- Eastern Bloc
505 E. 6th St.; 212-777-2555
The gay heyday in the East Village returns inside this old haunt once known as Wonderbar, now splashed in a jokey red-and-black Russian Constructivist paint scheme. As before, the scrappy boys have general run of the town, to paraphrase Rufus Wainwright, but all ages will feel welcome. If there’s an occasional muscley import from Chelsea, he might go unnoticed in the tight-knit communal throng, who drink actual beer instead of the dietetically mandated vodka-soda. The music is always just what you want (think of a Beyoncé–Hold Steady mashup), and not since Mario Diaz (the Cock’s creator, now transplanted to L.A.) tossed out Foxy dollars has downtown seemed so capable of such cozy fun instead of the snarly ’tude in the usual nightspots.