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Best After-Work Bar

JEAN-LUC
507 Columbus Ave.
212-712-1700; jeanlucrestaurant.com

This recently renovated Upper West Side bar boasts a nicely dressed crowd of broadcasting types, investment bankers, actors, and dancers, with a good male-to-female ratio. For women, in particular, it’s that rare find—a place where it’s easy to meet attractive men. Background music ranges from Buddha Bar mixes to seventies tunes. To mix things up, soap-opera stars like Jacob Young from All My Children sometimes tend bar, and a belly dancer occasionally appears in the middle of cocktail hour. Best of all, the shy can count on convivial proprietor Jean-Luc to loosen things up. He eagerly plays matchmaker, dragging strangers from one end of the bar to the other with a simple, “You must talk to each other.”

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