- Manhattan Inn
632 Manhattan Ave., at Bedford Ave., Greenpoint; 718-383-0885
Like much at the Manhattan Inn, the old Wheelock baby grand in back was discarded and forgotten before Brooke Baxter and Rolyn Hu—the founders of the nearby performance space Glasslands Gallery—bought it on Craigslist in October from a heartbroken classical pianist. The pair painted it white, hired a tuner, and gave it a new life as the centerpiece of a raucous late-night scene that harnesses the camaraderie of Marie’s Crisis, the talent of the Bemelmans’s bench, and all the frenzy of Glasslands. Located in a spacious former Polish restaurant in Greenpoint, the bar has pulled in some impressive talent. Some nights, Smokin’ Billy Slater is at the bench pounding out boogie-woogie. Other nights, Joe McGinty, formerly of the Psychedelic Furs, leads epic karaoke sessions. Meanwhile, Erika Spring of Au Revoir Simone D.J.’s a weekly (non-piano) party on Wednesdays.
Best Piano Bar
From the 2010 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).