- 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.
Best Gay Bar
From the 2007 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine
So what exactly does “best” mean in a city with thousands of pizza joints, hundreds of celebrity masseuses, and museum-worthy concept shops on every corner? Well, in the case of this, our annual “Best of New York” roundup, there’s a heavy emphasis on what’s new or what has somehow remained virtually unheard of (until now, of course).