A couple blocks north of the busy scrum where Broadway intersects with Amsterdam, Candle Bar is as quiet and calming as its name implies. This longstanding neighborhood institution is the kind of place where talking to the bartender and other patrons is encouraged rather than frowned upon, and most of the men here are looking to talk more than looking to get laid, at least early in the evening. White rope lights provide just enough illumination for the dressed-down, over-30 crowd to sip their beers or the occasional mixed drink. A long red curtain and a rainbow flag hang behind the well-worn wooden bar, where most of the patrons congregate. At the back of the narrow-but-deep space, a pool table and a built-in bench are often all but deserted. With no other gay bars for blocks, Candle Bar's low-key feel and friendly regulars make it an especially welcoming place for a couple of drinks.
Picnics with a view, roller-skating nostalgia, and a party for gay headbangers.