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Best Secret Bar

The sliding bookcase at Back Room.  
  • Back Room

    102 Norfolk St., 212-228-5098

    Bars hidden behind unmarked doors are the faux-grunge counterpart to bottle-service clubs. Back Room, which fronts as a closed toy shop—you creep down an alley to find the entrance—is really no more of a mystery than its rumored investors, Tim Robbins (who’s been tending bar) and Mark Messier, but its devotion to the concept is charming. Drinks are served in teacups to foil “the bulls” (as the police were known in thirties gangster movies), the front door has a peek-and-speak hole, and a sliding bookcase reveals a second bar.

From the 2006 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine

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Other Best Of Guides

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).