, unless you call random beer signs and blacklight posters ambiance. The Continental was a place people went to for one purpose – to get hammered.