Williamsburg’s long overdue first gay bar. I know, with hipsters sometimes it’s hard to tell. And this joint certainly is nothing like Chelsea’s gay scene, but rather uberly mixed. The perfect place to bring hetero gay-shy friends. Regardless of your sexual or social preferences, you can have a fun time here. And what’s not to love, there’s a friendly dancefloor, 2 fireplaces and even video bowling. For the warmer months there is a good-sized backyard with free barbecues on summer Sundays.
Happy Hour: Daily, 3pm-8pm; two-for-one well drinks and domestic beer
559 Lorimer St., btwn Metropolitan & Devoe, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY 11211 tel. 718.599.4444
A self described Irish-Victorian bar with a wide range of whiskeys and 25 beers on tap and decent pub grub. Lillie wears a lot of hats; playing the roll of scenesters lounge, sports bar (soccer and rugby) and office workers tavern. Mostly it comes across having a 90ts feel. (the music here helps to reinforce this) The bar is named after Lillie Langtry (1853-1929), an actress model, mistress of the future king of England and Oscar Wilde’s muse. She moved to America in 1887 to become and entrepreneur and society hostess. Following her trail, the owners brought the pub’s antique bar and furniture over from a Victorian mansion in Belfast. I don’t know if that was necessary, from the looks of the bar (which some say is borderline tacky, I personally do like it) they could have faked it and you probably couldn’t tell the difference. That said, Lillie’s is a nice option (the kitchen closes till 4 a.m.) in a rather bland part of town.
Hours: Daily, 11am -4am
13 E. 17th St, nr. Fifth Ave, 10003 212-337-1970
A well kept semi-secret. The Campbell Apartment is a beautiful old school bar tucked away in Grand Central. It literally is the restored private office of early twentieth-century tycoon and railroad executive John W. Campbell. In 1923, Campbell commissioned Augustus N. Allen, an architect known for designing estates on Long Island, to build an office in the leased space in Grand Central. He transformed the space into a 13th-century Florentine palace with a hand-painted timbered ceiling and leaded windows. One of the most striking features was a Persian carpet that took up the entire floor and was said to have cost $300,000 at the time, or roughly $3.5 million today. Campbell added a piano and pipe organ, and at night turned his office into a reception hail, entertaining 50 or 60 friends who came to hear famous musicians play private recitals. After Campbell’s death in 1957, the rug and other furnishings disappeared from his office and the space eventually became a signalman’s office and later a closet at Grand Central, where the transit police stored guns and other equipment. It also became a small jail. Now it’s a bar filled with commuters grabbing a drink before catching their trains to Connecticut and upstate New York. (So East Coast). be warned that they do not look kindly to tennis shoes or torn jeans, but other than that it’s a pretty subdued vibe. Campbell’s is located… oh hell, finding it is half the fun.
Hours: Mon-Thu, 2:30pm-1am; Fri-Sat, 2:30pm- 2am; Sun, 3pm-11am
Grand Central Terminal 15 Vanderbilt Ave., nr. 43rd St., 10017 212-953-0409
Since this place (in Chelsea of all places) was opened by the same owner (Leslie Bernard) of the once hot Pravda I was skeptical about is funk authenticity. Did this soul lounge have any real soul? Well, it’s no Harlem joint, but it does manage to attract not just white people, plus the music is good: ranging from Classical Soul, Neo Soul, Jazz, Afro-beat, Underground Hip Hop and Breakbeats. There is food, which is tasty, but I wouldn’t go as far as to call it real soul food. If you go to their webpage during hours of operation you can hear the dj spinning live.
Hours: Mon-Wed, 5pm-2am; Thu-Sat, 5pm-4am; Sun, closed
165 W. 26th St., nr. Seventh Ave. 10001 212-627-8320
if you ever find yourself in the UES on a weekend night, you’ll be thankful to have this place in your arsenal. It’s not that this bar deserves a trip to the UES, but in the midst 99.4% of the surrounding bars, which are either frat or preppy (depending on how many drinks you or they have had) Auction House is a total oasis. Sorta reminds you of a 90ts bar circa Dawson’s Creek. Good for taking a date. Think R.E.M. and you are practically there.
The bar enforces a strict no-fur policy.
The bar is ages 25-and-up only on weekends.
Hours: Daily, 7:30pm-4am
300 E. 89th St.,at Second Ave. 10128 212-427-4458