Best bar for up-and-coming writers (2008)

Half King Bar

Hoards of starving freelancers regularly flock to Half King Bar in Chelsea for its Monday reading series. The bar's own literati proprietor— Sebastian Junger (The Perfect Storm)—has been known to captivate a standing-room-only crowd by reading his own work. However, the pub usually hosts young writers promoting their debut books, as well as journalists from Newsweek, Vanity Fair, NPR, and The New York Times just returned from the war-ravaged corners of the world. Photojournalists get the floor on the occasional Tuesday-night gallery opening; the walls have held images of war in Lebanon, D.C.'s impoverished neighborhoods, and Nigerian rebels. Throughout, audience members hope that the success of the featured writers will rub off on them as they sip beer and fill up on the pseudo-healthy entrees like venison burgers and whole-wheat spaghetti. Meanwhile, Junger uses his writerly clientele's penchant for $6 pints to pay for his homes in New York and Cape Cod.


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