- Flaming Saddles
793 Ninth Ave., nr. 53rd St.; 212-713-0481
An establishment that (like straight dancing-bartender predecessors such as Hogs & Heifers) pulls off the trick of being both rousingly festive and laid-back at the same time. The venue commits to its Wild West saloon theme with wood- plank floors, steer motif, Bonnie Raitt on the jukebox, and Westerns on TV. But it isn’t above pleasing its clientele with flashing rainbow lights and bar-dancing cowboy bartenders. The beers on tap are a tad expensive, but that’s more than made up for by two nightly happy hours: the usual four-to-eight, plus an Absolut-ly Stoli Happy Hour (two-for-one vodka drinks) from midnight to one.
Best Gay Bar
From the 2012 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).