Bar 81, aka Verkhovyna, aka 'The Verk', is a prototypical Lower East Side, New York City dive bar. Located next door to Blue and Gold (though the two places couldn't be more dissimilar) on 7th street between First and Second Avenues, Bar 81 is a great place to hang out with a few people and a few beers. Their drinks are ridiculously cheap for the area - $3 bottles of beer, $4 mixed drinks - and will easily kick you to the curb without breaking the bank. The jukebox is good, with selections hovering around the 70's and 80's with some selected other tracks available from other eras.
This place doesn't fuck around. Don't ask for anything complicated (tonics, sodas and colas are about as difficult as these guys get) and don't even think about asking what they have on draft - they only have two taps and one of them is almost always broken. The place is specifically designed to get you as drunk as possible in as safe (though that's a relative term) a manner as possible. There are people who are there every night (the old homeless pool hustler, the russian mafioso in huge leather jackets, etc.) who add to the character and, once you get to know the regulars and the bartenders, will keep you out of harm's way. It's that kind of place.
You're best off going to this place for the first time with someone who's known there, partially to make introductions but mostly because the bartenders pour more liberally when they see a familiar face.