E, M at Fifth Ave.-53rd St.; 6 at 51st St.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
This venue is closed.
On an otherwise nondescript block in Midtown, this former speakeasy provides buttoned-down 30-somethings with a miniature time-warp. Well worn silver dollars spell out "Bill's" on the tile floor in the narrow entryway; second floor walls are plastered with faded photographs of dancing girls from the 1890s. Continue into the main room, anchored by the same mahogany bar for over 80 years, and you’ll find yourself transported to an era during which the staff could pull a lever to drop the bottles into a sandpit, should some cop come strolling in. The posted Rules of This Tavern ("no boots in bed," "no more than five to a bed," etc.) may no longer apply, but you'll still feel like an outlaw drinking one of Bill's strong martinis as three house pianists—"Bugsy," Elliot, or Rick—take turns playing Billie Holiday tunes. Sometimes, you'll witness a slow-dance under the foggy glass ceiling lamps. "Psst," 45-year-veteran maitre d' Aldo whispers, pointing at one of the 35 tables. "Marilyn and Joe DiMaggio once sat in the corner." But a place like Bill’s has no need for celebrity. It never did.Live Piano Music
Mon–Wed, 8pm; Thu–Sat, 8:30pm
Picnics with a view, roller-skating nostalgia, and a party for gay headbangers.