Best Leather Bar
554 West 28th Street
When the original Eagle, long a New York landmark, closed two years ago, it left Manhattan's leather-clad S&M community crying into their beers. This latest incarnation, a palatial two-story club located near the West Side Highway, manages to evoke its predecessor while actually outdoing it. We could go on about the décor -- they spared no expense on the chain-link -- but of more interest is the fact that the regulars who haunted the original Eagle have now been joined by a new generation of denim-and-leather fanatics (this could really be anybody who's bored with the pouty preeners who gravitate toward Chelsea or the self-consciously indie vibe of the East Village). The self-serious machismo once inherent in leather culture -- that football game on the television isn't fooling anyone, by the way -- has toned down considerably. (Patrons seem to be entertaining themselves with their leatherware as opposed to trying to prove something.) Of course, that still leaves plenty of room for pool-shooting, cigar-chomping, and boot-shining.