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Nightlife & Entertainment: Best Bronx Bars

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Once upon a time, before Bronxites thought to trade in their el-shaded, laundry-pin-and-stoopball-rich existences for the strip malls and deer ticks and aluminum-sided, elevated-ranch destinies of Long Island and Westchester County -- you couldn't go ten feet in the borough without streeling into a great bar. There was Henry's Bayview Inn, where DiMaggio might stop in after batting practice (or the Babe might carry on before it), and the Unter Den Linden -- the Bavarian beer garden diagonally across from Cynthia Ozick's parents' drugstore at Pelham Bay Station. Gone too is the Pelham Heath Inn, where Jake LaMotta and his brother used to break horns. But all is not lost -- for more than 60 years, theSilver Edge (4026 East Tremont Avenue; 718-824-7442) has stood proud (excluding a brief stint as a strip club named Ruffles in the early eighties) and without pretension at the top of East Tremont. Thanks to new ownership, the mahogany bar shines anew with twenty beers on tap. The calendar's booked with exceptional live music performed by resurging neighborhood one-hit wonders and nomadic cover bands, plus techno and disco nights that draw a rich mix of blithesome, good-hearted patrons -- young and old -- who prove that the Bronx is alive after all. And it's bumpin'.


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