Every bar should have a “thing.” My very favourite bar, Burp Castle in the East Village of Manhattan, is themed like a monastery; the bartenders wear monks’ robes and gently shush the patrons to keep the noise down. My local Brooklyn bar, High Dive, isn’t quite so distinctive, but it serves popcorn and has pinball in the back and a chalkboard in the front where patrons can put money on each others’ tabs.
New York is studded with one-of-a-kind bars: Beauty Bar has salon chairs installed; Sand Bar has the heat cranked up and the floor covered in beach sand; the Frying Pan isn’t actually unique because it’s one of several bars on boats. But you could probably list off even better bars than those in your hometown. San Francisco has Vesuvio, Portland has the Funhouse Lounge, the Swiss town of Gruyères has the HR Giger Bar.
We want to hear about the most special and interesting bars in your city — or in a city you’ve visited — whether they’re dives, speakeasies, refined cocktail establishments, or even great hotel bars, like the Driskill in Austin. They can be a little touristy, they can be locals-only. Places with great snacks, with a gigantic rotating beer selection, with wine flowing from special gadgets, with terrible drinks for dirt cheap. Places with a weird policy or a cool backstory or a local celebrity. Places with some atmosphere, places you’d never find anywhere else.
And hey — what should we drink?