Mon-Fri, 3pm-4am; Sat-Sun, 2pm-4am
1 at Christopher St.-Sheridan Sq.; A, B, C, D, E, F, M at W. 4th St.-Washington Sq.
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
The Kettle made its name as a hangout for aspiring bohemians not long after it opened on MacDougal Street above the famed Gaslight Café in 1950. Three moves and half a century later, the current cozy basement space, with its low ceilings, strings of lights, and a comfy-as-home collection of sofas and chairs still draws plenty of bookish types, but the location ensures a happy cross-section of straight football fans (the owner roots for the Packers), gay tourists (Kettle abuts Stonewall Inn), and students who could go either way—depending on how much Sixpoint ale they've downed. With most of the patrons wrapped up in lively intercourse, the jukebox tends to fall by the wayside, leaving the nearby cabaret to pick up the slack as show tunes bleed down from above. Surprisingly, even with the disproportionate representation of gray hair and writerly tweeds, the Ms. Pac-Man machine gets plenty of play.
Picnics with a view, roller-skating nostalgia, and a party for gay headbangers.